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How Is Technology Impacting Workplace Safety?

December 29, 2022

Technology is constantly advancing, and every new development changes the way we all live and work. 

Workplace safety is no exception. Sadly, there continues to be a number of workplace safety failings leading to millions of workers experiencing injury or even death every year. 

While no substitute for following correct guidance, or even undertaking regular health and assessments, AI is providing yet another level of reassurance for a variety of industries.

Here is just a snapshot of how technology can provide workplace safety benefits. 

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Workplace Health And Safety Statistics 2022

  • 1.8 million UK workers suffered from work-related illnesses including mental and physical illnesses and injuries
  • 123 people were killed while at work
  • Falls from a height remain the biggest killer of UK workers on the job
  • 67,713 injuries sustained resulted in a RIDDOR referral
  • 36.8 billion working days were lost due to work-related illnesses and injuries 
  • Illness and injury cost the UK economy £18.8bn in lost productivity

Data reported by HSE

Detecting Improper Use Of Safety Equipment

In our cars, we have long had the ability to be alerted if a door isn’t closed properly, or a seatbelt isn’t being worn. Machinery along with industrial workplaces in general can also benefit from such technology.

There’s really no end to how AI could detect improper use of safety equipment or even unsuitable working conditions. 

Current AI is capable of detecting whether or not workers are wearing the correct PPE. In the future, all manner of potential safety scenarios could be accounted for. Therefore, if the worker breached safety guidance either deliberately or accidentally, they would be prevented from carrying out the task by AI.

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It’s not always safe nor practical to capture photography of a site. One such example is when extensive fire damage has occurred, and a survey needs to be taken.

Sending a human into the site isn’t safe, and may not offer all the angles needed for evidence or structural analysis. However, by using drone photography, no humans need to approach the danger. In addition, the photography could be more useful due to the types of shots (i.e. overhead) that a drone camera can capture.

Ultimately, if a drone camera gets damaged or destroyed it can be replaced. A human worker cannot. 

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3D Technology

3D technology can be used to improve safety by making training more engaging, or even more life-like.

Compared to watching videos, or even reading literature, the ability to experience virtual reality can be far more impactful. 

Various safety risks could be demonstrated without employees ever having to come into real danger. The incident could then be reviewed to correct the action, to reduce the likelihood of the scenario ever happening for real.

Such technology has long been used by the airline industry in the form of flight simulators. There’s no reason why the same technology can’t be replicated for different industries to improve workplace safety.


Autonomous Vehicles

The likes of warehouses or manufacturing plants often require vehicles and other moving machinery.

Autonomous vehicles have the ability to self-drive. Most importantly, they can detect hazards before they have a chance to happen.

With human machinery drivers, there is always the risk of distraction. This could be due to tiredness, medication or simply a lack of workplace professionalism. All of this puts that worker, and all other workers at risk of serious injury. Therefore, autonomous vehicles could solve this problem for good. 

Metreel Material Handling – Future Proof Your Business Operations

For now and heading into the future, Metreel is here to support your business as a leading manufacturer of material handling equipment. So if you’re in search of any solutions to make your business safer and more productive, you’re in the right place.

Based in Derbyshire, we operate not just across the East Midlands but on a global scale. So, if you are in search of the perfect material handling solutions for your business you’re in the right place.

You can also download our free brochure to discover more about our product specifications by visiting our product brochure page. If you’re ready to place an order or have any questions, please give us a call on 0115 932 7010 or email us at [email protected].