ENABLING CULTURE WITH DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
Digital technology can play an important role in fostering an effective safety culture. Automation and the growing use of sensors and the Internet of Things in plants can help reduce risk, of course. To take advantage of the growing flow of operational data produced by such technologies, some companies have implemented mobile dashboards showing key safety and operational metrics. With these, frontline supervisors can make data-driven decisions to identify risks and respond quickly to problems, and have timely discussions with workers about safety issues and their impact on production. And the mere fact that the dashboards include safety and production information together underscores the new cultural norm that the two areas are interconnected.
Today’s digital technology can also enhance safety communications—and especially, enable companies to engage younger employees. For example, millennials are accustomed to communicating through channels such as email, text messaging, social media and mobile technology. To reach them, companies will need to take advantage of such tools to provide more frequent, more real-time and more interactive communications. Classroom meetings and long memos will be increasingly ineffective. The same goes for onboarding and training. Here, companies can take advantage of interactive online and on-demand learning delivered in small “segments,” often at the point in time when it is most relevant to the worker.