How to leverage AI computer vision to manage supply chain safety risks

March 27, 2024
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Overseeing EHS performance across your organizations and global facilities is crucial. Before, EHS was mainly about how well one organization performed within its boundaries but the landscape has shifted in the past decades. We've conducted interviews with clients across a diverse array of industries, including textileautomotive, FMCG, and pharmaceuticals. When asked about the most pressing Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) concerns in their workplaces, the overwhelming majority identified issues related to packaging, warehousing, and logistics as their top three challenges.

An overview of the supply chain EHS risks

As EHS regulations and standards continue to evolve and expand, there arises a critical necessity to prioritize the management of safety performance across the entire supply chain. Merely tracking EHS performance within the organization is no longer sufficient. Numerous prominent examples in recent years have emphasized this paradigm shift. However, many global manufacturers still grapple with the challenge of extending visibility of EHS performance beyond their organization and into their supply chain. Despite these challenges, understanding the risk factors contributing to global supply chain safety risks is imperative for effective mitigation strategies.

Here are the risk factors that contribute to global supply chain safety risks being among the highest in various industries:

• Loss of control and diminished transparency result from outsourcing specialized activities to multiple vendors and subcontractors, creating a complex network of organizations across expansive geographical areas.

• Underreporting of incidents, exacerbated by self-reporting biases, leads to poor decision-making and inaccurate assessments of future incident predictability.

• The utilization of a temporary contingent workforce with high turnover rates further compounds safety challenges.

Inherent risks are associated with various activities such as line of fire, man/machine interaction, road transport, traffic management, manual handling, working at height, etc.

Uncertainty stemming from unknown contextual risks, combined with the dynamic nature of supply chain management, including supply disruptions, financial, legal, and scope-related schedule changes, contributes to last-minute alterations at the frontline, leading to workplace injuries.

When delving deeper into the warehousing and storage industry, notable trends and statistics emerge:

In the US, the number of warehouse employees has doubled in the last decade, while the number of warehouses has increased by only 20% between 2013 and 2018.

Warehouse workplace fatalities reached a 12-year high in 2020, with 213,100 warehouse-related injuries and 8,300 warehouse-related illnesses reported.

In 2019, the warehouse sector in the US recorded the second-highest number of fatal work injuries across industries. Similarly, the transportation and storage industry in the UK ranked fourth in terms of fatal injuries in 2022.

What are the top 4 high-risk hazard types in the warehousing and storage industry?

The warehousing and storage industry plays a crucial role in facilitating the seamless flow of goods in logistics and distribution. However, it also poses significant occupational hazards that threaten the safety of the frontline workers. To ensure a safe work environment, it's essential to effectively identify and address these hazards:

Trips, slips and falls

In a warehouse setting, trips, slips, and falls are common occurrences due to the dynamic nature of the work environment. Hazards such as waste boxes, pallets, cables, and other obstructions can contribute to such incidents. Failure to identify or remove these hazards is a significant factor. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most workplace accidents stem from tripping, falling, and slipping. Slip and fall accidents account for 15% of accidental deaths, 25% of injury claims, and result in 95 million lost workdays annually.

Crush machinery injuries including forklift incidents

Crush machinery hazards in a warehouse can be severe, particularly when workers become trapped or caught between moving machinery. Forklifts pose a significant risk in warehouses, with OSHA estimating nearly 100,000 forklift-related incidents annually in the United States alone. Each year, approximately 20,000 workers in the U.S. sustain injuries in forklift incidents, with 25% of these incidents attributed to forklifts tipping over. Tragically, around 90 fatalities occur annually as a result of forklift incidents.

Other important facts to note include:

  • 90% of forklifts are involved in some form of incident during their operational lifespan.
  • 11% of forklifts in the U.S. are involved in incidents each year.
  • 80% of forklift incidents involve pedestrians.

Injuries caused by overexertion

Manual handling, including lifting or carrying cases, accounts for 20% of non-fatal workplace injuries. In warehouse environments, workers frequently encounter the task of lifting heavy items.

Falling from height

In warehouse settings, incidents of falling from heights often result from the improper use of tools or equipment, such as using forks to climb or ascending racks without appropriate ladders or mobile elevating working platforms.

How can you leverage AI for supply chain safety risk mitigation?

Companies are exploring AI adoption to proactively manage hazards within their operations. The future of supply chain risk assessment is being shaped now, and at Intenseye, we're collaborating with our clients to save lives and prevent life-altering injuries through AI computer vision.

AI and supply chain safety risks

When integrated into the supply chain, AI possesses capabilities to enhance safety. AI safety management software utilizes data insights, predictive analytics, and automation to streamline safety management processes.

  • AI quickly identifies risks in the supply chain by analyzing large volumes of data.
  • It provides advice on managing risks and assists safety managers in making better decisions.
  • AI automates tasks and processes, saving time and facilitating efficient problem resolution.

The role of AI in supply chain safety risks

AI plays a crucial role in various aspects of supply chain safety risks, including identification, reduction, and monitoring. By analyzing large datasets and utilizing Natural Language Processing (NLP) and computer vision, AI makes sense of unstructured information. It employs Machine Learning (ML) and statistical models to identify critical risks and generate alternative scenarios for risk mitigation.

  • AI enhances decision-making processes by learning from historical data through Deep Learning (DL).
  • It improves risk assessment precision and management efficiency by mitigating errors and biases inherent in human decision-making.

The benefits of AI in supply chain safety risks

AI-powered safety management software offers several advantages in supply chain safety risks management. It enhances efficiency by streamlining data processing and analysis. Moreover, AI automates repetitive tasks, freeing up resources for strategic initiatives. Its flexibility enables quick adjustments in response to new information, ultimately enhancing EHS performance.


Employers typically conduct ergonomic assessments during the initial setup of employees' workstations. Furthermore, it's essential to reevaluate conditions whenever there are changes in equipment, assembly lines, or workbenches.

AI-powered ergonomics software utilizes RULA & REBA assessment analytics to detect potential ergonomic hazards and offers actionable insights for enhancing workplace posture and ergonomics.

Handling supply chain risk management with AI

At Intenseye, we address 80% of these top hazards through our pre-trained, off-the-shelf, easy-to-deploy EHS use cases with high accuracy rates. Moreover, Intenseye can help you proactively manage these risks, rather than relying on lagging indicators:

  • Intenseye will identify unseen hazards, assess their severity and frequency, and enhance communication quality through real-time images, video alerts, analytics, and task management tools.
  • Intenseye will enhance visibility to third-party sites in other countries or remote workplaces, bridging the gap between the shop floor and corporate offices, empowering key decision-makers with real-time data. The contractor management process will be supported by comprehensive analytics.
  • Intenseye helps reduce biases in reporting and encourages top vendors to be more transparent about their concerns. This fosters better data quality and risk management.
  • Intenseye enables organizations to design better interventions tailored to the local context, particularly for Emerging Market (EM) suppliers. This improves workforce conditions in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (notably, SDG 8) while creating long-lasting social impact.

Our experienced team will assist you in getting started as quickly as possible and ensure you leverage the right safety scenarios for your pain points. Book a demo with us and learn how Intenseye can help you achieve your safety goals.