Our last eBook on improving the health and safety culture in your organisation was well received so we decided to research other areas of interest as subjects for a new eBook.
The area we quickly identified was the plateau in health and safety statistics as evidenced by Great Britain fatality rates.
This data from the HSE shows that, in the last 10 years, fatality rates have plateaued which is good in that a rate of 0.4-0.5 is significantly less than the 2.0+ rates of the 1980s, but nobody wants to settle for a fatality rate (above zero) that has plateaued. Nobody is accepting 150 deaths a year as the norm.
So what is being done to break through this plateau? Safety Differently is a new philosophical approach that makes people part of the solution, not the problem. But, it’s early days and companies are still in the early stages of implementation making it difficult to gauge success or otherwise without definitive results.
What about Safety Digitally – the use of technology to break through the statistical plateau? This is the focus of our latest eBook.
Technology is often presented as the solution to all ills. It promises to make the bad good and the good better. What role can technology play in health and safety over the next 20 years, however?
There are some who see technology as being THE health and safety solution. In other words, technology will deliver the final push to achieving the ultimate goal of zero accident rates (or as near to zero as possible).
Is this really the case? What realistic role can technology play in health and safety performance improvement? What are technology’s limitations? What health and safety technologies are there available right now that will make a positive impact on your business? What health and safety technologies can you expect in the near future?
This latest eBook is not about health and safety technology. Instead, it is about the role technology can play in making tangible health and safety improvements in your business. The goal, after all, is to push down accident rates to significantly lower levels than they are at now.
It is broken into five major segments.
Health and Safety Successes and the Challenges Success Brings
Before looking at the opportunities that technology presents in the field of health and safety, it is important to understand the statistics, particularly in relation to accident rates. Of course, accident rates are not the only reason to implement new health and safety technologies. Other benefits include reducing worker stress, making health and safety management more efficient, and providing a better standard of service to your customers.
This segment reviews the historical statistics and examines why we’ve been successful to date (getting to the plateau) and the challenges we face in producing further successes.
Is Technology the Solution to Continued Health and Safety Performance Improvement?
Describing technology as the solution to continued health and safety performance improvement is over-simplistic. There are many reasons for this, but the most important are individual motivation and human fallibility.
In other words, it is difficult to conceive of a technology that could deal with the problem of a company CEO who believes health and safety is an over-bearing hinderance on the progress of his/her company.
This segment looks at the keys to continued health and safety performance improvement and the real role of technology in health and safety. Examples of how technology can facilitate improvements are covered under:
- providing alternatives to existing tasks and processes
- improvements in health and safety (and business) processes
- more effective warning systems, including early warning systems
- enhanced insight
- improved health and safety training
Health and Safety Technologies You Can Implement Now Plus Others Coming in the Future
What about the actual technologies that can facilitate the above-mentioned improvements in health and safety performance? In fact, there are plenty of options available today for all industries, all of which can have an impact.
This segment covers technologies that are available now including:
- Lone Worker Devices
- Permit to Work (PTW)
- Automation Technology
- Virtual Reality (VR)
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Cloud Computing
- Digital Signage
- 3D Visualisation
- Driver Management Software
- Digital Risk Assessments
- Data Dashboards
We also examine technologies more in the future and likely to improve health and safety performance.
While technology can facilitate further efforts to reduce accident rates and improve health and safety performance, it presents its own challenges too. It is important to be aware of the challenges we know about and to be on the lookout for those we don’t.
One of those challenges is the safety risks that new technology will bring. These and other challenges are covered in this segment.
Conclusion and Next Steps
So what’s the answer? Can technology drive us below the current plateau? You’ll have to download the eBook to find out. There’s a lot more detail, examples, case studies and, hopefully, lots of useful information that will help you decide how best to improve your health and safety performance. We all have to.