The connected workforce – Logical Safety CEO on tech innovation in safety
IoT, predictive analytics and the connected workforce. CEO of Logical Safety Henrique Mateus talks to us about his vision for innovation in safety.
Henrique Mateus Ceo, Logical Safety
With your focus set firmly on innovation and future tech, tell me; what state is Health and Safety in today?
Well it’s good. We’ve come along way in 90 years or so. In early 20th Century America, one worker died for every $1million spent in construction projects. Many more were certainly injured. And it wasn’t until the Golden Gate bridge in 1936 that things changed.
Designer Joseph Strauss introduced a number of safety measures to protect workers; hard hats, netting and even a diet to stave off dizziness. 34 years later, regulation caught up. In 1970, the year before OSHA formed, around 14,000 workers were killed in the US. That’s 38 workers per day. In 2017 it was 14 [fatalities per day] or more than 5000 annually. It is an improvement but still too high. And reducing those statistics yet further is proving difficult.
According to some, many organisations have reached the so-called safety plateau. Traditional safety strategies have achieved the easy wins and now future improvements become harder to maintain. Often the response is to push harder with leadership, cultural and behavioural approaches. What is needed is a different strategy.
It wasn’t until the Golden Gate bridge in 1936 that things changed. Designer Joseph Strauss introduced a number of safety measures to protect workers; hard hats, netting and even a diet to stave off dizziness.
So where innovation in safety and health going?
Today, tech in EHS is flourishing. Your biggest challenge as a manager is in prioritising your investment to get the best returns. For software alone, you must choose between solutions for incident reporting, inspections, training, worker compensation and myriad others. Add to that the coming wave of wearable tech, robotics and Artificial Intelligence and the choice becomes yet more complex. In a landscape of fragmented technology.
Integrated solutions emerge that capture the benefits of multiple technologies, while achieving greater benefits as a network. Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics are taking us in this direction. We can now collect data on nearly everything and anything, contextualise and analyse it, quickly and easily. This way, we can start to do some cool things like anticipate hazards and monitor your site like a god.
How do you mean anticipate hazards?
To us humans, risk can be highly subjective. Our perception of danger changes with a variety of factors; age, familiarity with a task, social setting and confidence all change the way we respond to risk. That poses a difficult problem when we rely on staff to interpret the dangers they face at work. Responses change and incidents will happen.
Statistical approaches allow us to establish objective indicators of risk to calculate accident probabilities for a task. This way we can make rational decisions on risk exposure. As a technique, predictive analytics is nothing new. What is changing, is the quality and volume of data available for analysis. Connected devices provide a wealth of data on worker, machinery and environment giving us unprecedented analytical potential. We can now be proactive in regards to safety. We can predict hazards, anticipate problems, intervene before emergencies and respond to tiny changes, live.
So, what will this look like for the worker? Are they being spied on, or do they have a guardian angel?
Often the workers most at risk of injury, and most difficult to protect, are those required to work in remote and isolated environments. Oil workers or telecom engineers, for example, often face situations in which their judgement alone divides safety and danger.
In this environment, the connected worker is never alone. Even in the most remote location, they know support is at hand. This is what we have seen with Logical Lock. Safety technology is there after all for the worker’s health. When staff see that this type of tech can not only keep them safe but simplify their work, they embrace it.
Logical Safety at the Safety Health Expo | 18th-20th June 2019 @ Excel, London
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