The ethics deficit in occupational safety and health monitoring technologies.

Ciaran McAleenan

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Wearable and implantable technologies that enhance human capacity have opened up new opportunities to go beyond the replacement of lost capabilities to the provision of capacities to predict and potentially influence individual behaviour. Technologies, currently present on construction sites, either monitor location and transmit safety, health and well-being information to a central point or gather bioinformation on workers that can be read and interpreted to determine the physical and psychological stress states and ostensibly predict what may happen to the workers or how they may behave next; improving efficiencies. However, what appears absent is a sufficient exploration of the ethics underpinning the research and the morality in the application of these technologies in the industry, which may go well beyond the intent of the originators of the technology. Research into wearable and implantable technologies must take into consideration the broader impacts of the societal application of the work in the context of respect and equal consideration. This paper discusses how an international exercise, carried out to determine the extent to which researchers and contracting companies have examined the ethical and moral implications of the use of these technologies, discovered deficits in considering the impacts on worker competence, agency and reciprocity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1800027
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Management, Procurement and Law
Issue number2
Early online date18 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished online - 18 Oct 2018


  • Corporate Responsibility
  • Health & Safety
  • Information Technology


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