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complete the three-pronged strategy to address worker
fatigue and reduce accidents. The first two are training
and preparedness, controllable enough variables due to
processes in place.
“The most challenging part is humans’ interactions
with environmental challenges,” he says.
He says more actionable data, from both machines
and people, will be critical to addressing that challenge.
“Being able to stream real-time data means that you
can get to insights much quicker and you can intervene
much quicker as well,” Stuart says. “So, I think all of
that stuff's going to have a positive impact in terms of
reducing safety risks and improving performance.”
Avoiding death and dismemberment are the obvious
reasons to institute a more data-driven safety strategy,
but not everything is life-and-death. The positive impacts
on employees are often more subtle but can be more
far-reaching. Even if the safety manager investigates an
alert from the MākuSafe app and realizes it’s perhaps
human error or false alarm, these interactions improve
the plant culture by creating conversations outside of
the mandatory training sessions which Glynn relegates
to: “It’s March, let’s take out our binders, we’re going to
talk about heavy lifting for two hours.”
This allows safety managers (like Glynn’s dad) to
“identify real problems specific to them and build that
culture that is vital to the attraction and retention of
employees,” he says.
And open communication is one path to destigmatiz-ing accident reporting that just might work, though it’s
weird to think this is a novel idea when nearly everyone
shares way too many facets of their lives on social media, from their gourmet mac n’ cheese to their crudely
drawn tattoos. While the digitally native Gen Z, which is
poised to own a plurality of the workforce at 40% next
year, love texting and Snapchatting and WhatsApping,
they want feedback in person. A Kronos survey found
three out of four prefer face-to-face manager feedback.
If the manager can use technology-driven data to back
up a safety counseling session, all the better.
There’s nothing better to dispel the “dark, dirty dangerous” stigma manufacturing can’t quite shed than
to show visiting high school classes on Manufacturing
Day than to show each worker is as much a high-value
asset as the multi-million-dollar machines and has the
sensors to prove it.
“The more employers can do to make jobs safer and
more pleasant, and allow workers to not get fatigued
as often, the can retain and attract a better workforce,”
It’s also a great way to show current employees their
worth and keep them from seeking a new environment.
“Employees will go down the street for a variety of
reasons, and because of that competition, the value of
the human worker has never been higher in my entire
lifetime,” Glynn says.
MākuSafe's acceleromter detects arm motion and sends information on any event that exceeds 2 g to the cloud for analysis.
The machine learning algorithm picks up motion outside of the expected range of motion and alerts the safety manager
on their mobile app.