Activity Trackers and Workers’ Comp Claims
Fitbits, Apple Watches, and other wearable fitness technology are a booming trend in the United States. People enjoy being able to monitor their heart rate, steps, calories burned, sleep cycles, and other fitness activity during workouts and throughout the day. If a worker’s movement, heart rate, and other health and fitness indicators are tracked and recorded throughout the day, what effect might that have on a workers’ compensation claim? Continue reading to learn how activity trackers could affect your workers’ compensation claim, and contact a serious Southern California workers’ compensation attorney if you need help with a workers’ compensation matter on behalf of yourself or a deceased family member.
Tracking workplace hazards
Activity trackers and other wearable technology can help workers avoid hazardous situations and identify hazards to which they were exposed in order to strengthen claims. Wearable devices can track whether employees are over-exerting, whether they have been exposed to inclement weather, humidity, or extreme temperatures, and some can even identify hazardous materials such as radiation. Some wearable tech can identify the weight of heavy objects so that workers can avoid straining themselves. They can be used to locate workers who are missing at construction sites and other hazardous locales, and they can alert workers of known dangers in particular areas.
Proving compliance with medical treatments
Workers who receive workers’ compensation might be at risk of losing coverage if their employers have reason to believe that they are healthier than they claim, or if they are making their condition worse while off-work by engaging in unhealthy activities. Activity trackers can help workers track their compliance with medical treatments–such as taking enough steps throughout the day, avoiding strenuous activity or extending beyond the recommended range of motion, and taking prescribed medication–and prove to employers and insurance providers that they are taking active care of their health. Strong, direct proof of compliance with medical treatment suggestions can help demonstrate the need for continued workers’ compensation and medical care. Activity tracking technology can also help speed the process of recovery so that an employee can return to work sooner.
On the other hand, if a worker is ignoring medical advice or is engaging in strenuous activity while still claiming disability or other functional limitations, tracking tech might be used to undermine their claims. Employers and insurance providers may be able to collect activity tracker data as evidence in workers’ compensation claims to be used against the employee.
Some employers consider requiring employees to wear activity trackers to ensure safety compliance and otherwise track their activity and productivity. Requiring employees to wear activity tracking devices raises significant privacy concerns for workers. Workers may have very legitimate concerns about how the data is shared and with whom, and the vulnerability of that data to hacking. Additionally, if employers were to require employees to wear tracking devices all day at work, workers could be generally upset at the intrusion into their personal behavior.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEYS READY TO HELP AFTER YOUR WORKPLACE INJURY
If you have a claim for workers’ compensation and want to ensure you get the maximum available coverage, call Invictus Law today at 949-287-5711, and speak with an experienced California workers’ compensation attorney to evaluate your claims.