How do various new technologies affect the work environment? And more specifically, how do they affect workplace environment, health & safety? Today’s continually growing tech applications offer advanced solutions to enhance facility’s EHS programs and processes, as well as increase productivity. There are certainly potential questions and challenges coming along for these tech solutions in the aspects of workforce adoption, scalability, integration, maintenance, security and more. Answers and solutions to them are being shaped in many industry experiments, pilot deployments and discussions.
On January 28-30, 2018, EHS executives from across the United States joined the IPMI EHS Management Institute conference to discuss topics surrounding how to leverage best practices, tools, and technologies to sustain a culture of safety for continued corporate success. Gensuite added to the conversation with the following presentation and session: EHS&S “2.0” with Frontier Technologies and Think Tank session, Enable Connected and Smart EHS&S with IoT.
During the well-received Gensuite presentations, Founder & CEO, R. Mukund, summarized the evolution roadmap of EHS tools and technologies including most recent Gensuite system deployment case studies with high customer adoption of our mobile app. He then introduced Gensuite’s recent exploration of EHS use cases of beacons, smart glasses, image recognition and virtual assistant technologies. The demo of Genny, our voice-controlled EHS virtual assistant, amazed the audience with her capabilities and potentials.
Our latest innovations and implementation strategies received excellent feedback, with many attendees stating that their current EHS software providers have never seen anything like what Gensuite is offering.
Some of the key takeaways from the Think Tank discussions were:
Values for both employee & control room
Some IoT devices mainly gather data and send back to the control room or management software to analyze the trend and trigger alerts. However, more and more devices now have the real-time alerting function within itself to warn the frontline employee of dangers or hazards. This is an important functionality to have for some IoT devices to generate instant feedback and alert by itself.
There’re concerns about IoT device connectivity for data transmission at the facility where internet connection is limited. The concept of the solution to this issue includes decentralizing IoT networks by installing IoT (network) hubs or gateways, and the use of peer-to-peer communications between devices. Aside from Wifi and Cellular connections, the communication between a device and its nearby hub, as well as the device-to-device communication have alternative connectivity options such as Bluetooth and NFC.
There are many applications for IH monitoring and alerting. There’s also an application that one Gensuite subscriber shared last year to use wearable sensors to assist with the ergonomics assessment.
For software systems such as a company’s EHS management software, there are different ways to harness the data from connected IoT devices. The software can pull in continuous data streams from the devices for detailed tracking and analysis, or it can be configured to receive and store only the exception data when there’s an exceedance or abnormity in the monitoring data in order to trigger an alert and next step actions.
My key takeaway from this conference is that while there are many challenges in today’s diverse EHS industry landscape, people are excited to look ahead. There are innovative solutions and technologies you may have never associated with your line of work but are growing to be piloted and applied for workers and at facilities to help to sustain a culture of environment, health, and safety excellence.
The EHS Management Institute conference is certainly a state-of-the-art event. Big players across diverse industries are in attendance to share globally applicable best-practices, with a large focus on innovation. And, coming from Gensuite, this aligns perfectly with our mission to continuously deliver innovation & evolution through collaboration.