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How to Ensure Workplace Safety with Artificial Intelligence?

By Nancy Rowling

clock Apr 20, 2022
bookmark 7 min
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Human and machine interaction represents risks. Proactive measures to ensure forklift safety, pedestrian forklift safety, and machine safety are all crucial to maintaining a safe work environment.

There are more than 340 million occupational accidents worldwide each year, resulting in 2.3 million people suffering work-related injuries. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), that equates to nearly 6,000 deaths every single day. Unfortunately, workplace accidents happen across the globe. In the U.S., 2.7 million workplace injuries and illnesses every year, resulting in more than 4,700 deaths.

These numbers don’t include the number of near-misses and incidental damage to equipment and infrastructure that can lead to costs.

Artificial Intelligence

AI can play a significant role in reducing workplace injuries. By capturing data using cameras and embedded sensors, AI can analyze data and images to warn workers about potential dangers and help prevent accidents before they occur.

AI works by compiling data and comparing it to known threats. Fast, iterative processing and intelligent algorithms can provide alerts in milliseconds. Machine learning and deep learning allow algorithms to learn automatically and continue to improve as more data is gathered.

AI-enabled workplace safety solutions can track interactions between humans and machines, monitor workers and machines in danger zones, and more. With continuous monitoring in the workplace, safety managers don’t have to rely solely on observation, walkarounds, or inspections.

A Better Way to Prevent Workplace Accidents

Many solutions on the market today that aid industrial workplace safety relies on existing security cameras or IP cameras, but the accuracy and reaction speeds are a significant challenge. In some cases, they may rely on human interaction when a potential collision or accident is observed.

This is a poor solution at best.

A better solution is to use AI computer with embedded cameras, such as Trio Mobil’s TRUE-AI product. All the data analysis it does occurs on the computer through edge processing and deep learning. This provides greater accuracy and instant reactions that take less than 1 second in case of safety violations.

Other solutions collect the data through cameras, transfer the data to central servers, do analysis and give reactions that take 8 to 10 seconds at best, which makes it a very slow process. The quality of cameras might also be low, which will result in low-quality data and low accuracy.

Using advanced AI and IoT solutions, Trio Mobil TRUE-AI can digitize industrial operations with plug-and-play hardware, cloud-based software, and an AI engine to improve workplace safety in a variety of ways, including automated alerts for enforcement of safety rules.

AI and IoT Automation for Forklift Safety

Forklifts are a particular cause for concern because of the potential for accidents, especially in areas where forklifts and humans interact. Managing machine human safety during interactions is becoming even more crucial as forklift usage rates have increased substantially in the retail and production sectors. Accidents have increased, too, as much as 30% annually.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), about 70% of forklift accidents can be prevented by implementing stronger workplace safety tools, protocols, and training.

Trio Mobil also provides solutions to help prevent these forklift accidents.

AI cameras track forklift and pedestrian movement throughout your operation. When working around machinery, the AI is continually tracking interactions for potential warning signs of danger. If potential conflicts are detected, the AI can assess the danger, determine different levels of danger, and provide relevant alerts to warn forklift drivers and pedestrians to prevent accidents.

AI and IoT Automation for Machine and Worker Safety

The same technology can also be used to monitor threats when employees are working near robots, cranes, and other machines.

Despite training and reminders, workers often become relaxed working around machines every day and put themselves in danger without thinking about it.

AI systems are trained to distinguish between safe and unsafe events. For example, when a worker is nearby is too close to a high-pressure valve or working in tight quarters with moving machinery. Using computer vision to detect potential hazards in real-time, cameras capture and collect data, recognize the potential danger, and sound alerts.

Machine learning helps AI learn on the job so that it continually improves performance as more data is captured.

Machine safety is applied in accordance with Machine Safety Guidelines.

  • Safety switches, safety gates and radars are used to prevent accidents and provide a safe working environment.
  • However, there are 2 crucial problems mitigating risk in machine usage:
  • Machine sensors are not monitored. When the sensors are damaged, there is a significant risk that arises. IoT can be used to monitor real time and detect any failure immediately.

    Most dangerous machines and robots operate in safe cells. When the door is open, the machine stops. In many cases operators disable these sensors to speed up their daily operations.

  • There are blind spots. Even radars or other sensors are used to cover blind spots. Machines may start when operators are fixing something in a blind spot. TRUE-AI and Trio Mobil UWB technology can be used to detect people in these scenarios and don’t let the machine start.

    Another benefit of using TRUE-AI is to retrieve real time presence data in danger zones. If any sensor fails, TRUE-AI can stop the machine and notifies the administrator immediately to fix the sensor.

AI and IoT Automation for Loading Dock Safety

Loading docks can be dangerous places with the right precautions. A quarter of all industrial accidents happen near loading docks. Occupational safety specialists also estimate that for every accident, there are nearly 600 near-misses. Even with training, organizations need additional safeguards in place to protect workers.

Safety cameras monitor machine interactions near loading ramps. AI can automatically detect when pedestrians are nearby and warn drivers and pedestrians about impending danger. In case of violations, alarm tones are sounded with messages to leave the zone immediately. Warning lights are also triggered, changing from green to flashing red to alert drivers of the potential danger.

When the pedestrian leaves the area and the danger is over, the light will turn back to green. This lets the driver know it’s safe to dock the trailer.

One of the more common accidents around loading docks results from trailer creep when workers forget to chock the wheels to prevent movement. AI cameras will register when the parking is complete and announce to place the chock behind the wheels.

Once the chock is placed between the wheels, it is detected so doors can be opened so that unloading or loading can take place.

All of this happens automatically without drivers or ramp workers having to manually trigger events. This minimizes the risks from human error, mitigates risk for employees working near heavy vehicles, and provides an efficient workflow using AI-based IoT technology.

Reduce Workplace Accidents and Improve Workplace Safety

AI has the potential to reduce workplace accidents significantly. By helping reduce the risk of machine human violations and improving machine and pedestrian safety, AI is playing an important role in improving overall workplace safety.

Trio Mobil provides a fully integrated intelligent facility management system with industrial IoT, machine learning, image processing, and artificial intelligence to improve workplace safety and compliance.

To learn more about Trio Mobil AI for your operation, contact Trio Mobil today and request a demo.

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