How Will Artificial Intelligence Fit into Health & Safety?

Posted on written by Alasdair Sim

Artificial intelligence sounds like a concept from a science fiction film but what impact will it have on health and safety? We explore this question and discover how AI is already making workplaces safer across the world.

 

Artificial intelligence – sounds like you’ve settled down to watch a sci-fi movie but in reality, AI is playing and will play a vital role in the workplace.

When we think of AI we conjure up images of robots doing everything for us and recently we blogged about the impact of driverless cars.

The reality is that artificial intelligence has an important role to play in the future of health and safety and this week we are going to have a look at what may happen in the coming years.

AI is already here…

We don’t have to fast forward to 2050 to see the impact AI will have on health and safety because it is already here.

We’ll have a look at Microsoft’s efforts below but there are a variety of ways in which AI is currently supporting a safer working environment.

Cisco have partnered with Cortexica to develop AI-SAFE which uses advanced video analysis to provide real-time health and safety updates that ensure employees are wearing the correct PPE. Any worker that isn’t using the correct safety equipment has their access restricted in the workplace.

Cutting out human negligence

Some accidents in the workplaces are unavoidable however most of these incidents come from human error. It is only natural that sometimes we make mistakes but it can lead to a fatal injury or a serious accident.

AI is the best way in which to prevent this.

It is able to achieve very high standards and the potential for errors and mistakes will be greatly reduced by using artificial intelligence at work. In fact, it can also be used to keep people out of dangers situations that they would have otherwise had to go into.

Microsoft’s monitoring initiative

Microsoft, like Cisco and Cortexica, have been pioneering the use of artificial intelligence within a health and safety perspective.

Their current AI is able to track health and safety in real time and provide updates and notifications to relevant members of staff. It isn’t just ‘after the fact’ incidents that this technology is able to identify as it is also used to highlight potential safety issues so that they can be rectified before they become a problem.

Not only is this being utilised to inform managers of incidents right away but it can stop safety issues from happening in the first place.

Health & Safety & the future role of AI

We might be a few years away from a completely automated AI workplace, however, this technology is having an impact on health and safety already.

While artificial intelligence brings its own challenges particularly around job losses and the impact new technology will have on current roles – a recent study found that only 56% of employees were optimistic about the future of AI in the workplace – it does raise interesting potentials from a safety perspective.

A sci-fi world with self-aware artificial intelligence isn’t going to be coming in the next 5 years but within health and safety, AI will have a positive impact in reducing human error and accidents to make work safer for everyone.

AI and health and safety - The future of health and safety - Training courses

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