Why we fail to comply with safety rules? Meet the psychology of human factor

The research of J. Paul Leigh of the University of California, Davis shows that there are 23,000 workplace damages in the US every day. More than 5,000 of them lead to deaths. Every year human factors add up to 8.5 million injuries and a huge cost to workers, their families, and the country’s economy.

So, why do people not wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when they know it’s the last line of defense and can save their life?

What do employees say and do? The reasons lead to psychology and they are quite simple:

"Lots of others don’t"

What we do in a new situation? Normally we look around to see ‘what’s going on’ and all the researches show that it has a heavy impact on our behavior. It’s held that we learn about 5% from formal presentations; 10 to 20% of the material we can take away, but up to 80% from the people around us. 

 

For example, research made for Health & Safety Middle East by Dr. Tim Marsh PhD shows that if you’re a new employee or a subcontractor and 50% are non-compliant, then you can do whatever you want without standing out. However, if you reach the ‘tipping point’ of 90% or so, you’ll be under psychological pressure to comply and fit in with the majority. If only 10% are compliant and none of them are the experienced or real leaders, then no one of the new employees or subcontractors will comply, regardless of any training they just had.  

"If the boss doesn’t mind"

The most important people to the employees are their colleagues, especially their direct bosses. So, if the boss doesn’t mind, employees will don’t mind as well. People usually don't care about words, the behavior of the boss matters. So, if the boss only says about the importance of PPE but doesn't wear it himself, workers will do the same. HSME research shows that compliance doesn’t need to be at least 90%, it needs to be 100%. In any other case, it doesn't work.

"It’s annoying"

the classic explanation of someone who has been injured or infected because of not wearing PPE compliance. Wearing the PPE is usually uncomfortable and slows down work, so the employee stops wearing it, and management doesn’t notice.

One of the key reasons why workers don’t wear PPE is because employers cannot detect PPE compliance efficiently.

Such behavior is natural, as humans are social beings. But what can we do before the consequences become bad?

 According to ILO data, employees who work overtime get tired and perform tasks automatically, which can cause injuries. Human behavior experts say that mostly such employees are not going to ignore the procedure. Moreover, they want to improve their work performance.  

One of the most common challenges related to injury prevention is dealing with human factors such as not wearing PPE, which leads to an essential number of damages. In most workplaces, employees occasionally take cuts off while doing their work.  Another reason is emotional: they feel tired, frustrated, or rushed.

 According to ILO data, employees who work overtime get tired and perform tasks automatically, which can cause injuries. Human behavior experts say that mostly such employees are not going to ignore the procedure. Moreover, they want to improve their work performance.  

One of the most common challenges related to injury prevention is dealing with human factors such as not wearing PPE, which leads to an essential number of damages. In most workplaces, employees occasionally take cuts off while doing their work.  Another reason is emotional: they feel tired, frustrated, or rushed.

We can make a mistake – especially if it is necessary to control a lot of employees at the same time during a day. However, AI-based PPE compliance monitoring solutions that can detect any number of people continuously and simultaneously, never get tired or bored and are more accurate at spotting issues.

ML and AI driven automation can be used to decrease the time taken by manually collecting and managing safety data. So, you may focus on more strategic and innovative ways to improve safety for everyone in the workplace instead of non-stop checking in on your workers.

Such applications detect employees who are not using PPE or using it incorrectly. ML solutions can make the management of vital company policies more efficient and successful. Moreover, systems for PPE policy enforcement provide operations with an innovative solution for audits, because they collect data and can automatically generate reports.

Already existing solution for employee safety

The PPE Monitoring system is a real-time computer vision model which automatically identifies PPE non-compliance in working environments. The solution is an AI-based software. It uses live streams from CCTV cameras for intelligent video analytics. The algorithm identifies if any kind of protective gear is missing on a worker (Coat, Glasses, Glove, Mask, Helmet). When the absence of PPE is detected, the system sends an automatic notification to a safety engineer.

What about your company?

PPE monitoring can be automated in a few weeks!

It is developed to ensure workplace safety on building sites, fabrication lines, steel, oil & gas enterprises, and other industrial environments where safety rules should be strictly followed.

The solution is trained on the dataset manually selected and annotated by the VITech Lab team. 

Thank you for reading! 

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