Enterprise digital transformation is enabling the creation of safer workplaces by leveraging recent innovative technologies like environmental health and safety software (or EHS software). This approach is not only optimizing workplace safety programs (and its associated costs) but also enhancing engagement amongst employees and saving time spent on reporting compliance procedures.
When an accident occurs, staff can use their mobile devices to record the event, capture rich data (including photos and geolocations), and assign corrective actions on the spot. The same is true when it comes to conducting safety audits and recording near misses (or safety observations).
All this data can be utilized to automate pattern detection in safety programs. What’s more, this technology can also be used to create and enhance a company-wide action plan to respond to events in real-time.
How does automated pattern detection work?
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can be enabled to recognize people, objects, and equipment by utilizing advanced image recognition. By building models based on the data entered into the EHS software, historical data, and other external sources of data, ML algorithms can use pattern recognition to identify anomalies, outliers, and exceptions to alert staff about a potential hazard.
Automated pattern detection can provide in-depth insights that companies can use to develop a robust company-wide action plan. This information can also be used to take preventive corrective actions to avoid a potential accident.
As a result, this technology combined with EHS software has the potential to reduce the number of fatalities reported across industries. According to the United States Department of Labor, there were 5,333 worker fatalities in the private sector in 2019 (in increase of 2% from 2018). Out of these, 20% or 1,061 fatalities were directly attributed to the construction industry - the highest rate since 2007.
The leading causes of death in the construction industry include workers falling (36%). This was followed by objects striking workers (10.1%), electrocution (8.6%), and getting caught in/between things like heavy machinery (2.5%).
Automated pattern detection in safety programs can help tackle this problem by enhancing the presence and proper use of personal protective equipment. In this scenario, this technology can be utilized to analyze CCTV footage in real-time to alert individuals who have failed to wear their hard hats or safety harnesses.
It’s also a tool that can help safety officers rapidly conduct safety audits of large areas with a considerable number of workers. Furthermore, this technology can also be leveraged to engage in predictive maintenance by analyzing data collected from multiple sensors and IoT devices.
By engaging in this activity, there is real potential to reduce workplace accidents that can occur as a result of equipment malfunction.
Building a digitized company-wide action plan
The key to developing an action plan in this scenario is customizable, cloud-native EHS software. This is because every industry and every enterprise is different and will require customization to ensure that the data is captured in an efficient manner.
With a cloud-native EHS software platform like Pulpstream, companies can customize their solutions to support their action plans without ever having to write a single line of code. As a company evolves, solutions can be updated with a simple drag-and-drop feature to respond appropriately and immediately to potential incidents.
This technology can also be adapted to incorporate automated pattern detection technology to ensure early visibility to risk. As a result, staff can be alerted by AI about a potential problem which can then be addressed immediately and effectively with a cloud-native mobile application.
As enterprises will be managing their EHS processes and workflows in a cloud, data can be seamlessly collected from multiple sources and everyone within the organization can be updated in real-time.
This decentralized approach also enhances transparency and accountability while improving compliance and communication. This means that organizations can also utilize this application to delegate and track actions to maintain a (complete) safety audit trail.
Automated pattern detection, in essence, helps monitor the workforce across the company. When health and safety officers are supported by this technology, they can rapidly understand real workplace risks and respond to them effectively through the creation and prioritization of action plans. This will also empower the business to effectively use its resources by channeling it where it can make the biggest impact.
When automated pattern detection and EHS software is incorporated into company’s infrastructure and working culture, it has the potential to not only create a safer workplace environment but also save lives.