Challenging Firms’ Silos Between HSE And Operations Through Vendor Technologies And Service Offerings
A theme that participants of our 2019 Europe HSE Summit deeply explored is the need to challenge the organizational silos between HSE (alternatively, “EHS”) and operations when managing risks. The intersection of HSE and operations is observed in different forms, including cross-functional stakeholder engagement, centralized risk data management, and technology integration that links HSE and operational data. By engaging internal stakeholders across HSE and operations functions, a firm can foster a smoother uptake of technologies for reporting and managing HSE risks, as well as link data related to HSE activities and asset management. Verdantix has determined that the market for connected worker devices will be worth $402 million in 2019, with 18% of this spend dedicated to technologies that alert workers about proximity risks between themselves and equipment (see Verdantix Connected Worker Devices Market Size And Forecast 2019-2039 (Global)).
Among the firms that intend to take full advantage of this megatrend is DowDuPont, which it has proven by making several important moves. On February 19, the Specialty Products Division of DowDuPont announced that it will divest its DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS) business to deepen its capabilities in operational management consulting in addition to its portfolio of safety services With regards to the firm’s relationship with DowDuPont, DSS will continue to leverage its intellectual property, and has entered into a seven-year commercial agreement to provide the firm with operational management consulting to improve its risk and safety performance along this timeline. How is DSS equipped to become an attractive vendor in both the safety and operational performance consulting markets?
As one strength, DSS launched its MIRA tool —a software platform used by its consultants to integrate data from smart wearable devices, safety training and risk assessments—to promote a centralized approach for HSE risk management that is linked to operational performance. Over time, DSS envisions using its MIRA tool as a database of risk averages across industries, so that it can benchmark customers and help prevent major risks when an observed metric exceeds an industry average.
Furthermore, during October 2018, DSS announced a partnership with Guardhat—which offers a wearable device platform to monitor and alert workers about proximity risks and recently received $20 million in funding. This collaboration promises to digitally enhance DSS’s capabilities enabling large-scale firms to make shift changes in their approaches to occupational safety management. For example, DSS implemented its STOP safety training program for Emerson—an electrical manufacturing firm with $15 billion in annual revenue—to train 110 workers about safety observation recording and encourage a safety culture across operations. Emerson has achieved important success, with 90% of its employees engaged in the safety program and the firm recording no injuries during the past year.
DSS’s independence prepares the firm to boost technological innovation among its customers for linking worker and process safety management. DSS will actualize this opportunity by developing technological tools in house, building a solid partnership base across edge technology providers and hiring 100 new employees including data scientists. DSS should scour the market for worker ergonomic device providers, given that this technology will outpace other devices to support connected workers, which is expected to reach $500 million by 2039. As one example of industry uptake, L’Oreal currently has 12 exoskeletons in operation. As another example, VelocityEHS has partnered with Humantech to enable frontline workers to upload videos of the shop floor from a mobile device, as well as conduct AI-automated ergonomics assessments of a site to identify specific risks. The vendor StrongArm Technologies offers its wearable ErgoSkeleton devices to analyse ergonomic risks, coupled with IoT sensors and a software platform.