Artificial intelligence-powered tool helps prevent pain and strain

SFM’s loss prevention representatives can put away their protractors.

They’re now measuring ergonomics with help from an artificial intelligence-powered app that can deliver assessment results in minutes.

The technology can most benefit employers with job tasks that involve material handling or repetition — the types of tasks that can lead to serious musculoskeletal disorders if done improperly.

Using the tool, loss prevention representatives can quickly identify any high-risk body positions during the course of a job task.

“It’s an exciting advancement in our ability to efficiently evaluate workplace ergonomics,” said SFM Loss Prevention Technical Leader Lee Wendel. “Policyholders appreciate that we can identify risks and recommend ways to make the work safer all within one day.”

How it works

To use the tool, loss prevention representatives simply take a short video of an employee working, and upload it.

That’s when the AI kicks in to evaluate the risk level of the worker’s body position using longtime, proven tools such as the Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA).

It then returns back the video with the worker’s skeletal position highlighted in red, yellow or green, based on risk.

The technology was designed with privacy in mind — employee faces can be blacked out and backgrounds blurred.

The software can do in minutes, what would have taken a safety professional hours to do by hand.

Once the results are back, the loss prevention representative can report the areas of concern to the policyholder and suggest ways to make the job safer. Sometimes simple adjustments to the workstation can solve the issues, and sometimes bigger changes, such as automation, are recommended.

Preventing injuries before they start

For certain employers, the AI tool will be a big help in taking injury prevention efforts to the next level.

“We’re excited that this technology will help prevent more employees from ever having to experience the pain of a musculoskeletal injury,” Wendel said. “We’ll be continuing to keep an eye out for more ways technology can help us better serve our customers in the future.”

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