NSC Business and Industry Division news

New NSC white paper: ‘Using Data and AI to Gain Insights Into Your Safety Program’

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Photo: Laurence Dutton/iStockphoto

Itasca, IL — A new white paper from the National Safety Council explains how employers can use data and artificial intelligence technology to reduce the risk of serious injuries and fatalities. 

A product of the NSC Work to Zero initiative, the report is based on an evaluation of findings from several academic and industrial journals. It includes best practices for preventing workplace illnesses, injuries and deaths with AI technology.

Workplace fatality rates increased in 2021, with more than 5,000 workers dying, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Work to Zero is aimed at eliminating workplace fatalities through the use of technology.

“EHS professionals already manage large volumes of data on a daily basis, and advancements in analytics and AI have made it easier to synthesize this information to improve existing risk mitigation activities,” said Emily Whitcomb, director of innovation at NSC.

“In addition to helping employers understand the benefits of investing in safety technology, this white paper outlines new ways organizations of all sizes can leverage AI-powered analytics to advance their workplace’s unique safety culture and ultimately prevent injuries and save lives.”

Specifically, the report highlights three forms of machine learning that employers can leverage to improve on traditional EHS processes, enhance performance, and save time and money:
Computer vision technology. Commonly deployed within closed-circuit TV video management systems to monitor images and video footage and detect objects and workers’ proximity to hazards, computer vision capabilities can be combined with other data – such as location, time and safety guidelines – to deliver automated alerts for equipment malfunctions, vehicle collisions and more.
Natural language processing. Rapidly summarizes written reports and extracts quantitative insights and sentiments, and may be used to enhance productivity and streamline safety reporting and compliance.
Predictive and prescriptive analytics engines. Designed to enable AI to learn causes and effects from historical data, these rule-based systems can be configured to predict incidents before they occur and produce recommendations, such as the most suitable personal protective equipment for a specific task, across a range of operating environments.

The white paper builds on the Work to Zero Safety Innovation Journey to help organizations assess risks, identify technology solutions and ready workplaces for implementation.

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