A Voice Assistant to combat falls on the same level
Today, digitalization affects all levels of industry. This digital transformation brings with it new uses, new ways of working, and new ways of getting around. Light-weight digital equipment (tablets, smartphones, smartglasses) provides seamless access to information, even on the move.
At the same time, the number of accidents qualifying as “falls from same level” is rising sharply in industry. Falls on the same level are responsible for almost 20% of workplace accidents in France.
The coincidence of these two pieces of information begs the question!
Couldn’t we see a correlation between the increase in falls on the same level and the use of mobile digital technology?
Let’s take a look at how the SPIX voice assistant could help QSE managers in their quest to reduce the number of accidents in the workplace.
Fall on the same level: definition and facts
Same level falls are slips, trips, stumbles and other losses of balance on a flat surface. These falls can occur inside an office or workshop, as well as outside on a building site or a site under inspection. Falls due to changes in level (steps, sidewalks, slopes) are not considered to be on the same level.
Falls on the same level accounted for 17% of workplace accidents recognized by the French health insurance system in 2020. This makes them the second leading cause of accidents, behind manual handling (50%) but ahead of falls from height (12%)..
Falls, such as those on the same level, occur when employees are moving around the workplace. Most of these falls are the result of a combination of several risk factors linked to technical or organizational arrangements within the company. The ever-increasing use of digital tools by employees in the workplace adds another risk factor to the risk of falls on the same level.
This use of digital technology in the workplace should be seen in the same light as the evolution of consumer use. In 2019, 65% of pedestrians surveyed admit to consulting their phone while walking on the sidewalk or crossing a crosswalk. This figure is up sharply on the automaker’s previous survey in 2015, when the figure was 50%.. The consequences of such behavior have a major impact on road accidents in France, where 6,000 pedestrian accidents can be attributed to the use of cell phones while crossing the road. This represents 6% of all accidents involving pedestrians.
A simple comparison shows that 4,500 accidents linked to falls on the work floor in France in 2022 could be the result of the improper use of mobile digital tools.
Yet falls are often seen as an inevitability of the industrial world. So, to reduce the number of falls on the same level, we first need to change the way we think about this type of accident, and then develop a prevention approach that includes the new uses of digital technology in the industrial environment.
Falls on the same level: SPIX as a prevention agent!
To develop an effective prevention strategy, we need to take into account the specificities of falls on the same level. Factors likely to cause a fall on the same level are often poorly identified by employees, and not very noticeable: dirty or cluttered floor, fast movement, carrying an object, insufficient lighting, attention focused on a task other than moving. The element that causes the fall may seem benign, but the accident is often the result of a combination of factors.
Industrial organizations have the capacity to act effectively to eliminate the risks associated with the first causes: dirty or cluttered floors, rapid movement, transport of objects. The actions of QSE coordinators on industrial sites have a major impact on these primary sources of risk.
The difficulty of identifying and combating risks linked to ” attention focused on a task other than move” is amplified by the use of mobile digital technology, as this risk is also linked to employees’ personal habits.
We need to come back to the parallel between the use of digital technology in business and the use of digital technology in everyday life. Indeed, there is ” a divide between the customer experience /the general public/ and the employee experience /in companies/. Customers have access to intuitive, pleasant, high-performance applications, while employees often use ERP systems (MES, CMMS, FSM) that are relatively cumbersome and slow “. The stress of using unintuitive industrial applications contributes to employees’ need for concentration, and therefore to their lack of attention to the environment when on the move.
With this in mind, there are two strategies available to manufacturers to reduce the number of falls on the same level as a result of employees diverting their attention when moving around the company:
- Make employees aware of the dangers of using digital devices while on the move. The strategy is to encourage employees “not to consult their phones and tablets while on the move “. While this action may reduce the number of falls on the same level, it will come up against the expectations of operational management. It can actually have a negative impact on the efficiency of employees in their monitoring and reporting tasks using the applications on offer.
- Reduce or eliminate the source of the risk by enabling employees to continue using their digital tools while maintaining their ability to pay attention to their environment. SPIX industry ‘s proposal is to reduce this risk by using a voice assistant to manage the digital interactions of mobile employees on industrial sites.
SPIX industry offers an intelligent voice assistant adapted to the constraints of industry, enabling employees to keep their hands and eyes free to concentrate on their tasks, while allowing complex interactions with their digital tools.
Let’s take two emblematic examples from industrial life: quality control and site inspection. The quality control employee is often at a fixed workstation, but moves around a lot in his or her work area. The site inspector walks a lot in a changing environment.
|Limiting the movements of quality controllers to eliminate falls on the same level Quality control tasks often involve a large number of measurements or visual inspections, and their transfer to a digital quality monitoring tool: MES, DLS, QMS, etc. The operator is therefore constantly moving back and forth between the part to be inspected and a computer workstation. These movements in a limited space can be a source of falls if the floor becomes temporarily cluttered. The SPIX voice assistant enables quality control operators to transfer all the digital measurements and visual inspections they carry out into a digital tool by voice. He no longer needs to move to a computer workstation: the risk of falling while moving is effectively eliminated.
|Free inspectors’ hands and eyes in mobile situations to reduce falls Inspecting industrial sites or construction sites involves moving an operator over long distances, in a potentially changing environment. All field observations and findings made by the inspector must be entered into a monitoring software package: CMMS, FSM, etc. The operator must therefore carry a mobile computer, and enter the desired values as he goes along. So his hands are busy carrying his equipment (he can’t catch himself if he loses his balance), and his eyes are glued to his screen. With SPIX, the industrial inspection operator can keep his tablet or smartphone in his pocket, and generate his inspection report by voice, fully guided by the voice assistant. He keeps his eyes and hands free: the risk of falling is greatly reduced.
SPIX industry‘s intelligent industrial voice assistant is dedicated to industrial operators, to simplify and maximize their use of digital technology, without compromising safety. The SPIX industrial voice assistant operates off-grid, in embedded mode, and is robust to noise.
The proposal Voice Experience from SPIX industry helps develop the use of voice and voice assistance in industry, by involving field operators very early on in the process and in understanding the use of voice, and by guaranteeing the performance of the delivered solution over a defined perimeter.
Today, occupational health and safety issues are of paramount importance in the governance of industrial companies in Europe. Initiatives to raise awareness among the teams in charge of implementing QSE processes are reaching their limit, due to changing practices and employees’ personal habits.
This is particularly true when it comes to initiatives aimed at combating the sources of accidents such as falls to the ground. Because of the increase in mobile digital use linked to the quest for performance, the desire for real-time information feedback, and personal use, efforts to raise employee awareness on this subject are coming up against a number of obstacles.
In these deadlocked situations, it becomes necessary to introduce a break in usage. SPIX industry proposes the use of an Intelligent Voice Assistant to enable the use of digital resources on the move within the company, while reducing the risk of falls from the ground.
With or without visual feedback for the operator, the SPIX Intelligent Voice Assistant can be used to guide the operator through technical tasks, or to transmit measurement or observation values by voice to an information system. The operator’s hands and eyes remain free and focused on the task in hand. It limits or controls its movements, thereby greatly reducing the risk of falls to the ground.
SPIX industry is committed to using voice and voice assistance as an industrial work tool. The Voice Experience approach makes it possible to offer this breakthrough usage for all industrial processes.
[1 ] https://www.inrs.fr/risques/chutes-de-plain-pied/definition-et-caracteristiques.html
[1 ] https://spix-industry.com
 QSE: Quality Safety Environment
André JOLY – General Manager
Phone number. : +33 (0)6 25 17 27 94
Website : spix-industry.com
Simsoft3D SAS – 1244 rue l’Occitane – 31670 Labège (France)
“Voice Experience”, “SPIX” and “SPIX industry” are registered trademarks of Simsoft3D SAS.