The concept of workplace safety dates backs to the 18th Century during the start of the Industrial Revolution. Safety has come a long way since then, thanks to the introduction of safety standards, personal protective equipment, and, most recently, new technologies.
Not only has safety dramatically evolved from its early days, decades’ worth of advancements have made it far easier for companies to ensure a healthy and secure work environment. That’s a good thing, of course, since occupational safety is a top priority for organisations that want to achieve operational success and profitability.
Like all technologies, safety-related technologies are moving fast, too. To get you up to speed, Antonio Pereira from MSA Safety brings you his picks for the most relevant trends and best practices that will help organisations develop a next-level safety program.
Trend one: Integrated connectivity and cutting-edge wearables
Taking action when seconds count. That’s one of the most known topics in worker safety.
Portable gas detectors, for example, are essential for keeping workers safe and alerting them to hazardous and explosive gases. But for organisations wanting to monitor the safety of personnel working remotely, a standalone system that relies on workers feeding information back, will not provide the whole picture.
To keep people safer no matter where they, or their supervisors, are located, organisations need to be able to connect workers to safety teams in real time. That’s what is behind this first trend: combining a cloud-connected safety solution with smart devices to alert both supervisors and workers to potential dangers as and when they emerge.
Organisations can leverage technology in the form of connected and trusted wearables to keep their people and places safe. The most advanced wearables feature built-in CAT-M LTE cellular connectivity and deploy right out of the box in seconds. No waiting. No IT required.
Even better, cutting-edge wearables designed with fully integrated connectivity give off-site safety managers real-time visibility into critical data points to keep on-site workers safe.
Utilising MSA’s new ALTAIR® io 4™ Connected Gas Detector, in conjunction with MSA’s Grid platform, critical information and actionable insights – including live location data, gas exposures, and man-down alerts – are available in real-time, online, from the grid fleet manager. This enables you to act, fast, as well as alerting other workers in the area.
The Altair io 4 also utilises MSA’s industry-leading XCell® sensors, meaning workers are alerted to threats twice as fast as the industry average, while the device’s LEDs visibly reinforce a culture of safety at a glance.
Trend two: Connectivity that provides data and analytics – allowing insights for improved safety outcomes
Data analytics is important to a safety programme because it defines how data is gathered, evaluated and even presented to drive awareness and inspire action.
It not only helps you ensure compliance, but it also helps you spot behaviours and trends that can directly impact safety outcomes.
A solution like MSA’s Grid cloud-based services combines and distils data down into digestible chunks, helping safety professionals stay on top of their resources in the field in real-time. In addition, Grid services’ intuitive design makes it easy to visualise and understand critical safety-related insights, putting safety professionals more in control of their gas detection program.
Managing reporting when an incident takes place, or when an audit is called is stressful and time consuming – traditionally involving a hunt for paper trails located on different sites, or sifting through lengthy Excel spreadsheets, potentially with incorrect or missing information.
Meanwhile, the MSA Grid streamlines your data management and recordkeeping onto an online platform – with all relevant data, including full device records, available online and readily searchable using smart filters – making reporting easier than ever
And with MSA’s io Dock, working in conjunction with the always connected Altair io 4, testing data is uploaded to the Grid automatically, ensuring your devices are achieving 100% compliance. They’ll even tell you when you need to order more testing materials automatically.
Trend three: A behavioural-based, data-informed safety culture
Every world-class safety program is marked by the need to continuously improve and maintain a focus on safety. Frankly, that’s easier said than done. In today’s modern world, that can be especially challenging for safety professionals, particularly when they have multiple distractions and disruptions coming at them all day, every day.
It was this need to minimise interruptions and improve safety outcomes that fuelled this final trend: building and supporting a proactive, accountability-based, data-informed safety culture.
Smart, wearable device hardware combined with technologically advanced software can deliver critical data to enhance site safety and support operational efficiency. MSA+ is a comprehensive subscription program that integrates hardware technology with cloud-based software and safety programme management services. It helps to promote collaboration, boost operational efficiency and to improve worker accountability. And it does it all without expensive, upfront costs.
An MSA+ subscription takes the guesswork out of staying up to date. Not only does the Altair io 4 software and firmware update automatically, you will also receive the latest over-the-air updates when they are released, reducing costly worker down time.
Furthermore, the collation of meaningful insights and actionable data is supported by MSA’s unique id Tag system. Streamlining the process of assigning a detection device to a worker, the Altair io 4 just requires a “tap” with their unique Tag, when signing out the device – while returning it is as simple as a “click” into the charging dock.
With this system, all historical data is directly associated with the individual worker – allowing you to see when the device is turned on, or off, and everything in between – ensuring that workers remain accountable and compliant. And with real-time data available online on the Grid, you have continuous situational awareness, allowing you to assess and record workers’ safety behaviours in the field.
Improving Your Safety Outcomes
Adopting any one of these trends would be a great start toward improving safety outcomes. Even better would be to embrace all three. Combined, these top technology trends give organisations a clear and better path toward a transformative, next-generation safety program.
MSA has already done it. We’ve combined all three trends into the MSA Connected Work Platform, driven by the ALTAIR io 4 Connected Gas Detector. This user-friendly solution is helping organisations, of all types all around the world, simplify safety, curb risk, and boost productivity. Contact us to learn how this first-of-its-kind solution can help you create a more adaptable, proactive safety program.