These days, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are not only the buzziest of buzzwords, but they are also all around us — affecting our lives in a myriad of ways by leveraging technology to learn about its users and respond using data collection and mapping. From the simple use of advertisements that can be served to individuals based on interests or browse behavior, to the complex infrastructures of GPS applications like Waze, the implications of smart technology that influence user behavior are endless.
What industrialization did for efficiency mid-century, modern intelligence is advancing our world today. Vast numbers of organizations are leveraging ML and AI to advance their product development, sales, and the overall customer experience. Industries like manufacturing, construction, energy & utilities, pulp & paper, lumber, waste management, food processing, oil & gas, and assembly, are missing a transformative opportunity to use this same technology to engage their workforce and more importantly, keep them safe.
Safety has historically been a slow follower of innovation used in other departments, missing opportunities to create efficient workflows, foster a more engaged, safe, and empowered workforce, and see a higher return on program investments. While marketing departments are aggregating online behavior scores, safety managers are still hanging up posters and sorting through paper forms.
Most companies understand the value of a safety culture and have ideologies about what a hyper-vigilant safety culture looks like — where employees are on high alert of their surroundings, perpetually evaluating risks for the task at hand and taking precautions accordingly. This level of safety engagement is the goal. In reality, most employees don’t have the tools, processes or capacity to be both hyper-vigilant in safety, while also focusing on their craft and being as efficient and productive as possible. This is where agentive technology can play a critical role — to give employees a high-alert sensory solution, processing information from the environment, the user and the team at all times — to aid the user in being both efficient at their work while tuned in to signals from his or her surroundings.
Over the past 18 months, Corvex has undertaken significant research and development to bridge some of these gaps in our industry, developing the first IoT safety solution that’s based on a number of beliefs:
1. The technology has to start with the employees.
What successful AI and machine learning applications have in common is that they work at a user level to provide custom information to individuals based on profile or behavioral data. Whether through location targeting, PPE or Zone compliance behavior, permission levels or other information — the platform must configure data to support teams at an individual level as well as at a corporate level.
At this level of detail, companies can incent and reward behavior at an individual employee level, while having a clear understanding of their resources.
2. We must leverage real-time information.
The very nature of high-risk jobs is that these workers, for the most part, aren’t sitting at a computer or within drive-by distance of their safety manager’s desk. Equipping workers with real-time information sharing platforms is critical to ensuring that teams can quickly react to information in the field and encourage and incent proactive communications from front-line employees, rather than stifling it.
Rather than waiting on lagging indicators to report incidents after they occur, or waiting for a slow dissemination of information to go up and back down the chain of command — employees can report information immediately. Safety managers can automate the tedious parts of their role and spend more time innovating with their teams and fostering a safety community.
We say community instead of culture when we talk about safety environments because communities are organic, diverse and only flourish if everyone does their part. A safety culture requires subscription, while a community relies on the collective responsibility a group takes on to achieve shared goals.
3. The solution needs to offer bi-directional communication.
Safety training and top-down information sharing still have their place, but they need to fit within a larger conversation that involves listening to workers in the field. The companies that have implemented successful safety programs have empowered every employee in the field to be their own safety manager — equipped with the tools, processes, information, and support they need to make responsible decisions without compromising productivity.
By understanding the needs and motivations of the employee, leveraging artificial intelligence and utilizing technology that empowers workers and amplifies their voice in their organization, companies can harness the potential of their workforce and offer a safety solution that’s truly interconnected.
Corvex is the first IoT solution that puts the power of connected safety in the hands of workers, creating a safer, more engaged workforce through real-time information sharing. The Corvex Connected Safety platform enables a proactive, risk-based approach to safety using leading indicators to help companies best manage their resources and processes, without compromising efficiency or productivity. Corvex is empowering workers to play a major role in ensuring a safe work environment for everyone. The platform has applications in industries including construction, manufacturing, food processing, oil and gas, energy and utilities, lumber, pulp and paper, waste management, assembly and more. To learn more about Corvex, visit http://www.corvexsafety.com/.
By: Eric Hanson, Director of Brand / User Experience