Using IoT to Put Safety Data into Workers Hands

Using IoT to Put Safety Data into Workers Hands

May 30, 2019
“I want to give power to the workers through data,” Ted Smith, CEO of Corvex says. “Robots are data-driven. If we give them the data, why can’t we give that data to workers to make them safer?”

Ted Smith, CEO of Corvex, is out to build a movement.

“I want to give power to the workers through data,” he says. “Robots are data-driven. If we give them the data, why can’t we give that data to workers to make them safer?”

Smith points out that there is a “massive amount of unstructured data on the shop floor as it relates to safety. But it’s hard to do something with that data.”

On the factory floor workers are responsible for safety and need to carry out procedures that ensure a safe working environment, but often their recommendations on how to improve safety are not acted upon. This, in turn, causes workers to become frustrated and eventually disengaged, Smith says.

So his company tapped into that disconnect and created accountability and transparency through a digital platform. “When the device becomes the digital suggestion box, it doesn’t go away. It’s out there for everyone to see and therefore becomes resolved quickly. Often a process is put into place and the workers see the results. This success feeds on itself,” says Smith.

Even better, asserts Smith, is that the IoT-based platform that uses real-time worker data makes safety proactive rather than reactive. As workers received real-time information they can communicate concerns in current time and have the issues corrected quickly. No more waiting until the next morning safety meeting to fix the problem.

The availability of digital information at the workers’ fingertips also enables training. If ever uncertain on how to operate a piece of machinery they can access a video that provides instructions.

To ensure ease of use Corvex designed the software with the workers in mind. It had to be easy to use, provide specific personal results and not feel like “big brother” in any way, says Smith.

There is also an added benefit of creating a community among workers as they share information with each other on how to solve a variety of safety issues.

The technology creates an important connection says Smith. “A truly connected workforce can perform better and with more purpose.”

About the Author

Adrienne Selko | Senior Editor

Focus: Workforce, Talent 

Follow Me on Twitter: @ASelkoIW

Bio: Adrienne Selko has written about many topics over the 17 years she has been with the publication and currently focuses on workforce development strategies. Previously Adrienne was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck? which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics and EHS Today

Editorial mission statement: Manufacturing is the enviable position of creating products, processes and policies that solve the world’s problems. When the industry stepped up to manufacture what was necessary to combat the pandemic, it revealed its true nature. My goal is to showcase the sector’s ability to address a broad range of workforce issues including technology, training, diversity & inclusion, with a goal of enticing future generations to join this amazing sector.

Why I find manufacturing interesting: On my first day working for a company that made medical equipment such as MRIs, I toured the plant floor. On every wall was a photo of a person, mostly children. I asked my supervisor why this was the case and he said that the work we do at this company has saved these people’s lives. “We never forget how important our work is and everyone’s contribution to that.” From that moment on I was hooked on manufacturing.

I have talked with many people in this field who have transformed their own career development to assist others. For example, companies are hiring those with disabilities, those previously incarcerated and other talent pools that have been underutilized. I have talked with leaders who have brought out the best in their workforce, as well as employees doing their best work while doing good for the world. 

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