Tips for National Safety Month: 3 Ways Samsara Can Help Prevent Incidents Across Your Operations

June 01, 2021

25 years ago, the National Safety Council (NSC) established the month of June as National Safety Month with the goal of raising awareness about different safety topics and reducing preventable injuries and deaths.

This year, occupational safety is more important than ever. In 2019, more than 5,000 large trucks were involved in a fatal crash, a 43% increase since 2010. Beyond roadway safety, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that workplace fatalities are also at their highest level in 12 years.

To help increase safety awareness, the NSC is focusing on a different safety topic every week this June. This week’s focus is “Prevent Incidents Before They Start”—an area where technology like Samsara can make a big difference. With Samsara’s Connected Operations Platform, you can prevent incidents across your operations by taking a proactive approach where it matters most: on the road, across your vehicles and equipment, and within your worksites. Keep reading to see tips for taking a proactive approach to safety across your operations.

On the road: prevent incidents with in-cab alerts

87% of all commercial motor vehicle crashes are the result of driver behavior or driver error. And when it comes to driver safety, today’s fleets face more challenges than ever before:

  • Distracted driving: Distracted driving is the single biggest factor in vehicle collisions. According to the NSC, at least 1.6 million collisions and fatal crashes occur each year because of people making calls or sending text messages while driving.

  • Tailgating: Tailgating is the leading cause of rear-end collisions, causing more than 1,700 deaths and 500,000 injuries per year. 

  • Speeding: Mirroring widely-reported trends, Samsara data shows there was an increase in severe speeding in 2020, likely due to emptier roads due as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speeding is another leading cause of preventable accidents.

These behaviors represent a huge safety risk to drivers, as well as others on the road. They also present a unique challenge; how can you detect and change these behaviors in real time, before they cause a preventable incident?

Today, Samsara’s video-based safety solution makes it possible to proactively detect unsafe behaviors such as tailgating, distracted driving, and speeding via a combination of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and sensor technology. Paired with in-cab alerts, you can alert drivers to take action before a motor vehicle accident occurs.

In practice, ACV Enviro—one of the largest environmental, industrial, and waste management companies in the United States—decreased accident rates by 60% in part by using in-cab alerts from Samsara AI Dash Cams to reduce unsafe driving behaviors. “In-cab alerts are incredibly helpful because our drivers receive coaching before we have to step in,” said Kellie Case, Director of Transportation Compliance at ACV Enviro. “The AI is unbelievable and we’ve seen huge drops in harsh events,” added Donna Miller, Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety. “It gives us more visibility than we could have anticipated.”

Across your vehicles and equipment: detect and address operational hazards in real time

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), 5,333 workers died on the job in 2019, adding up to about 15 deaths every day on average. About 20% of these worker fatalities were in the construction industry (an industry where injury rates are 71% higher than average)—and many were caused by safety hazards related to industrial equipment, machinery, and vehicle issues. When it comes to occupational hazard recognition and incident prevention, it’s just as important to consider the safety of the vehicles your employees are driving and the equipment they are operating.

With Samsara’s vehicle telematics and equipment monitoring solutions, you can protect employees from operating unsafe equipment or vehicles by catching failure indicators early and addressing operational hazards before they cause an incident. For example, you can:

  • Proactively ensure vehicle safety with paperless DVIRs and prevent unsafe vehicles from being driven with real-time alerts for unsafe DVIR submissions. 

  • Automate preventative maintenance with usage-based maintenance schedules and avoid dangerous breakdowns with over-the-air vehicle diagnostics and remote troubleshooting for equipment.

  • Catch critical equipment issues with real-time alerts for leaks, pressure issues, and other equipment safety hazards before they cause serious health risks, preventable injuries, or deaths.

Certarus—a provider of low carbon energy solutions with more than 1,200 assets across hundreds of customer locations—relies on Samsara’s equipment monitoring solution to remotely monitor pressure, volume, and temperature levels on their equipment. With customizable alerts, technicians are notified of any unusual activity or spikes in pressure so they can respond immediately. “Remote monitoring tools like alarms and controls help our technicians prevent accidents before they happen,” said Kaylee Stach, Transportation Compliance Lead at Certarus.

Within your worksites: protect employees from workplace injuries with better visibility and alerting

According to OSHA, American warehouses have a disproportionately high accident rate and fatal injury rate compared to other employment sectors. In addition to existing workplace safety hazards—including lifting heavy products, operating large machinery, and following complicated safety protocols—many operations faced new occupational safety challenges over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted industries that previously relied on in-person, line-of-site management. Today, safety leaders must adapt their operating protocols to get real-time, remote visibility into worksite safety.

By applying the same advanced AI technology used in Samsara AI Dash Cams to cloud-based site security cameras, Samsara Site Visibility offers remote visibility and alerting tools to help identify and proactively address worksite safety hazards. For example, Site Visibility makes it possible to remotely view worksite camera streams, identify areas of interest around dangerous zones, and pair an alert to get immediately notified if someone enters an area they shouldn’t be in. This real-time, remote visibility helps managers improve processes and prevent incidents from occurring, increasing worksite safety and reducing preventable injuries.

Food Express—a transportation company with more than 12 locations, including warehouses and truck yards—relies on Samsara’s Site Visibility solution to help protect their employees, who are required to wear a safety uniform and harness in some areas. In one instance, while Director of IT Jim Terry was sitting in his office, he identified a worker not wearing the proper safety gear via a Samsara camera stream. He immediately called the onsite supervisor to address the issue in real time, preventing a potentially serious workplace injury. Then, in just a few moments, he was able to download and share the clip with the safety team to incorporate into their next workplace safety training. “Site Visibility offers more than just a security camera,” said Terry. “You get so much more out of this product, with the AI features and cloud dashboard. It’s a system you can really rely on.”

Join us to hear more firsthand safety tips from our community

In this blog, we’ve covered just a few of the ways that Samsara can help your organization take a proactive approach to safety and prevent incidents before they happen. Every day, our community of more than 20,000 customers—across diverse industries from transportation to utilities, manufacturing, the public sector, and more—is discovering new ways to use Samsara’s Connected Operations Platform to proactively detect safety hazards, improve occupational safety, and build a positive safety culture. In honor of National Safety Month, we want to share our community’s safety tips and best practices with you.

Join us for our live webinar series this June to get tips on embedding a safety-first mindset across your organization and hear directly from industry leaders about their safety best practices. Register now to save your spot.

This blog is part of Samsara’s National Safety Month series. For more safety tips from our community, check out our other National Safety Month blogs:

Visit nsc.org/nsm to learn more about National Safety Month and get additional free materials, including injury facts and safety tip sheets.

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