Beyond PPE: The Future of Workplace Safety is in Advanced Technologies
When it comes to keeping your workforce safe, providing proper personal protective equipment is just the start. Workplace safety programs of the future, however, will bring risk mitigation and incident prevention to the next level – including the ability to stop hazardous events from happening in the first place.
With the help of artificial intelligence and workflow-integrated computer vision technology such as Benchmark Digital’s new Benchmark ESG® SuperVisionAI™, the future is now.
We’ve collaborated with world-class computer vision technology companies such as SparkCognition, Intenseye and 3MotionAI to harness the power of AI-analyzed live video streaming and photos to integrate the data they capture with the Benchmark solution platform to generate reports and alerts in real time for the ultimate safe work environment. The AI monitors and recognizes hazards as work happens, giving site leaders full visibility over key details such as PPE usage, potential hazards and day-to-day habits through a simple camera lens. These crucial insights can be used to rectify a situation on the spot, preventing a potentially serious incident from happening and fostering better practices over time for an overall safer work culture. The AI algorithm also has the capability to anonymize individual workers so their faces would be blurred out in a photo snapshot of the captured safety issue.
Let’s take the matter of PPE usage on a worksite, for example. Anyone can forget to put on their reflective vest as they’re rushing to get to a task. The consequences could be as innocuous as a verbal warning. If an incident were to occur, however, no matter how small or minor, the consequences for that worker without full PPE could be harmful, life-altering or even fatal.
At a worksite equipped with fixed or portable cameras connected to a local AI computer (or server) with the computer vision algorithm preinstalled, this oversight would be taken care of immediately before work even starts. Through the camera, the AI can spot the missing PPE instantaneously and trigger any number of processes, depending on worksite and company operational configurations and platform integrations:
- Onsite alarm (if applicable and integrated) can immediately alert nearby workers of the critical safety issue identified.
- Onsite machinery (if equipped with IoT connection) can follow a signal from the AI to remain powered off and locked down until all present personnel are properly and fully equipped with the necessary PPE.
- Potential hazards and other similar data collected by the AI goes to a data warehouse where it’s processed and aggregated by the Benchmark Data Exchange Platform (DXP) for easily accessible analytics, insights and reports via Benchmark Dashboards & Analytics, and then pushed out to other solutions from the Benchmark Safety Program suite.
- An alert is sent to the site leader through Benchmark Concern Reporting so they can talk to the worker in question, then track corrective actions to closure in the Benchmark Action Tracking System (ATS).
- Use insights to improve and inform best practices, and then engage workers directly and maintain engagement via instant and follow-up notifications built into the Benchmark Training Program Management suite workflow.
The safety benefits of deploying AI and advanced technology at worksites go beyond PPE. SuperVisionAI also monitors operations for other potential hazards and severe events, such as:
Moving objects: Reports resources in noncompliance of vehicle zone violations, near-miss events (e.g., proximity of pedestrian to forklift), vehicle speed limit and pedestrian way violation.
Lifting operation/suspension: Detect resources in noncompliance with machine guarding and area control, minimum/maximum number of workers in zone, worker under crane/lift with and without suspended load, and restricted area controls.
Man down: Identifies injured person onsite to allow for faster emergency/incident response time and accurate treatment/response.
And this is just the start. We’re pleased to partner with the National Safety Council in support of its Work to Zero initiative and its industry effort to eliminate serious workplace incidents through introduction of this and many other advanced technologies. The applications and uses for Benchmark SuperVisionAI – especially when integrated with the myriad digital solutions available through the Benchmark platform – are too numerous to count. Harness the power of video capture and cutting-edge AI to visualize, transform and create the ultimate safe work environment – this intuitive, comprehensive risk management powerhouse is available now.
By Donavan Hornsby, chief market strategy officer, Benchmark Digital Partners
An active cross-industry thought leader, Donavan’s 20-plus-year career is dedicated to advancing ESG principles and best practices in the industry. He provides strategic direction and organizational leadership for global business/market development, product leadership and innovation for Benchmark Digital.
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