How Mobile Crowdsourcing Can Improve Occupational Safety

Batu Sayici & Beth Simone Noveck at The GovLab’s Medium: “With 150 workers dying each day from hazardous working conditions, work safety continues to be a serious problem in the U.S. Using mobile technology to collect information about workplace safety conditions from those on the ground could help prevent serious injuries and save lives by accelerating the ability to spot unsafe conditions. The convergence of wireless devices, low-cost sensors, big data, and crowdsourcing can transform the way we assess risk in our workplaces. Government agencies, labor unions, workers’ rights organizations, contractors and crowdsourcing technology providers should work together to create new tools and frameworks in a way that can improve safety and provide value to all stakeholders.

Crowdsourcing (the act of soliciting help from a distributed audience) can provide a real-time source of data to complement data collected by government agencies as part of the regulatory processes of monitoring workplace safety. Having access to this data could help government agencies to more effectively monitor safety-related legal compliance, help building owners, construction companies and procurement entities to more easily identify “responsible contractors and subcontractors,” and aid workers and unions in making more informed choices and becoming better advocates for their own protection. Just as the FitBit and Nike Wristband provide individuals with a real-time reflection of their habits designed to create the incentive for healthier living, crowdsourcing safety data has the potential to provide employers and employees alike with a more accurate picture of conditions and accelerate the time needed to take action….(More)”