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Friday, 15 November

Can Connected Systems Benefit Health & Safety?

Rosalind Benjamin, CEO of Ark Workplace Risk

The desk role of H&S officers has been transformed by technology, writes Rosalind Benjamin. It’s improving accountability and transparency and most importantly, helping to reduce risk and injuries.

Some of the most eye-catching digital innovations include wearable technology designed for employees to check in to sites automatically, so that organisations can keep track of who’s where at all times - a great advance to the large number of mobile and remote workers in the UK.

Wearables could also be programmed to monitor vital signs or even posture - helping to alert teams if workers have taken a fall. That’s not all. Highway engineers at Amey have been trialling biometric collars from Fujitsu which can alert teams if the user appears to be getting drowsy or fatigued.

 

CCTV and drone advancements

Cisco’s AI-SAFE platform is designed to combine real-time video analysis with advanced algorithms and machine learning to check that workers in sectors such as construction enter the site wearing the right equipment.

Drones are also being put to use surveying potentially dangerous sites so staff don’t have to. The data they collect can be sent back in real-time and even used to generate 3D models of the area.

 

Occupational health

Certain sectors are also investing in different types of monitoring equipment to ensure noise, UV rays and harmful particles don’t exceed safe limits. Meanwhile, smart buildings are transforming the workplace in more office-bound environments, monitoring and improving things such as indoor air quality.

 

Data driving quicker responses

Many of these new tools collect large amounts of data in real-time that can then be analysed and fed into cloud-based software for more effective reporting, management and predictive analysis. This is revolutionising the way health and safety professionals do their jobs, making them more productive, more collaborative and faster to respond to and learn from incidents. Data holds the key to more effectively predicting and preventing faults, which could have an impact on health and safety in this example.

More visibility means organisations can begin to work towards the holy grail of 360-degree situational and contextual awareness. In turn, that will help them to minimise hidden errors, create more effective risk profiles and even become more accountable.

The improved audit trails that come from this new digital- and data-driven approach can also help organisations if they ever have to collect evidence to present in court.

Picture: Rosalind Benjamin, CEO of Ark Workplace Risk says H&S technology is improving accountability reducing risk.

Article written by Rosalind Benjamin

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