How Will AI Accelerate “Positive Disruption” in EHSQ in 2021?

How AI will impact EHSQ

With the upsurge in the popularity and widespread use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the past few years, it was only a matter of time before it made headway in the EHSQ space. From automating compliance to optimizing processes, it is playing a vital role in driving efficiency and boosting performance.

In previous years, the word disruption had a negative connation to it. Only recently – and in specific areas of the business world – has it been seen in a positive light. In the technology sector, disruption has become synonymous with a strategic breakthrough or indicates a revolutionary change.

The EHSQ space, however, has some catching up to. That’s not to say that there aren’t certain technologies that are shaking things up, creating “disruption.” Artificial Intelligence (AI) just happens to be one of them.


The Origins and Applicability of AI


So what is AI exactly? According to Forbes, AI refers to the ability of machines to interpret data and act intelligently, meaning they can make decisions and carry out tasks based on the data at hand – rather like a human does. Interestingly, the beginnings of AI can be traced back to the late 1950’s, in what is now called the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence lab.

Today, AI has become a technology that has mass appeal and applicability, and, as a result, is used in virtually every industry across the board. Widely recognized companies such as Amazon and Netflix utilize AI, as does Google (how does Google know what ads to show you?) to household staples such as Alexa and Siri, have data engines that are powered by AI.

AI and that could help drive innovation. In an article by EHSToday, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and the IoT have enabled a number of technologies to emerge that have the potential to keep workplaces healthier and safer through PPE detection, safety zoning and thermal imaging capabilities.


How AI Can Help EHSQ Practitioners Better Perform their Key Responsibilities and Drive Better Outcomes


The use of data to develop strategies, formulate processes and drive decisions at all levels of an organization has been increasing dramatically over the years and that’s true of EHSQ as well.

From a day-to-day perspective, AI driven by data can help EHSQ leaders and practitioners:

  1. Automate Compliance: EHSQ software uses AI to automate workflows, which then allows compliance activities and thresholds to be tracked, monitored, and reported on, delivering completely automated compliance.
  2. Problem Solve through Clustering: Issues or problem sets that have been identified as having similar criteria can be addressed using the same insights within certain EHSQ networks (e.g. similar incidents that take place in comparable industries).
  3. Forecast Outcomes: Precursor data can be used to predict outcomes.
  4. Identify Outliers: The results of “failure point detection” can be improved through robust data sets.
  5. Optimize Tasks or Activities: They automate specific “single point or multi-point optimization” tasks or activities.

Some positive outcomes EHSQ leaders and practitioners have seen include:

  • Standardized processes and EHSQ KPIs/results
  • Better managed operational costs by opting for cost-effective solutions
  • Digitized exposure records
  • Increased accuracy of root cause analyses and incident tracking
  • Improved ability to forecast lead times (relating to supply management)


It’s clear that through better data-driven decision-making, EHSQ leaders will be in a better position to improve operational excellence, drive compliance, increase supply chain resilience and manage risk.

To learn more about AI and its impact on EHSQ , please click here.

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