If artificial intelligence can prevent car accidents, then why can it not be used to avoid workplace accidents? An author who calls himself a futurist told audiences at the recent American Society of Safety Professionals’ (ASSP) Safety 2018 Conference and Exposition that AI, machine learning and automation will revolutionize employee safety in the 21st century. Will this mean that a work injury becomes an anomaly? Will safety officials and employees in Illinois and other states embrace such safety protocols?
Advanced algorithms are already harnessed for certain safety industry aspects, and the use of artificial intelligence can expand to protect employees in all industries. Currently, faces in images and photos are being identified by algorithms, and it could, in a similar manner, be programmed to prevent workers entry on job sites without the required personal protective equipment. If cars can be programmed, then AI could undoubtedly be utilized to create self-driving forklifts.
If accident data can be automatically analyzed, the use of algorithms can tailor videos for safety training purposes based on the gathered data — specific to the circumstances of each workstation. Instead of adapting safety protocols in response to injuries or accidents, algorithms can be used to create predictive safety plans. Also, rather than doing maintenance on equipment once a part malfunctions and causes harm, artificial intelligence can predict the need for repairs in advance.
If construction workers can wear augmented reality glasses that can provide real-time instruction for the safe use of equipment, who knows — a work injury might become an oddity. However, until then, victims of work-related injuries in Illinois can rely on the workers’ compensation insurance program to provide financial assistance. With the help of an experienced attorney, benefits claims can be filed for coverage of medical expenses and lost wages.