From Silver Bullets to Silver Platters – Why is the Best Digital Strategy a Human-Centred One?
Digital technology is changing our economies, our societies, and our way of life. The management of work health and safety (WHS) stands to be significantly impacted. Technological advancements are changing the nature of how WHS professionals mitigate risk, make decisions, and allocate resources. Digital technology, powered by big data analytics, will have significant impacts on WHS performance. From the automation of processes, through the proliferation of in-field sensors, and the evolution towards predictive analytics; workers and organisations stand to experience a step change in WHS performance, if these opportunities can be grasped.
As we move further into the digital age, EY has observed leading Organisations leveraging existing and emerging technologies to improve their WHS outcomes. But they are rare. The majority of organisations are still reconciling how to translate these technological advancements into improved WHS performance. From building and retaining digital capability, to harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, organisations and their WHS professionals must embrace digital technology to better manage WHS risk, achieve their objectives, and reduce rates of harm.
We are being to pushed to adapt. As areas such as marketing, finance and public safety benefit from the digital revolution, WHS has been caught short. Many WHS professionals are still building their understanding of digital concepts, such as machine learning and big data. For those with a stronger understanding, under-developed incident causation models leave practitioners unsure which data to target. To compensate, a raft of disconnected solutions are implemented, to solve isolated problems. When initiatives are poorly designed, these solutions are often unsuccessful, leaving users frustrated, and objectives unfulfilled. Even for those rare, successful, WHS-driven initiatives, WHS professionals can struggle to coordinate and build momentum, leaving the solutions disconnected and unsustainable.
So where to now?