For years, it has been widely acknowledged that many workplace elements are problematic and damaging. Accidents still happen, and when they do, they can result in severe injuries and even fatalities.
That is especially true in logistics, construction, aviation, fast-moving consumer goods, and the maritime industry. Dealing with unfortunate incidents costs companies dearly due to the obvious medical expenses, but let us not forget the penalties for breaching health and safety regulations.
As an EHS manager, it is your responsibility to prevent workplace accidents, ensuring that all employees follow safety protocols and procedures.
In the past few decades, technology has brought hope, preventing injuries and casualties and making heavy industries safer places to work. By adopting technology, potential hazards can be reduced drastically.
Countless technologies can eliminate workplace accidents and ensure people go home at the end of the day, as follows:
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Wearables & Sensors
Technology, particularly flexible wearable devices, presents new opportunities for reducing incidents by addressing dangerous work environments.
Through a combination of environmental, human, and location data, which is examined in the cloud, the wearables provide real-time detect risks like fatigue, extreme temperatures, or the presence of hazardous gases and alert workers immediately.
Although still in its earlier stages, the idea is gaining traction with companies. Information is transmitted to supervisors, who in turn have the power to influence safety. Wireless networks must be expanded to enable Wi-Fi connectivity for remote workers.
Accidents are a huge problem, resulting in long periods of absence from work due to temporary illness or injury. Sensors are powerful devices that can detect nearby workers and reduce the risk of injury.
Let us take an example. Many people are electrocuted in the workplace every year, so investing in sensors for energy monitoring and collecting previously impossible information is a good idea. Proximity sensors are helpful when it comes to construction and installation risks, alerting workers when an object, such as a piece of machinery or a person.
An ever-increasing number of professionals are using EHS software to monitor corrective actions and determine if the measures and systems provide the expected results.
But, they have a well-documented and consistent approach to safety, so they can minimize risks and produce accurate safety reports. If you deploy EHS software, you can delegate administrative responsibilities to a virtual assistant, reducing human error.
Legal compliance is hard, if not difficult, to achieve in health and safety, but it can be costly if not done correctly. This is where EHS software comes into play.
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It is possible to customize EHS software at an affordable price and with minimal downtime. Do not hesitate to reach out to the service provider and ask them to customize the product to suit your preferences and specifications.
Systems like Capptions use organizational intelligence reporting features to collect and store vast amounts of data, in addition to auto-generating reports, which are accessible from remote locations.
When you prioritize the welfare of your employees, you demonstrate empathy, which makes them compelled to meet their work responsibilities effectively. You can publicize achievements so that everyone knows health and safety are of the utmost importance to you.
Robots can protect workers by undertaking hazardous tasks and working in conditions like poor lighting or tiny spaces. They reduce the need for people to lift and carry heavy objects, which results in fewer back injuries, not to mention significant savings in health insurance and workers’ compensation.
More often than not, it is possible to reconfigure existing machines to incorporate robots, obtaining a lean, continuous production process. For instance, a production line with machines tended by various employees can be adjusted to incorporate robots and handling systems, reducing the number of workers required.
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Several examples of robots that add value and save money in the workplace, such as agricultural robots that can spit out weeds and treat them. Let us not forget that weed killer contain dangerous chemicals. Besides weed control, robots can be used for seeding, harvesting, picking, thinning, etc.
Order-picking robots are another great example. They can be leveraged for storage and retrieval, sortation, and integrated material handling, so automation is used for tasks that cause repetitive strain injury. Workers do not have to climb ladders to reach products stored at great heights, meaning that accidents are less likely to happen.
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Analytics help predicts workplace accidents so that they can be prevented. Organizations must identify potential causal factors of safety incidents and anticipate future incidents before they occur via data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to get to the bottom of the problem.
Organizations can use structured and unstructured data sources and commercially-viable analytic tools to support their safety decisions. Some information gathered includes design elements, injured worker demographics, machines/tools in use, recordable incident rate, and safety training and certification compliance.
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The critical aspect lies in making sense of the data. There is no denying that it can take time to implement new processes while making safety a reality and not a fatality. You can do more than realize clear financial benefits by effectively implementing advanced data analysis strategies.
After all, your strategy and implementation of workplace safety directly affect your reputation and ability to attract and retain talent. Accidents due to poor work safety practices affect productivity considerably as it takes time to investigate what happened, fill in reports, and send employees for medical examinations.
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In summary, technological advances enable us to improve workplace safety by mitigating risks. Wearables and sensors, software, robots, and analytics are just a few types of tech that can help make your workplace as safe as can be. The question now is: Where do you begin? Well, the answer will depend on your organization’s needs.