View source: Colin Fluxman

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in the United States, over 5,000 workers were killed on the job last year due to motor vehicle crashes, falls, exposure or other causes.

In the early 1900s, more than 50,000 employees were killed each year: 10 times more than now.

Technology innovation was key to changing the status quo in dangerous industries over the years.

This year, the National Safety Council will launch Work to Zero 2050 with a $500,000 grant from the McElhattan Foundation. Its purpose is to eliminate death on the job by the year 2050. Period. No hedging, no qualifiers.

Since 1913, the NSC has used data, expertise, and innovation to solve some of the toughest workplace safety problems.

Work to Zero 2050 will accelerate the development of technologies that hold the highest potential, by using decades of insight, the latest available data, and the knowledge of an unparalleled network of safety leaders and practitioners.

This initiative will pilot and evaluate promising technology and training programs that could eliminate workplace fatalities in our lifetime.

Small businesses, Fortune 500 companies and 100% of NSC member companies already have a strong interest in existing innovations, such as wearables, robotics, virtual and augmented reality, automation and artificial intelligence.

In the future, Work to Zero 2050 will vet, translate and distill the actionable knowledge needed to implement the right technology at the right time to save lives.