How to revolutionize contractor safety management with AI

Gökhan Yıldız
Gökhan Yıldız
-Jan 24, 2023

The correct answers to both questions are ‘All of above and even more’!

We noticed a common theme among our customers: the transient nature of contractor personnel. With a majority of high-risk operations outsourced and a ratio of contractor to permanent staff at 3:1 (in my professional experience), managing the safety of the temporary employees is crucial. Unfortunately, the likelihood of safety incidents among this workforce continues to rise due to various reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Jobs at higher risk: Specialized tasks with higher risk exposure are frequently outsourced to third party contractors.
  • High staff turnover: Contractor workers tend to leave or change their jobs more frequently than permanent staff members. 
  • Lack of visibility of contractors’ activities: Contractors frequently work in difficult-to-observe and remote locations.
  • Incomplete or inaccurate safety records: Several factors, including fear of losing their job, ignorance of reporting processes, or a lack of confidence in the company’s safety culture, can increase the contractor employees’ propensity to underreport safety incidents in full and accurately. The full degree of safety concerns may be underestimated as a result of incomplete or erroneous reporting, which may also delay the adoption of safety controls in a timely manner. 

How intenseye’s AI contributes to contractor safety management? 

The usage of intenseye’s AI to manage the safety performance of their contractors benefits all of our customers. The AI system continuously scans the work area to identify potential threats that might not be immediately visible. The system can alert teams or other approved personnel as soon as intenseye identifies a potential safety hazard so they can take immediate action to rectify. This can improve overall safety performance while also reducing the probability of injuries. We observe this improvement manifests itself in many ways or forms. Below I summarize the most common ways that our customers use intenseye’s AI to enhance their contractor safety management program. 

Smarter allocation of scarce EHS resources to coaching: By automating the monitoring of worksites using computer vision AI, businesses can make better use of their limited resources and do away with the need for human monitoring, which can be difficult to do over a vast geographic area (this is more of a concern especially for our global multinational customers). In this manner, armed with the real time insights from intenseye, the EHS specialists concentrate more on a targeted coaching program tailored to the needs of a specific contractor. 

Enhanced effectiveness and efficiency of engagements with temporary workforce: AI can provide more customized training sessions for the contractors’ employees by providing immediate, risk-based feedback and identifying areas for improvement, allowing for shorter training duration while improving safety compliance. Our customers have begun to use intenseye’s trending analysis and 12-second videos of hazardous situations as a way to improve interaction and engagement with the workforce at the frontline. For contractors, the first few weeks are extremely important for them to onboard and comprehend the hazards associated with the site. The EHS teams create real-time heat maps and conduct risk based customised training sessions with the aid of Intenseye’s real-time analytics. 

Data-driven proactive metrics to fairly evaluate the EHS performance of contractors: Measuring EHS performance has remained to be a challenge. Vast majority of the available EHS metrics are lagging (post incident) by nature. Intenseye’s AI is skilled in producing quantifiable leading indicators. Data-driven analysis is used to identify the best practices, and our clients can then communicate those practices to their coworkers in other shifts or even in different locations, seamlessly with a simple click on the platform. This allows for a more accurate assessment of the EHS performance of contractors on a real time basis, which eventually accelerates the learning cycle while improving their safety standards.

A case study from one of our clients in global manufacturing:

One of the sites started sending more and more notifications to our customer’s EHS staff about climbing and operating at heights (see figure below). 

Figure: Sudden increase in the number of ‘Restricted Height Alerts’ due to maintenance activities

Preventative maintenance was being performed on the facility, typically executed by outside contractors. The leadership team stepped in right away and started digging deep to find out what was causing the risky behaviors and actions. The following Safe System of Work measures were developed collaboratively with the contractors and implemented right away:

  • Proactive planning of maintenance and non-routine activities and application of the work permit system, and communicating these risks to the employees, ensuring that the necessary controls are implemented
  • Assessing the risks associated with the work in advance with the team, using an LMRA (Last Minute Risk Assessment) or DRA (Dynamic Risk Assessment), as part of the permit to work mechanism
  • Providing refresher safety toolbox talks or inductions highlighting the key risk areas 
  • Providing the appropriate equipment i.e. full body harnesses with life-lines and ladders to make compliance easier
  • Increasing the number of field control inspections and the amount of coaching given to the contractor and maintenance teams

The maintenance activities were successfully completed on time and without any injuries. Aside from the above measures, the management drew some long-term lessons to prevent similar events from occurring globally, such as revising the maintenance standard operating procedures, revising the frequency of maintenance programs to lower the risk of concurrent activities, and appointing dedicated teams to plan these maintenance activities well in advance.

Workplace injuries can be significantly reduced by a strong safety culture that values employee well-being and encourages active participation in safety programs. Only through the involvement and engagement of staff members at all levels, including contractors and temporary employees, can this be accomplished. intenseye’s AI can significantly increase the safety of the contractor and temporary workforce, leading to a safer and more productive contractor workforce, through providing data-driven real-time feedback, spotting areas for improvement, and automating the assessment of performance customized to the needs of teams across large geographies.

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