In a day when workplace safety is a higher priority for companies than ever before, businesses are utilizing a new tool to create a safer environment for their employees. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already being implemented in offices, factories, and plants for everything from automated invoicing to predictive maintenance to climate control. Now, many workplaces are exploring the use of AI in enhancing workplace safety. Let’s look at three ways this technology may help people be safer on the job.
Beefed-up security is one of the places where AI shines in the workplace. Artificial Intelligence can be used to monitor and analyze data from cameras, microphones, and other sensors to detect anomalies and suspicious patterns of behavior. For example, if a camera detects that an unauthorized person has entered a restricted area, the system can send an alert to security personnel. In addition, secured access can be made more intuitive and streamlined using biometric and facial recognition technology, so people have real-time access to areas where they are authorized to go without adding security checkpoints. Doors can be automatically unlocked for recognized personnel, while multi-factor authentification may be implemented when the AI doesn’t recognize the individual or find matching credentials.
Enhanced Environmental Health
In a COVID-19 world, businesses have a mandate to help reduce the risk of exposure for their employees. While many are already implementing vaccination and testing requirements, AI can be programmed to identify potential risks or hazards in the environment and to mitigate health risks in real-time. For example:
- Cameras may detect when people are huddling closer than six feet or not wearing PPE, and text reminders to them to keep a safe distance and to mask up.
- When a room gets crowded with people, the AI can automatically trigger ventilation systems and HEPA filters to clean the air.
- Thermal detection technology can automatically note signs of fever in an employee and alert supervisors to send the person home.
AI can also be extremely useful in contract tracing protocols for people who have been exposed to COVID. For example, if an employee tests positive for COVID, artificial intelligence can review security footage or smartphone location data to see who has been in recent close contact with the infected employee. Those employees can then be tested and/or quarantined to prevent further infections.
While COVID is the most current health threat in the workplace, implementing AI technology to manage environmental risks can be useful in managing other, future health threats, as well. Thus, workplaces not only keep their employees healthier, but the workplace itself stays more productive due to fewer employees being sidelined by illness.
Physical Workplace Safety/Accident Mitigation
Some industries, particularly in the construction sector, have already begun implementing AI technology to reduce the risk of job site accidents. There are manifold ways in which AI can make these higher-risk workplaces safer, mostly in the area of predictive algorithms to prevent accidents before they happen.
- AI can analyze data and real-time conditions at construction sites, taking into account prior accident history and current unsafe conditions to identify places of concern.
- Using on-site cameras, AI can pinpoint safety violations as they occur (e.g., someone failing to wear a hard hat or safety goggles near heavy machinery) and send an alert to correct the problem.
- AI can analyze wearable technology on employees to detect signs of worker fatigue–a major factor in workplace accidents–and send tired workers on mandatory breaks.
- Safety helmets can be enabled with AI technology to monitor the environment for potential hazards and provide early warnings to workers.
- Some construction companies are using autonomous vehicles to transport heavy materials and tools around the job site, which eliminates the need for workers to be in close proximity of large equipment or vehicles.
When it comes to workplace safety, artificial intelligence can be extremely helpful with anticipation and prevention. But if you have already suffered an injury on the job site, you may need help from an experienced worker’s compensation attorney to make sure you receive the full benefits you are due. For a free initial case evaluation, call the Cullotta Bravo Law Firm today at 630-225-8341 or contact us online.