Mark Richards, CEO of Presien, shares how AI vision makes lead safety indicators a reality
Heavy industry is the foundation of global progress - a sector constantly breaking new ground. With this comes a focus on innovation and a propensity for testing, trialing and adapting to what’s next. In this kind of environment, knowing what innovation to prioritise is crucial.
Naturally, safety enhancements should top this list. Worldwide, there are around 374 million occupational accidents each year. Heavy industries – construction, logistics and warehousing, agriculture and forestry, manufacturing, and mining – disproportionality contribute to these statistics.
Concerningly, millions of accidents is only part of the picture with most safety analysis ignoring near misses entirely. In fact, one study found 25% of safety incidents fail to be reported. Considering every accident was once a near miss, this is an issue we must innovate our way out of, today.
Spotting the right signals: The next stage in safety reporting
If you were transported to a worksite today - be it Europe, the US or Australia - you would likely come across various standard safety measures. Think government-issued posters, warning stickers, spotters and familiar quotes encouraging cautious behaviour. Pen and paper would feature heavily too with checklists dominating a raft of safety procedures.
With so many markers of perceived safety, it's perhaps unsurprising that so many near misses are dismissed, along with the big signal they’re sending.
Therein lies the problem. A large portion of safety reporting remains manual and relies on people making a choice whether or not to log an issue. Each choice is filtered through an individual’s personal appetite for risk, administration and speaking up. This fractured approach to reporting means critical events aren’t caught as problems arise.
Thanks to the introduction of new technologies, the next stage of safety reporting promises to proactively seek out key signals and automatically report them. One of the key components of this new stage is the implementation of lead safety indicators.
What are lead safety indicators?
Lead safety indicators are metrics that have been proven to be strong predictors of future safety performance. By tracking and reporting on these indicators, companies can identify potential safety hazards and proactively address them before they result in accidents or injuries.
This is a departure from traditional reactive approaches that only addressed safety issues after they had already occurred. Lead safety indicators provide a new level of visibility of an organisation’s operational performance and help to identify areas for improvement.
AI vision turns lead safety indicators into reality
Lead safety indicators make a lot of sense but how the data is collected is where success lies. Manual collection is simply too burdensome for busy dynamic environments. Automation is essential to speed, accuracy and ultimately positive impact.
Enter AI vision. Offerings like Blindsight can collect, analyse, and report on lead safety indicators and help workplaces to identify trends and patterns that may not be immediately apparent. The technology can also help to automate the reporting process, reducing the time and effort required to generate reports.
At Presien, we streamlined safety reporting a step further with the creation of the Blindsight Index. The Blindsight Index is the number of near-misses per machine danger hours. It is the new lead safety metric to understand risk before an accident.
This automatically generated lead metric focuses on the fatal and serious injury people-plant scenarios rather than the less severe work injuries that dominate Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) and Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) metrics.
The index can be used to track and compare safety across work activities, machine types, sites and and against global peers.
From analytics to action
Lead safety indicators allow managers and leaders to take charge at critical junctures. For example, when near misses spike unexpectedly at a particular site. In such a scenario a H&S lead could release a microtraining addressing the specific issue at hand. Or add additional reminders to machinery. When things are going well managers will also have a chance to recognise and reward their team.
Lead indicators aren’t just beneficial for safety. They can also support increased productivity, team well-being, retention and decrease insurance costs.
With the power of AI vision, improving operations doesn’t have to be a heavy lift. The path to progress starts with committing to true site visibility and putting technology to work for you.