There’s no denying that the global pandemic directly impacted the speed of technology adoption across all sectors, and the environmental, health and safety (EHS) space is no different. Thanks to the seismic scale of impact brought about by Covid-19, innovative companies have had to take the lead and find ways to add greater resilience to EHS. With that, many tech trends have emerged; we discuss them below.
Accelerated Cloud Arrival
One of the most notable tech advancements highlighted by the global pandemic is cloud technology. Although it wasn’t created because of the pandemic, its power and reach were put to the test. When it comes to health and safety, businesses have depended heavily on EHS software as a means of keeping in touch with their team. As well as communication, there are many other software packages that have become integral to EHS. For example, virtual audits and staff training can be delivered through cloud tech.
Typically, app development is started from the bottom and built upwards. Creating code scaffolding in this way takes a significant amount of time and leaves minimal scope for fine-tuning apps. Therefore, early releases tend to be filled with bugs. Throughout the pandemic, businesses have been moving over to a low/no-code development scheme, which is called build-once/deploy anywhere (BODA). This scheme allows non-developers to create apps through click and drag platforms.
Technology has been used to help with compliance for many years now, but the pandemic has shifted tech development towards “connected safety”, which refers to an industrial IoT. This means that technology is being built up with people in mind first and then compliance. Essentially, solutions are created by taking into account experiences and human needs in real-time. Connected safety is intrinsically linked with connected workers, connected processes, and connected assets.
People rely on mobile phones for many daily tasks, and frontline EHS is no different. As well as being notified of workplace news, mobiles are being used to complete tasks including photo annotation, QR scanning, and location-based tasks. Although mobile use isn’t new anymore, the global pandemic is responsible for accelerating its adoption when it comes to workplace processes.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP)
AI and NLP are quickly revolutionizing the way the world interacts with each other, and the pandemic has only forced developers to focus more on this area. In the early stages, AI is being used to help EHS managers speed up applicability and compliance tasks. These tasks include trawling through weighty compliance documents and using deep learning to digest, copy, and paste the essential parts.
The global pandemic forced the world to adopt and paved the way for many new technological advancements in all areas, including EHS. Throughout 2022, we will continue to see AI and NLP rising in capability and popularity as the tech becomes affordable. Further, cloud technology and solutions will continue to aid EHS through the use of mobile phones. Finally, BODA will carry on pairing non-developers with drag and drop app development.