Job safety risks have given rise to numerous creative solutions over the years. Recently, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recognized innovative approaches to improving job safety.
The society’s 2017 Award for Innovation in Occupational Safety Management went to a safety professional at a petroleum and gas company. She developed a system that alerts drivers in real time to high-risk behaviors and biometric levels. Known as Intellisense, the innovation incorporates science and engineering principles, human-computer interface technology, and behavior change to reduce traffic accidents.
Four honorable mentions were awarded as well:
- A mobile slip simulator teaches people how to navigate slippery surfaces. The first-of-its-kind mobile learning laboratory is equipped with a slippery walkway, unique shoe covers, mirror, and monitor for instance feedback. The unit exposes workers to slip-and-fall techniques in a cost-effective manner.
- A peer-to-peer ergonomics program empowers automobile production workers to make positive change and reduce risk. Program elements including training, coaching, and mentoring led to a 36 percent reduction in musculoskeletal disorders at a Honda manufacturing plant.
- A module lift pulls 45-pound solar modules up a ladder to workers on top of a roof, avoiding manual lifting. The device has a self-locking brake to prevent the pieces from crashing down.
- A dry ice block loading project uses a combination of off-the-shelf components and custom-designed equipment to safely load dry ice blocks into shipping containers. The innovation shifts the physical burden from the operator to the equipment.