Simple ways to use data-driven technology to augment worker safety

The implementation of wearable technology, also known as ‘wearables’, in the supply chain domain has fast-tracked recently, as the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new wave of workplace safety concerns. In addition to reducing worker injuries, the Internet of Things (IoT) technology is increasingly used to protect workers from the virus with newly-added social distancing, and contact-tracing capabilities, to name a few.

Companies using this connected technology have more data at their fingertips than ever before. When it comes to augmenting this information to keep workers safe from illness and injury, below are some advice to keep in mind:

1. Understand the safety issues

It’s important to determine what safety looks like at an organization or its operations. As you comb through the historical data, one must aim to answer a few that includes whether the lost time severity rate increasing or decreasing, and if yes, at what rate? How do the number of injuries compare between multiple sites, Y-O-Y? Such information will not only reveal the trends in safety incidents but also, help you understand what impact these are having on your workforce and business outcomes.

2. Collect meaningful data

When you install smart technology in the workplace, be certain that the data, which you are collecting is relevant and feasible. It should help you identify who is at risk, what behaviours are most unsafe, and when high-risk behaviours are occurring. Robust data always allows exposing the root causes of injuries and potential risks at the facility as well as in the operation.

3. Realize what’s driving safety incidents

Workplace injuries don’t happen in seclusion, so the next step is to uncover possible causes. Examine the data for the top employee attributes associated with a higher and lower frequency and harshness of safety incidents. There is a clear sign that supervisors need to get more involved on the floor or work site to prevent injuries.

4. Identify employee groups with the highest risk

It’s important to focus the efforts on where it is most needed first when it comes to creating the best injury prevention program. One must compare employees by role, location, an area in the organization, and other groups to see which are at the highest risk for safety incidents so that you can more effectively target your workplace safety programs. You need to design a program that speaks to their specific job role and the risks they encounter daily.

5. Build a culture of safety and protection

Safety leaders must have a deep understanding of what workers’ jobs entail to determine, which safety measures and programs are necessary to reduce incidences. Figuring out the right actions to take can be a huge task and getting it wrong can have severe consequences that go beyond lost productivity and costs. By using the data to guide efforts — and cloud-based Applied Big Data technology to make this easier and quicker to analyse.

6. Look for practical insights

If one aims to comprehend and put to use all the data collected, so an IoT tech solution that offers a powerful and easy-to-use analytics platform is key. By utilizing custom configuration and assessing competencies, any organisation will be able to compare and contrast the data and find practical insights. Monitoring and checking your team’s data a couple of times a week will help you pinpoint risks faster. Try sifting data by the worker, time/date range, job type, etc., to find the solutions to numerous questions.

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