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Verdantix Summit Perspectives: The Poll Results Are In! Nearly Half Of HSE Attendees Reveal Engaging Frontline Workers Is Their Most Important Challenge

 Verdantix recently concluded our seventh HSE Summit at the Chelsea Football Stadium, London. During the two-day event—attended by over 170 senior executives from corporate firms, vendors and services providers—we conducted audience polls and word clouds using Slido to identify sentiments on various HSE technology topics and the challenges that HSE professionals are facing in their role. With more than 739 votes submitted over the two days, and with an average of 53 votes per poll question what did we learn from the Summit participants?

Well firstly, engaging frontline workers is the most important challenge for many HSE executives. When asked what is the most important skill that HSE professionals should improve during the next three years, 47% of respondents cited engaging frontline workers, compared to 20% who cited technology implementation, 11% who cited stakeholder management, 6% who cited innovation strategy and 3% who cited financial analysis. Summit attendees identified various challenges in engaging frontline workers such as uplifting company culture, reinvigorating employee enthusiasm and conducting effective change management for technology adoption. Half of poll respondents labelled ‘underestimating change management requirements’ as the biggest challenge for firms to master emerging HSE technologies such as mobile apps, wearables and beacons. Simplicity, empowerment and planning emerged as the top three recommendations within the audience-generated word cloud.

When asked how the HSE function can best support business growth, the largest percentage of Summit poll respondents (42%) recommended educating corporate executives on HSE risks. Another 33% of poll respondents recommended influencing investment decisions to design out HSE problems and 24% recommended implementing HSE management systems that support productivity. When investigated further, only 25% of Summit respondents believed that their HSE function has significant influence over the operations function. An additional 12% of respondents stated that they have a collaborative relationship with their firms’ operations function, but operations often dictates which technology actions are taken. This reality is particularly pertinent to global HSE software rollouts, since 71% of respondents recommended that operations managers be involved for the best results, while 51% recommended that the corporate IT manager be involved and 47% recommended that the vendor implementation services team be involved.

Summit attendees recognised fatigue monitoring and industrial ergonomics as other key areas in which HSE technology can have a significant positive impact. In fact, 46% of poll participants cited fatigue monitoring as the top HSE challenge which technology can positively impact, followed by 38% of respondents citing industrial ergonomics and 13% of respondents citing for occupational health. The Summit also gave participants the opportunity to learn about potential solutions to these problems, such as Humantech, which has a 40-year history of delivering industrial and office ergonomic solutions to 200 clients across 26 countries and recently was acquired by VelocityEHS to be part of the vendor’s HSE platform. Other vendors that are tackling this vertical with interesting technology solutions include Cortexica, a UK-based computer-aided visual analytics provider; Vigo Technologies, a US-headquartered vendor offering a smart earpiece designed to mitigate long-haul trucker fatigue; and Seeing Machines, an Australia-based computer vision algorithm vendor with a Driver Monitoring System solution. With technology vendors continuing to innovate and provide new solutions to overcome these challenges, the future looks exciting for HSE professionals.

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To learn more about the findings from our Summit audience polls, please click here to access our complimentary synopsis document.