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Have You Connected Industrial IoT to Your Digital EHS Vision, Yet?

Posted by Dexter King, CDS, CESCO, CFSM on April 20, 2018

Bottomline! The magic word that casts a long shadow on all of our business decisions, and yet there is never a point where we can say, “Ah! I don’t want any additional profitability”. In fact, one of the key drivers of tangible profitability - Employee Health & Safety – is increasingly stealing the spot light while simultaneously undergoing an unprecedented state-of-the-art transformation. This transformation is triggered by the realization of the potentially endless possibilities of connecting industrial IoT to robust and comprehensive safety management software.

During a recent National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM) Webinar, “How Smart Data Can Improve Safety and Bolster your Bottom Linea panel of subject matter experts discussed how “Big Data” and “Smart Agents” could directly impact an organization’s bottom line (profitability).  A key defining moment during the panel discussion was when one of the senior executive safety stakeholders highlighted, in no uncertain terms, the absolute criticality and urgency of leveraging a trustworthy EHS management software to link real-time data with workplace safety and financial profitability.  Business and thought leaders across multiple industries have clearly prioritized future-state objectives with IoT in mind.  And while many safety stakeholders are still grappling with how to transition from reactive responses to proactive models, the webinar and its speakers delivered a very clear message – You have to act now if you don’t want to be left behind.

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As it often happens with technological advancements, IoT has added unfamiliar vernacular to the daily dictionaries of safety professionals - IoT, Big Data, Smart Agents, Connected Workers, Connected Workplace, Intelligent Sensors, Operating technology (OT), and the list goes on.  Technology is rapidly evolving and industrial tools (machinery/ equipment) are now equipped with sensors that enable seamless, real-time data connectivity, thereby making such tools “Smart”.  This connectivity paves the path for safety professionals to leverage actionable data and digital transformations to drive business value, such as: 

  • Productivity is heightened
  • Production costs are reduced
  • Employee morale and loyalty is enhanced 

Furthermore, an employer’s investment in newer technology, facilitating employee-training and helping develop an advanced skill-set, accelerate the process of improving the bottomline.  

Of course, some might still wonder whether connecting tools, workers, systems, et.al to create a “Big-Data ecosystem” would result in a complicated operations model?  The answer is a resounding “Not at all!”. Let’s evaluate the common concerns in a highly simplified scenario: 

  • Will these connected “Smart” tools become effectively inoperable should an employee not have proper training?
  • What happens when the tool is altered, and/or some safeguards removed?
  • How will the tool behave in case it has exceeded use tolerances without proper Preventive Maintenance Inspections (PMI)? 

The reality is, “Smart” tools are highly capable of self-managing several key safety-related elements.  Such tools, connected to the industrial OT/IT infrastructure, can easily identify the need for additional training to be scheduled, or notify a supervisor to conduct PMI, and even identify an employee that incapacitated a key safeguard by sending an immediate notification.  Now incorporate highly capable analytics to support all areas of operations; productivity, training, equipment management, operator fitness -  the possibilities to improve your bottomline are potentially endless! And while this may have been a very simplistic scenario, what if your OT & IT could forecast human capital requirements, or raw material needs for high/low -demand periods?! With Internet as the backbone of a modern enterprise, connected systems are no longer a utopian future. Rather, it’s a critical reality that needs immediate attention from business leaders. For instance, consider the monumental advances and impact of wearable devices in the workplace.  According to an LNS Research blog, “…wearable technology has been cited as bearing the greatest potential to improve the most important aspects of our collective well-being: the health of individual workers, the mitigation of safety hazards, and the reduction of harmful environmental impacts.”  Connected worker technology has significantly contributed to overall human capital safety.  

The EHS community has been bombarded with innovative technologies in the recent years.  Big Data is here and EHS stakeholders find themselves under tremendous pressure to digitize their current-state spreadsheet management approach.  An Occupational Safety Software is the perfect starting point.  It should be leveraged and adopted throughout the organization to provide a robust data management framework and depth.  One thing to keep in mind is that while IoT is still very much a work in progress, the first step for organizations is to tame and manage Big DataThe collaboration of “Smart Agents” and the management of “Big Data” is fundamentally dependent on digitizing your current safety management system by implementing a highly scalable and comprehensive EHS softwareProcessMAP's safety software management systems provide an unmatched EHS platform to propel your business to the future of best-in-class functionalities.  Our Center of Excellence and Business Insight Support teams are always available to assist you in conceptualizing your IoT vision.  With the industry’s leading next-generation-solutions, ProcessMAP could be your trusted partner in boosting your bottomline by connecting your Big Data to actionable insights.  Contact ProcessMAP today to explore how your digital EHS solution may be the starting point to the realization of your IoT vision. 

Contributions (Quoted above): https://blog.lnsresearch.com/blog/bid/199852/4-Ways-Wearable-Tech-Will-Transform-EHS-Dynamics

Topics: EHS Software, Occupational Health Management, EHS Management System, Business Insights, health and safety management, health and safefty, safety software

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