by Doug Junor, Director of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships
Many executives have mandates to digitally transform their organizations. Technology is a crucial component of digitization, but you need more. You must create a culture that fosters innovation to raise your digital transformation efforts. Do that well, and you will have a health and safety program that creates value across your organization.
3 Pillars for Fostering a Culture of Innovation to Evolve Your Safety Program
Pillar #1: People
Innovation and technology are not synonymous. Innovation involves leveraging technology to do things never done before. It’s about challenging the status quo. Because that means changing processes, it can be challenging to get adoption, so you must put people at the forefront.
Therefore, Pillar #1 is understanding people and their business challenges and resolving them. Be sure to consider the end-user from the beginning. If you do that effectively and provide an easy-to-use solution, the chance of success significantly increases.
Pillar #2: Trust
Trust that personal data is being used only for its intended purpose, which in our case is to improve worker safety. It includes confidence that leadership has established and follows data privacy rules. Workers must believe that they will benefit by adopting the technology that gathers and shares their personal data (including health metric intel, location geomatics, etc.).
Communication is a huge component of establishing trust. Field Safe’s technology is programmed to report on trends in metrics. We do this via a dashboard showing red, yellow, or green for worker health and safety. For example, Worker A suddenly experiences an increased heart rate and drop in blood oxygen level beyond typical numbers. Their dashboard moves from green to red. A wellness check is pushed for that worker to determine if they need assistance. Perhaps they are coming down with the flu, or maybe there is an issue with the HVAC.
Workers may also feel that “big brother is watching them,” measuring coffee break length, for instance. Reinforcement of the value of the technology and trust in leadership that they aren’t micro-managing performance are essential.
Pillar #3: Experimentation
Because we know the business problems that need resolution and have the data to identify the most viable solutions, we can confidently experiment to resolve them. Ideation and problem solving should be a team event, and leadership must treat all ideas respectfully. Everyone must feel that it is ok to try new things and not be afraid to fail. Failure is an essential part of learning. But you must fail smart, and you do this by listening to your data so you can make educated, data-driven decisions about what action to take.
Digitizing Health and Safety as a Catalyst for Organizational Transformation
There is still some complacency in the market … an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality” until a significant event happens. Health and safety professionals can help break down that complacency. Educate management about how easy-to-use health and safety programs can improve worker safety. Explain how that data can also play a transformative role across the entire organization.
Health and Safety Data Can Drive Enterprise-wide Operational Efficiencies
By taking health and safety data and integrating it into your corporate systems, you raise the power of your field data to the next level. The forms completed by your field staff can also be used to automate completion of other tasks like invoicing, timesheets, job status, asset management, etc. Plus, health and safety data create value for other lines of business and helps your C-Suite and Board of Directors meet corporate mandates like digital transformation, ESG commitments, improved worker safety, and lower costs.
Data-driven decisions allow organizations to operate by priority, cost-effectively addressing the most pressing business needs by deploying teams and scheduling tasks as need and business value dictates.
Other Departments Benefit from Health and Safety Data
- RISK MANAGERS who can predict and protect against emerging risks and conduct root cause analysis to understand and mitigate future occurrences.
- OPERATIONS to schedule asset maintenance based on priority and improve contractor and workforce planning.
- ACCOUNTING AND PAYROLL TEAMS by automating billing and invoicing from the timesheet data submitted.
- FINANCE PROFESSIONALS by creating audit trails and providing intel that can lower insurance and workers’ compensation costs.
Innovations Transforming Worker Safety and Creating Operational Efficiency
By turning off access to non-essential programs, your workers can more easily find and utilize the software they need at a particular job site or while performing a specific job. This is another tool for improving worker safety. Conversely, at the end of a shift, access to company-specific applications can be turned off to protect your data and infrastructure and potentially save operational costs.
The Internet of Behaviors (IoB) trend – combining data with change management to direct human behavior – is also transforming health and safety. For example, geofencing tells us where an individual is and what they are doing. Contextually aware data enables us to provide workers with the most relevant forms and documents specific to their location and project. For example, suppose they are picking up a truck. In that case, we can leverage IoB to proactively push a vehicle inspection report reminder ensuring the worker doesn’t forget it, helping improve their safety and journey management experience.
Another exciting innovation is augmented reality. Soon, the integration of wearables technology into our health and safety solution will allow us to manipulate data to speed up the identification of an incident, respond to it, and even prevent it from occurring in the first place. The result? Fewer incidents, safer workers, and lower costs.
Here’s an example.
A worker suffers a medical emergency. You need a defibrillator. Data can be accessed via an IoT sensor placed on each defibrillator at site. Wearables technology feeds data via the health and safety solution to create an augmented reality map view directing team members to the closest equipment and then surfaces instructions on its use. This shaves minutes off response times, which can mean the difference between life and death.
Our relationship with emergency service providers like STARS is having a huge impact on worker health and safety. These organizations are saving lives through their ability to provide fast response in the event of an incident. And when connected to a digital health and safety solution, their response speed is magnified.
Safety Through the Lens of the End User – 3 Tips
Remember Pillar #1?
At the end of the day, innovation is most influential when it is viewed from the perspective of the end user.
So, to truly be transformative, here are some tips:
Ensure you change your processes to best support your investment in new technologies. Failure to revise existing processes to match new capabilities is often why new projects fail.
- Share your health and safety data across the organization. Take advantage of your data’s power to automate processes, eliminate duplicative efforts, and provide intel that will improve other lines of business.
- Always consider the impact on the end-user. Are the changes you are implementing going to affect their experience positively? Or do you risk creating information overload, app fatigue, or other negative consequences? By approaching transformation efforts through the eyes of the end-user, you will avoid potentially negative experiences and outcomes.
Digital transformation will be a competitive advantage when you find innovative ways to leverage technology to resolve business challenges, like improving the safety of your at-risk workers. And when you can do that in a way that also creates value and efficiencies across the organization, you can confidently say you are taking an innovative approach to worker health and safety.
Overview: The Internet of Behaviors (IoB) and its Impact on Health and Safety
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