Are Your Workplace Safety Practices Industry 4.0 Ready?

Workplace Safety Practices

Businesses looking to roll out Industry 4.0-ready workflows must upgrade their workplace safety practices as well. How might EHS teams go about doing this?

Organizations across numerous sectors have embraced the next-generation shop-floor innovations associated with Industry 4.0. Investments in so-called digital transformation technologies are expected to surpass $1 trillion in 2018 alone, according to projections from the International Data Corporation.

This widespread implementation of data-driven enterprise technology could push the Industry 4.0 adoption rate to 72 percent by 2020, analysts for PricewaterhouseCoopers predict. Adopters will certainly experience significant benefits following installation as Industry 4.0 solutions can catalyze true operational transformation. However, these cutting-edge hardware and software assets can also create complications, especially for environmental health and safety teams.

Businesses looking to roll out Industry 4.0-ready workflows must upgrade their workplace safety practices as well. How might EHS teams go about doing this?

Understanding Available Technology

Industry 4.0 installations include numerous moving parts, including advanced hardware and software components. EHS teams intending to develop and deploy workplace safety programs to address these cutting-edge workflows must fully understand the technological components they include and the associated hazards, EHS Today reported.

For instance, businesses with extensive shipping and fulfillment operations have begun to adopt unmanned aerial vehicles, automated picking robots and other self-propelled assets designed to improve warehousing operations, according to The New York Times. While these items are configured to function without creating hazards, their presence alone complicates the workplace safety equation. Enterprises must therefore map out potential Industry 4.0 solutions and how they might change EHS operations.

Aligning Leadership and Staff

Simply forecasting EHS policy changes is not enough when it comes to addressing workplace safety complications stemming from Industry 4.0 technology. EHS teams must work with executives and staff to help them cope with change, EHS Today asserts.

Business leaders must have the overarching insight needed to influence and guide shop floor workers through the transition, while employees on the ground need access to the training materials with which they prepare for a new operational reality. EHS stakeholders that manage to support both of these groups can lay the groundwork for healthy Industry 4.0 safety cultures.

Embracing EHS Innovation

Production and warehousing operations are not the only functional areas that stand to benefit from Industry 4.0. technology. There are numerous next-generation solutions designed to streamline and strengthen EHS processes.

Enterprise technology innovators are currently developing EHS assets designed to pair with Industry 4.0 workflows, including web-connected clothing that can monitor workers’ vital signs and collect air quality readings in real time, according to the International Data Group. Businesses that truly want to amend their EHS protocols to mesh with Industry 4.0 operational assets must look into these advanced workplace safety technologies.

Here at ProcessMAP, we are helping organizations of all sizes prepare for Industry 4.0 via an innovative suite of EHS tools, which includes our leading mobile audit management software. Our solutions facilitate seamless data collection and analysis efforts while addressing ancillary issues such as regulatory compliance and profitability.

Connect with us today to learn how our solutions can future-proof your EHS program.

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