Work Accident Prevention: Data Science

Goals

To provide a case study to help in understanding the state-of-the-art in using data & data science to prevent work accidents including the approaches that use data collected in real-time on the worker through sensors or biosensors, environmental data, or past with machine learning. This will be used to inform product design in this aspect.

Early Findings

Wearable Solutions & Tata Communications

  • According to V.S. Shridhar, senior vice president and head — Internet of Things, Tata Communications, he said, "wearable sensors provide a non-intrusive, hands-free, always-on, environment-aware solution that offers direct delivery of critical information to those who need it and at the time they need it."
  • He further provided the benefits of these sensors in the field of work safety "around employee visibility and traceability in emergency situations, alerts during accidents, movements in restricted areas, stress levels, women’s safety during commute and more."
  • In turn, this solution enables safety supervisors and administrators in such environments, "with timely updates, to improve the response time to incidents and predict future behavior."
  • Tata Communications is known to be one of the Indian pioneers in the use of smart watches for safety in workplaces when it designed, implemented, and "deployed smartwatches for industrial workers that can measure real-time health parameters and surrounding environmental conditions."
  • These smartwatches help organizations monitor employee wellness by tracking their vital stats, generate alerts on detection of anomalies, falls, geo-fenced location triggers or any form of SOS communication from the employees through a button press. And through a managed service and cloud-based application that delivers actionable insights, the wearable enables decision makers to transition from preventive to predictive safety."
  • The predictive capability of this solution is achieved from the analysis of stored data to produce strategies against risky operation processes.

Safety Management Apps and Software (SMS) & Cority

  • According to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Magazine, SMS are safety program-specific project management tools that allow for efficient tracking and standardization of safety activities.
  • These systems may allow workers to record spreadsheet-based activities in less time on an app that allow for benefits such as notifications, reminders, data trending, and digital documentation. "And with digital data, safety personnel can set measurable goals, track process, and make evidence-based decisions long before an incident occurs."
  • These systems have features such as safety management structure, data trends and dashboards, photo/video integration, compliance or safety score, among others.
  • Cority is a popular SMS vendor that offers a portfolio of EHS products including its analytics solution that discovers the root cause and key contributors be leveraging clean data that can be modeled in real-time using intelligent models. These can be used to provide direction and foresight to prioritize where to look and what to action first.
  • According to Adam Pearson — Toyota Motor Manufacturing Company, "Cority has helped them standardize how they do investigations and by using analytics, it has improved the way they do safety by identifying where the problem is in real time, and take actions to prevent future incidents."

Other Information

  • There are other mentions of state-of-the-art digital technologies that may leverage data and data science to prevent work accidents, especially for safety management in the construction aspect. They include real-time location system and proximity warning, building information modeling, augmented reality, virtual reality, game technology, e-safety-management-system, case-based reasoning, rule-based reasoning, motion sensor, action/object recognition, laser scanning, physiological status monitoring, virtual prototyping, geographical information system, and ubiquitous sensor network.
  • The Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN) published the "Top safety technology stories of 2019" that provide multiple information on the various uses of wearables, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) in safety management.

Summary

  • In our preliminary research, we were able to identify some use cases of "state of the art" data & data science to prevent work accidents by popular and/or global brands, with a focus on approaches that use data collected in real-time on the worker through sensors or biosensors, environmental data, or past with machine learning.
  • We were also able to identify possible technologies where the requested case studies can be found.
  • However, we couldn't dive deeper into the mechanisms of some of these technologies, as they were not readily available — just as expected because many vendors do not usually provide such details.
  • For this research, we focused on finding case studies from global resources.

Proposed next steps:

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