The year 2020 has brought many changes. The effect caused by the global consequences of COVID-19 on the economy and society has been impossible to predict. The closure of the companies, the strict prohibitions on travel abroad and the controlled operation of transport changed the conditions for the development of production and business management. Many companies are enduring huge losses or have gone bankrupt. A large number of companies have been forced to stop or reduce their production. The change to remote work mode and the strict indications of social distancing during the production process have highlighted the need for new priorities.
If we consider the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of industry, we must take into account the standards of occupational safety. On the one hand, the mere use of artificial intelligence technologies creates new challenges in the field of security. On the other hand, AI helps protect human lives and company assets in the context of existing value-added chains. Because AI is in a continuous self-learning process and is capable of changing its behavior, current standards and security regulations are constantly being evaluated. As new unmanned means of transportation, factories and industrial zones driven by artificial intelligence, decision-making systems, and intelligent robotic machinery emerge, new approaches to certification and standardization become necessary.
Existing standards and norms are often not applicable to systems that function like a black box and are controlled by artificial intelligence. In order for them to be understood, checked, and rehearsed, a predictable logic is necessary. Ensuring homologation to the standard is a complicated task when it comes to systems of high dynamic complexity that are in a continuous learning process and are capable of optimizing themselves. The use of AI is not limited to its integration into industrial processes, it can also directly contribute to the consolidation of security. With preventive maintenance, unexpected machine failures and emergency situations can be avoided. Thanks to this, the operation of the machinery becomes an increasingly safe and reliable process.
The Coronavirus has come into our lives to stay
Since the peak of the contagion curve caused by this new coronavirus infection has already been passed in many countries, companies are gradually returning to normalcy. Along with the restart of production, the misleading idea that the work environment is safe and reliable returns. The idea that the situation has returned to normal is quite a dangerous mistake. Any carelessness capable of causing the facilities to become a focus of disease can be the cause of the immediate stop of production. And it is not only that the temporary incapacity of workers due to the disease can affect the productivity indicators of your company, but also the possibility that strict measures are applied against your company for generating a dangerous situation. in society.
Currently, occupational safety is reduced to compliance with occupational health and hygiene standards. This interdisciplinary sphere is dedicated to providing safety and ensuring the health and well-being of people in their jobs. Its objective is to protect each individual during the production process. For a long time, occupational and industrial safety services, as well as civic associations, have investigated the advantages and risks associated with the implementation of artificial intelligence in industrial facilities. Companies are increasingly using AI for HR analysis. HH., Personnel selection and administrative tasks. AI facilitates the implementation of the planning and coordination processes of the activities of the company. Intelligent robotic machinery and mobile devices have found their application in industry and logistics. All of these AI-based technologies face stringent industrial safety standards. In addition, they offer the possibility of making improvements to the workplace.
Effect of the pandemic on labor processes
Under current pandemic conditions, security is not limited to what happens within the factory territory. The virus can penetrate the territory of the factory and key company facilities. If company managers are infected by coronavirus, they must be subjected to home quarantine.
Since top executives are typically able to protect themselves, the health of company employees is not always a priority issue for them. A very illustrative example of a meat processing company in Germany. Hundreds of slaughterhouse employees in Lower Saxony, Baden-Wrtemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia were infected with the coronavirus. Due to these incidents, the German government has ordered the closure of the companies until further notice and the revision of the occupational safety regulations in force in these slaughterhouses is foreseen.
A similar situation has occurred in oil towers and other raw material production facilities, characterized by harsh working conditions. Here, regulations are stricter and compliance is monitored. However, it is not always easy for companies to tighten the rules that must be observed in these restricted access areas. Often, it is not possible to guarantee practical compliance with the rules of social distancing, the duration of contact and other measures.
AI solutions for safety and regulatory approval
Great efforts are made to comply with the usual safety standards, approved by both state agencies and sectoral institutions. However, new AI-based solutions will more efficiently and economically help meet challenges during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. All the technologies of AI and, in particular, of classification and recognition of images used can be implemented to ensure security in the industrial field.
AI-based solutions already exist, developed exclusively to ensure safety and compliance with standards. Modern cameras are able to monitor how well and how often employees wash their hands and clean surfaces. In addition, it is possible to control the use of personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves. In this way, compliance with the mandatory safety regulations is ensured.
In the current pandemic conditions, the Zyfra company has developed a comprehensive product designed to significantly reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in industrial facilities or other uses. The system, based on artificial intelligence and artificial vision, allows you to automatically control the proper use of masks through video analysis, monitor the safety distance between employees and warn of violations in real time. Additional functions include measuring body temperature and notifying employees of safety distance violations.
Facial recognition, workspace analysis and performance, in addition to monitoring, are analytical methods used to collect data on compliance with safety regulations in an industrial facility. To draw conclusions, a simple video from video surveillance cameras will suffice. The AI will detect the absence of the mask on the employee’s face. The next action, as part of a process involving combined means, is immediate notification to the responsible manager of the violation committed. The manager can then act based on the automatically generated report and the text message.
As the experience of the Singapore company KroniKare shows, automatic thermal cameras are increasingly being used as a solution for regulating office access and verification. These automated systems, which have a high data transmission speed, allow body temperature to be monitored with minimal human intervention and at low costs. These systems offer the possibility of carrying out massive screening in various settings.
Actions under pressure
Currently, the main tasks facing all companies are compliance with regulations and survival in the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic. However, do not forget about the long-term prospects. In recent years, the implementation of AI in the field of industrial security has intensified. According to the forecast of international consulting firm McKinsey, leading corporations will double their efforts by expanding investments in digitization and artificial intelligence. Big changes are expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its influence on work ethics and the traditional way of working is too great to be ignored. Online meetings, remote work, and changes in functional teams and maintenance crews have offered the possibility of re-evaluating technology processes and organizational structures.
In particular, efforts undertaken in the area of occupational safety and health protection will have a lasting effect. Definitely, artificial intelligence can show its supremacy in this area. Cost-effective and scalable solutions offered for the security products market will be the first steps on the path to digitization. The integration and automation of these new components will show the full potential of AI. These processes help the business to run more efficiently and create greater added value.
Reliance on traditional operating methods now seems quite dangerous and simplistic. Fear and disdain for the changes that have occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as overconfidence in conservative corporate values, increase the risk of missing important and beneficial changes. Cautious paranoia helps you be alert to current changes and assess the need for new information.