Safety within the the heavy industry and manufacturing sector is something that must be taken seriously, risks managed and problems solved quickly and effectively. Technology is now playing a bigger role in this than ever, and in the last year or two, we’ve seen the rise of AI as something that could play an increasing part in how everything is managed.
We’ve got some experts to give us their opinions on technology, safety, and AI in the sector. Here are their thoughts.
What are the main types of accidents associated with manufacturing facilities?
“Slips, trips, and falls, electrical exposure, falling objects, stress injuries, chemical burns or reactions, overexertion, unsafe lifting, fatigue or dehydration, machine-related injuries, and vehicle accidents.
Many of these hazards often result in production disruption, extended periods off, illness, serious long-term injuries, or even death for employees.
With that in mind, it’s crucial to understand some of the most common safety hazards that exist in manufacturing plants so that you can take steps to prevent them from occurring.” Dakota Murphey writing for SHPonline.
What improvements can introducing technology make in the manufacturing and heavy industry sectors?
“Safety is critical in manufacturing facilities: it protects workers from harm, ensures compliance with legal regulations, lowers costs, safeguards equipment and products, and builds trust with employees.
Technological innovations - such as wearable technology, drones and robots, safety apps, and virtual reality - play a significant role in improving facility safety. By leveraging them, manufacturing facilities reduce the risk of human error and improve overall efficiency and quality. However, technology is not a panacea and should be used in conjunction with other quality control measures and best practices” Bryan Christiansen writing for The Safety Mag.
How has technology like AI improved safety in heavy industry?
Some processes are naturally more unsafe than others, and the best way to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries is to remove the human element and refocus on how to execute these operations better. Enter automation and robotics.
“Technology has assisted certain machines in their ability to run independently of human interaction, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) that is programmable by engineers or purpose-built robots that operate these dangerous practices themselves,” said Cilliers.
“A survey conducted by Guidance Automation found that 73% of businesses in manufacturing believed that automation is one of the key factors to the progression of the industry. This isn’t solely isolated to health and safety, but for the wider streamlining of processes to make things more efficient.” Johann Cilliers Group Marketing Director at Welding Alloys speaking to Manufacturing Digital.
The integration of technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), into the heavy industry and manufacturing sector represents a pivotal advancement in ensuring safety and efficiency. It complements existing safety measures and best practices, empowering manufacturing facilities to mitigate risks, safeguard employees, and uphold regulatory compliance.
As a result, the sector is poised for greater productivity, improved safety records, and heightened operational efficiency, marking a crucial step forward in the pursuit of safer workplaces and more resilient manufacturing processes. Embracing these technological advancements with a commitment to continuous improvement will be the cornerstone of progress in the years to come.