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  • Amy Challenger

How AI is Ensuring Worker Safety in Every Industry

In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has been poised to lead rapid transformation across industries. Most adopters are using AI to improve efficiency, while more mature adopters are boosting differentiation and competitive advantage.

For people unfamiliar with AI, it is the capability of any machine to imitate intelligent human behaviour so it can perform mundane and repetitive tasks. We feed the AI tech with data from multiple sources so it can learn and discover patterns to improve problem-solving.

The technology can also be harnessed to address a gap in worker safety around the globe. In an occupational safety and health report presented by The International Labour Organization, an estimated 2.3 million people succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year. AI may be able to reduce the number of fatal accidents across different sectors. So, with that in mind, here are three industries that can optimise their safety protocols with AI technology:

1) Planning contingencies for construction sites

Construction companies have increasingly looked to AI to make construction safer, more efficient, and more innovative. Forbes notes how construction managers find value in AI as it can optimise work schedules, enhance security on construction sites, and improve overall worker safety.

More importantly, AI can be used to run through what-if scenarios to help with contingency planning. Deep learning software can look at historical data to find common trends or patterns and extrapolate the effects of an incident. The AI technology can forecast multiple scenarios quickly so construction sites would have plans in place for dealing with these unexpected scenarios.

2) Improving fleet management systems

The trucking industry can benefit from artificial intelligence, too. A discussion on AI possibilities in trucking on Verizon Connect highlights how the technology can work with existing dash cams to track and identify harmful driving trends. By reviewing harsh driving footage and traffic incidents systematically, AI can provide key insights that can correct unwanted behaviours amongst drivers and help managers create a better coaching curriculum.

On the road, AI algorithms can also be deployed to detect and respond to unpredictable road conditions and distracted driving. Smart cameras can identify what is happening inside and outside the vehicle. For example, an alarm would go off if a driver is yawning or blinking excessively; AI can likewise collect real-time traffic data, alert drivers about road works, and advise drivers on the best course of action.

3) Minimising risks in mining

Artificial intelligence, automated equipment, and robotics can take the human element out of mining sites and ensure minimal risks for on-site personnel. In our post on ‘Digital Innovation and Safety Technology Transforming the Mining Industry, we talked about how using these technologies can reduce cost and potential fatalities.

When programmed with AI designed for facial and object recognition, IoT devices, cameras, sensors, and tracking systems would be able to detect unsafe behaviour, spot potential hazards, and increase on-site security. Cameras that capture videos of the mining process can be trained to monitor worker behaviour and generate data, which will then be analysed to spot problematic trends and recommend highly focused remedial training.

Indeed, the future of many industries will change with the AI revolution — for the benefit of both companies and their workers.


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