Technology: Transforming Safety for Workers and Communities Alike
Thanks to the advances in digital data capture and recording by sensors and devices, information is a commodity that is not in short supply.
- By Matt DeLorenzo
- Dec 01, 2020
Improving safety isn’t just about reducing workplace risks within industrial and process environments—it’s also about safeguarding neighboring communities and environments. Read on to learn how technology is improving safety via a transformation of the way safety devices are managed and how operator safety is monitored while at work.
Improvements in safety, both in practice and equipment, have essentially always stemmed from one thing: the availability of good information. In the past, that learning was often observational, based on talking to individuals or derived from scrutiny or analysis of historic written and pictorial hard copy records.
Today, thanks to the advances in digital data capture and recording by sensors and devices, information is a commodity that is not in short supply. The seamless connectivity driving the Internet of Things is already touching workplaces globally. The latest flame and gas detection devices typically offer the ability to log performance and environmental data. However, translating that into tangible learnings is not always easy.
The Big Data Challenge
Processing and intelligently analyzing large data volumes, particularly when gathered from “real-time” streams, is now one of the safety industry’s biggest challenges. For data to be meaningful, it has to provide real insight. That starts with being able to automatically detect, highlight, interrogate and share those events that are most relevant and significant to the operation of a device, or the ability of an operative to complete his or her work safely.
Recent advancements of AI-enabled automated reporting tools allow safety managers to look beyond just managing safety compliance towards changing how workplace safety really works. The ability to analyze and review historic logged data and extract actionable information to reduce risk and improve workplace safety is transformative.
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.