How AI Technology Impacts Workplace Safety
14 January 2024
Preventing workplace injuries and fatalities is crucial for organisations of all sizes. Without safety initiatives in place, organisations could experience increased incident rates, higher workers’ compensation costs, reduced productivity levels and diminished staff morale. Fortunately, various technological solutions can help organisations mitigate potential hazards and protect their employees from harm. In particular, AI has emerged as a valuable safety tool.
AI technology consists of machines, computer systems and other devices capable of simulating human intelligence processes. This technology can perform various cognitive functions typically associated with the human mind, such as observing, learning, reasoning and problem-solving. Organisations could leverage AI technology in the following ways to help boost their workplace safety efforts:
- Hazard recognition—AI technology can help improve overall worksite visibility and call attention to hazardous situations (eg fallen objects, clutter and debris) before they cause injuries. Further, this technology can identify workplace trends or patterns that have the potential to cause incidents going forward and outline steps to correct these concerns.
- Employee training—Implementing AI technology within workplace safety training can allow employees to experience realistic simulations of different hazards they may encounter in their roles and review proper responses in controlled settings.
- Equipment maintenance—AI technology can help assess workplace equipment for wear and tear or other types of damage and deliver notifications when it’s time for periodic maintenance or critical repairs, thus reducing the risk of such equipment malfunctioning and causing serious incidents and injuries.
- Incident detection and reporting—Besides recognising hazards, AI technology can quickly identify when workplace incidents and injuries occur (eg computer vision technology detecting an employee slipping and falling on the floor), paving the way for timely response measures and potentially improving recovery outcomes.
- Safety compliance—Finally, AI technology can help bolster compliance with applicable workplace safety regulations by monitoring employees for non-compliant behaviours (eg skipping essential safety protocols or neglecting to wear necessary personal protective equipment) and ensuring worksite documentation meets all relevant requirements.
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