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FEATURE “


As I look ahead in 2021, it’s impossible to ignore the effect that the global pandemic has in the way that we view safety at work. Part of the solution has been to turn to technology and smart wearables, which have been identified as hot topics in safety this year.


TECHNOLOGY AT THE LEADING EDGE Having the correct data and


understanding the true risks are key to achieving successful outcomes when safeguarding employees. Technology is not a substitute for human input or tried-and-tested safety measures, and we certainly don’t view it as such. However, what tech-based safety does, is enable pro-action rather than reaction – it’s not just about detection anymore, but about prevention.


‘Smart’ technology that is reactive, proactive, and captures real time data, narrows the margin for error, significantly reducing accidents, and changing behaviours to improve safety on site. Instead of guessing where the problems are, the ability to have an at-a-glance toolkit increases safety effectiveness. We’ve achieved this with our proximity warning systems and telematic data capture options. We were even able to adapt our technology to the pandemic working environment and create a wearable personnel distancing system to enforce the two-metre distance rule between operatives in the workplace.


TRAINING With all the changes in our occupational practices, it goes without saying that training will be a pivotal asset in 2021 and going forward. There is no universal handbook for this pandemic situation and how it permeates our working lives. For the last year it has been trial and error, learning as we go, adapting to distancing, changing our management styles and team motivation techniques, and how we engage with clients.


16


“SMART’ TECHNOLOGY THAT IS REACTIVE, PROACTIVE, AND CAPTURES REAL TIME DATA, NARROWS THE MARGIN FOR ERROR, SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCING ACCIDENTS, AND CHANGING BEHAVIOURS TO IMPROVE SAFETY ON SITE.”


SAFETY GETS SMARTER


Gary Escott, Managing Director of SiteZone Safety, shares his thoughts on what some of the priorities might be for steering safety professionals through 2021.


For companies like us, there is still a huge responsibility to ensure that our clients understand fully how our tech-based solutions pertain to their needs and apply them accordingly. Suppliers have a duty to emphasise that site audits and risk assessments are completed so we can provide a solution that works in a targeted fashion, and not just a blanket approach that really doesn’t address clients’ safety issues. Consequently, our clients save time, money, and reduce risk significantly. However, to succeed, training on new systems, and regular refreshers on older ones must be a feature.


ENGAGEMENT – IMPARTING THE VALUE OF SAFETY SOLUTIONS


As a safety solutions provider, engagement means imparting the value of the solutions that we provide so they are understood throughout the client’s organisation and not just by the workers who will benefit. The directors must be shown the value to the brand, the managers need to grasp the benefit to enable a smoother working site and efficient project delivery. The finance directors need to understand the cost savings and benefits. If we are going to work smarter about safety, then every avenue of engagement must be considered. I don’t think safety initiatives can be successful without this element.


CONCLUSION As long as we’re enduring pandemic conditions, the onus is on us as safety sector professionals to apply everything that we have learned over the last year to our businesses. Our teams have to get up to speed, be fully invested in our offerings, and adapt to the different ways that our clients are operating – as their working world has changed along with the rest of us. We are all going to have to work extremely hard on the road to recovery, so we might as well be smart about it, and I don’t mind if technology is a beacon leading the way.


https://proximitywarning.com www.tomorrowshs.com


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