Have you collected all discoverable data from construction wearables to disprove fraudulent claims?
When it comes to disproving a claim or reducing a payout, it’s crucial that insurance agencies consider all possible areas from which data can be collected, including data from construction wearable devices. Claims managers and attorneys have the ability and responsibility to investigate wearable devices and Internet of Things (IoT) devices just as they would computers, project management databases, video surveillance, social media profiles and traditional mobile devices.
Wearable technology is becoming more common in industries like manufacturing and healthcare as a way to increase productivity and minimize errors. From smart personal protection equipment to sensors that monitor falls and worker locations, wearable technology is making its way into the construction industry as well. General contractors can use the data gathered from construction wearables and IoT devices to improve safety, reduce worker injuries and boost efficiency on job sites. For insurance agencies, this data is a goldmine of information to help them more thoroughly investigate construction claims.
Types of Wearable Construction Devices
There are a number of existing and emerging wearable technologies within the construction industry. Worn on a worker’s body as an accessory, an item of clothing, or personal protective equipment, these devices are designed to collect and deliver data about the worker’s environment and activities. Below is a sampling of such devices.
- Smart hard hats: Some smart helmets use brain waves to monitor workers’ fatigue to prevent micro-sleeps. If the hard hat senses the worker falling asleep, it will alert him or her through vibrations and noises. Other smart helmets allow for remote communication, so that workers can remain hands-free while discussing an issue with a supervisor.
- Sensors: Sensing wearables detect a worker’s biological, environmental and physical conditions. Whether in the form of a clip, a safety vest, an attachment for hard hats, or embedded in the sole of a work boot, these devices detect things like location, impact, motion and workers’ vital signs. For example, they can sense if an individual experiences a significant decrease in elevation or if they jump from a certain height that could lead to an injury. Some sensing devices also will alert workers who wander into the danger zone of a large piece of mobile equipment.
- Exoskeletons: Sometimes referred to as exosuits, exoskeletons are machines designed to help increase the wearer’s strength and endurance to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. For example, a back-support exoskeleton helps a worker prevent straining by providing appropriate lifting techniques and correcting faulty posture.
How to Use Data Collected from Construction Wearables
Construction is a hazardous industry with inherent risk and liability, and personal injury and worker compensation claims are common. The digital records created by wearable and IoT devices can be incredibly helpful should a claim arise and can be used to combat potentially fraudulent claims.
Data from construction wearables tells insurers things like:
- Was the claimant where they said they were during the incident in question?
- Was the claimant driving a piece of equipment at an excessive speed?
- Has the claimant displayed a pattern of reckless behavior?
- Did the claimant jump or fall suddenly?
- Were there other, not-yet-identified custodians on-site who could be questioned for additional information?
Claims attorneys have an almost endless number of data points to check when it comes to investigating a claim. While this increases the complexity of the investigation, it also puts more power in the hands of insurance companies, equipping them to better analyze and disprove fraudulent claims.
Keep in mind that construction wearables data isn’t the only type of data to collect. Insurance agencies can use this data in combination with that from other devices. For example, if an individual files a worker’s comp claim alleging that he slipped and fell on a job and injured his leg so badly that he needed to stay home from work, the legal team could review data from the worker’s wearables to see if he did indeed fall. The team also could conduct a social media investigation to see if the worker (or the worker’s family and friends) posted anything to his accounts that disprove his claim, such as photos or videos of himself rock-climbing or running a marathon.
How to Securely and Defensibly Collect Construction Wearables Data
In the example above, the data collected as evidence would be moot if it weren’t collected in a forensically sound manner. To properly collect and analyze relevant data, claims managers and attorneys should consider partnering with an eDiscovery and digital forensics vendor. Computer forensics investigators will use forensically sound tools and techniques to ensure that the evidence holds up in court. Our BIA Experts are certified computer forensics investigators, who understand and employ the most advanced techniques, software and equipment available. Our deep knowledge of the eDiscovery process, gained from twenty years in the business, guarantees that your data is collected securely, efficiently and defensibly.
The discoverable data available in construction wearables and IoT devices is a gift that keeps on giving to claims managers and attorneys, especially when it’s combined with data from more traditional collection devices. If you’re looking for an eDiscovery and digital forensics partner to collect, organize and analyze construction wearables data to help you win your cases (or at least reduce claims payouts), contact BIA today—we’ve got you covered.