Wearables and AI Analysis: An Integrated Solution For A Complex Problem

Soter Analytics
Sunday, 01 May, 2022


Have you ever heard the saying “the closer you look, the more you see”? For most safety professionals, that is what it’s like once they start digging into the root cause of musculoskeletal safety in the workplace; they find the roots not only run deep but intertwine. An ever-expanding, complex web of interrelated causes creating an environment conducive to injury.

Human movement patterns are intricate and understanding them is complicated. Ranging from simple sprains and strains to rotator cuff injuries and herniated discs, musculoskeletal injuries are diverse; spanning across roles and industries. The incorrect movement patterns that underpin them and increase the risk are even more complex. But incorrect ergonomics and hazardous movements are the most common cause of workplace injuries and so they must be investigated and addressed.

So what is the solution?

Many organizations have turned to wearable technology in recent years to find answers. Wearables are excellent in uncovering problematic movements for individual workers, training them to improve their awareness and providing individualized and group risk data insights. But when problems still persist and Task Risk Assessments need to be carried out, another solution is required.

Complementing their wearables, Soter Analytics, a global leading Safety Technology company have integrated AI powered ergonomic assessments into their platform. This gives safety professionals the power to dig deeper into the findings from the wearables and use accurate video processing technology to perform individual task risk assessments, all on the same platform.

A Complex Problem Requires Integrated Technology Solutions

Delving into the root cause of hazardous movements and implementing real solutions that go beyond a mere gimmick requires an integrated platform with a rounded approach. This is why Soter Analytics has built a cohesive safety system supported by a suite of AI-driven technology products that can address the complexity of musculoskeletal safety. Each solution flows organically into the next; opening opportunities to address problems across the whole web.

The behavioral change training

The Soter wearables are a powerful tool that spark a journey to untangling the web of problems that increase the risk for musculoskeletal injury. It starts with workers wearing a device daily; alerting them via biofeedback as they perform any hazardous movements. A mobile app provides further detail and micro-learning manual handling training programs that increase awareness.

Data analysis to identify the cause

The collected data is aggregated and accessible to management through an online dashboard providing AI-driven data analysis. Workers complete a daily task log which, when combined with the existing data, pinpoints problematic job tasks, job roles, departments, sites or specific areas to help identify the cause of risks. The big picture laid out in easy to understand graphs and analytics.

Pinpointing the task risk

Using SoterTask, the AI video processing technology, tasks can be analyzed to find ways to address the risk. Through video analytics, workers can grow their awareness of movement techniques immediately. Management can access video analytics and comparison tools through the dashboard to guide the implementation of controls and display improvements before and after any interventions.

Deployed around the globe

Over four years ago, Giant Eagle, one of the top 75 North American food retailers, adopted Soter wearables and have continued to decrease their risk of injury through consistent biofeedback training from the devices; using data driven metrics to effect controls. Their average ratio for improvement each year since 2018 has shown results anywhere from 22% right up to 46%.

Sarah Moore, Health and Safety Leadership Partner from Coca Cola Amatil in Australia reports, “The manual handling data and insights provided by Soter identified key manual handling risk within our business, how this risk differs across roles and individuals and how we compare when benchmarked with our organizational peers. These insights have allowed us to tailor our future manual handling programs to our risk profile, and ultimately getting our people home safely to what they love.”

In 2019, leading British supply chain solutions provider, Wincanton, integrated Soter wearables in their processes to reduce incidences of poor bending, back twisting and repetitive movements in warehouse workers. Now Soter wearables are implemented across eight different Wincanton operations in the UK, resulting in a 30% reduction in hazardous movements per hour.

A story of the technology in practice

Chris, a safety officer at a large warehouse distribution center, wanted to address work absences due to musculoskeletal injuries. He reached out to Soter Analytics and implemented a simple five step process.

First, he executed the SoterCoach wearables program with his staff to increase awareness of hazardous movements and train them to move correctly. The program produced analytics that helped Chris to identify problem areas to target specific risks. That is how Chris learned that one of his new pickers who already had time off from work for back pain was classified into the high risk category. Next, Chris captured video through the SoterTask app to analyze the movements of the picker, highlighting areas in his body that were moving incorrectly.

After adjustments, Chris captured another video to compare to the original through the SoterTask comparison tool. Side by side, the data showed that the risk had now been eliminated.

The result of following this process for each problem area systematically was a significant reduction in absences from work due to musculoskeletal injuries in the months that followed and increased engagement leading to higher productivity rates across the board.

Getting started is easy!

Curious how to implement the technology at your organization?

All it takes is a 1-hour call with the Soter team.

Soter Analytics works together with their clients, it’s a partnership and they become an extension of your team.

The implementation process is time efficient, painless, and complete set up for the beginning of the program involves only a 1-hour call with the Soter team.

In addition to starting the program, and providing invaluable behavioral change training to your workers, you will immediately receive granular data. This will present insights on why injuries are happening, exposing exactly which team members need your support most, and how to assist them.

All solutions are packaged according to your organization’s safety needs and goals. You can get started straight away with as little as just 10 Soter devices producing reliable results through the SoterCoach program in only 10 days. Using only 10 devices, 30 employees per month can complete the SoterCoach training!

Fill out the online form now to book your demo and one of Soter’s friendly team members will be in touch.

Not ready?

If you want to do a bit more reading first, find out about SoterCoach and SoterTask, the cornerstones of the Soter Analytics platform, in this easy to understand guide.

If you’re interested in the science behind the products, download the white paper.

The process for identifying musculoskeletal risks, reducing injuries, and starting positive movement behavioral change does not need to be stressful or costly.

Soter Analytics has over five years of experience partnering with organizations across the globe. With a “customer as instructor” mentality, their approach is tailored to suit; based on the problem you are trying to solve.

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