Certain employees will continually fail to use the PPE equipment and managers may never even notice. Tragically, this results in worsened injuries when an accident occurs. It also causes a host of accident-related costs and operational inefficiencies for businesses. Now, the latest computer vision technology is making PPE enforcement easier than ever — allowing industrial businesses to achieve near-100% PPE compliance while reducing the number and severity of accidents at industrial facilities.
Why PPE Compliance Is Critical
According to statistics from the International Labor Organization (ILO), there are approximately 340 million work-related accidents globally each year, and 160 million people suffer from work-related illness. Of these, approximately 2.3 million people die of their injuries and illnesses.
With specific regard to workplace accidents, the NYU protective equipment (PPE) standard reports that the vast majority of injuries could have been prevented with the use of appropriate PPE. For example, 70.9% of hand and arm injuries could have been prevented by using safety gloves, and 99% of face injury victims were not wearing facial protection.
Costs and Consequences of Inadequate PPE Enforcement
Accidents and injuries that result from inadequate PPE enforcement cause the following costs for industrial businesses:
- Additional accidents and more severe injuries when accidents occur.
- Greater dissatisfaction among workers due to a workplace culture that doesn’t emphasize worker safety.
- Reduced productivity due to job site shutdowns and labor shortages following an injurious accident.
- Higher insurance premiums following serious workplace accidents and OSHA violations.
- Increased litigation costs due to wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits, lawyer fees, settlements, and other liabilities.
- More safety citations and fees due to regulator inspections and safety infractions following injurious workplace accidents.
Leveraging Computer Vision for Better PPE Compliance
The latest computer vision technology can monitor PPE use across every inch of a property to help companies achieve near-100% PPE compliance. Most importantly, these visual AI systems radically reduce work-related injuries and their associated costs and consequences. By using a network of strategically placed, AI-equipped, high-definition cameras, industrial facilities can detect evidence of PPE non-compliance, and send a manager or foreman to educate and remind the employee on appropriate PPE use.
The Chooch AI visual AI platform includes pre-made computer vision models—ready for immediate implementation—that detect PPE compliance failures related to:
- Hard hats
- Eye protection
- Face shields
- Virtually any type of PPE
With Chooch AI, businesses can also train new visual AI models for unique PPE enforcement use cases.
Beyond PPE enforcement alone, computer vision for PPE compliance provides a visual record of employees using required PPE. This data may be important in the event of a safety inspection or lawsuit following a serious workplace accident.
Case Study: Theft and Safety Glove Inspections
Recently, Chooch AI developed a computer vision solution for a nationwide automobile disassembly enterprise with over 400 industrial facilities throughout the United States. Hand-related accidents were the biggest source of workers’ compensation claims for the auto disassembler. Most of these injuries involved cuts, lacerations, and broken bones—and the vast majority could have been avoided by using safety gloves.
The auto disassembler was experiencing the following costs and consequences related to hand injuries:
- Absenteeism and staffing shortages: Employees with hand injuries typically needed to miss 1 to 4 weeks of work.
- Financial losses: A typical hand injury claim could cost the company between $2,000 and $10,000.
- A culture of PPE non-compliance: The inability to enforce safety glove use had solidified into a culture of PPE non-compliance that was difficult to break.
Chooch AI helped the auto disassembler train and implement a new AI model for PPE safety glove detection. With a simple update to their existing visual AI system for theft detection, Chooch uploaded a patch for safety glove detection across the company’s entire network of 400-plus facilities.
Armed with the “eyes-on-the-backs-of-their-heads” solution they were looking for, the auto disassembler started to receive instant alerts of PPE non-compliance pertaining to safety gloves. This allowed managers and foremen to provide the appropriate safety training and coaching to employees.
Chooch AI: Computer Vision for PPE Compliance
Chooch AI offers enterprises the flexibility to deploy visual AI models for nearly any PPE compliance challenge. With its vast library of pre-built computer vision models, Chooch AI can identify employees that fail to wear gloves, hard hats, aprons, safety glasses, harnesses, and more. Best of all, Chooch AI is so fast and easy to use that businesses can train and deploy unique AI models in just 6 to 9 days.
- Faster response times: By simultaneously monitoring hundreds of surveillance camera feeds covering every inch of a property, computer vision offers real-time alerts for faster response times as soon as a problem occurs.
- Dramatically less expensive and more efficient: Working in conjunction with human security personnel, Chooch AI empowers security teams to boost the speed, accuracy, coverage, and cost-efficiency of security-related tasks.
By partnering with a robotics provider, Chooch AI developed a computer vision strategy to augment the logistic company’s security coverage while reducing their staffing, training, and management burdens. By seamlessly integrating Chooch AI with drones and robotic “dogs,” the logistics company achieved more accurate monitoring for fence breaches, unauthorized personnel, and a host of premises-related security concerns – without the use of additional human capital and without incurring additional security expenditures.