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The Brave New World of IoT Safety

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on September 15, 2020 at 2:50 PM

The number one priority for any EHS team is ensuring that their workplace is as safe as possible. There’s just one problem: EHS teams can’t be everywhere at once, nor can they spot and analyze every piece of data that might prove useful.

What if we said there’s a better way to do safety?

Technology is changing the way the modern EHS team does business, and IoT safety is the newest frontier. Let’s take a closer look at the role of IoT in your safety program, and why it’s an investment your team can’t afford to ignore.

What Is IoT?

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a relatively simple concept: the idea of connecting any device with an on/off switch to the Internet and other connected devices. IoT is thus a giant web of connected devices and people, all of which collect and share data about their environment, how they’re used, and how they interact with each other.

This can include anything from a wearable fitness device monitoring your heart rate to self-driving cars with sensors to detect objects in their path.

To do this, devices are connected to a unified IoT platform that integrates data from all connected devices and applies analytics in order to pluck out the most valuable information and share it with connected applications and devices. The platform is designed to detect patterns and make recommendations based on those patterns – even warning of problems before they happen.

This means that IoT platforms are firmly based in artificial intelligence, which is what gives IoT its advantage in safety scenarios.

Why Accidents Happen

Workplace accidents typically happen for a few reasons:

  • Human error
  • Incomplete information about job risks
  • Workplace distractions
  • Ignoring safety protocols and procedures
  • Improper use of equipment
  • Working when unwell, sleep-deprived, or otherwise disadvantaged

Basically, these translate into two factors: internal and external. Internal factors are related to the individual worker, such as their preparedness for the job and their focus. External factors involve the work environment, such as equipment and working conditions.

The Role of IoT Safety in Your Team

The greatest strength of IoT is its ability to collect and process data. An IoT platform relies on data from all of its connected sensors to create a complete picture of its environment, and the more sensors it has, the more complete the picture.

This is a huge boon for EHS teams because sensors, unlike people, can always monitor and collect data as long as they’re turned on. And yes, IoT can collect information on both internal and external factors.

Internal factors, for example, can be monitored through workers’ personal wearables. Combined with environmental sensors to monitor external factors, EHS teams have an almost constant stream of data to act on.

For example, an EHS supervisor might notice red flags on an employee’s data that would indicate strain and take them off the job for a break. They might also notice that data from a piece of equipment indicates a potential issue and could take the equipment out of circulation before it creates a hazard.

In other words, IoT gives EHS teams eyes and ears throughout the entire workplace, including essential areas they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

The Future of EHS Technology is Here

The future of EHS technology has arrived, and IoT safety sensors offer teams more tools than ever to make informed decisions for the wellbeing of their workforce.

If you’re ready to step into the future and make investments for the betterment of your workplace, our safety software is here to help you take control of your safety data. Get in touch today to learn more.

Topics: Workplace Health and Safety, EHS Management, Technology, Safety Management, Safety Culture

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