Harnessing AI solutions for security, operational efficiency, and health and safety compliance 

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has sparked both excitement over its potential and concerns about its risks. As AI technology continues to evolve, various industries around the globe are exploring its potential applications.  

AI, which includes machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL), and rule-based expert systems (RBES), has the potential to revolutionise the security, operations, and health and safety of critical infrastructure, industrial sites, retail, and other industries.  

At Nextro, we are already leveraging AI, ML and video analytics to help our customers gain operational leverage and efficiency.  

In this blog post, the Nextro team shares some of its learnings to date, and takes an in-depth look at the benefits of leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning video analytics solutions to enhance physical security, operational efficiency, as well as health and safety compliance.  

Enhancing Physical Security with AI  

AI physical security applications enable security teams to perform their duties more efficiently and accurately across large datasets. Some well-known examples include:  

  • Video Analytics: AI can analyse real-time video feeds to quickly identify unusual activities from people or vehicles such as loitering or intrusion, allowing security operators to focus on other tasks, increasing overall efficiency.  
  • Face Recognition: AI systems can use biometric data to locate or recognise a person in real-time or from video archives. This is especially useful for law enforcement, retail crime prevention, or VIP use cases. It also can be used to generate highly-accurate dwell-time statistics 
  • People Counting: Automating the counting of people in airports, train stations, stadia, large-footprint retail environments, and businesses aids in managing occupancy, monitoring queues, and alerting staff when necessary. This data assists in enhancing crowd control and understanding peak travel times in transit.  
  • Traffic Flow Management: Using advanced AI technology, traffic flow is effectively managed at large venues, hospitals, and city areas. The system detects backups, promptly alerts staff to any issues, and seamlessly re-routes traffic or adjusts signage as needed to ensure optimal flow.  
  • License Plate Recognition: Recognising license plates assists in investigations and enables touchless parking payment systems.  
  • Object Detection: AI is used to detect objects to secure perimeters at critical infrastructure facilities, prevent smuggling in correctional facilities, and identify left luggage or bomb threats at airports and train stations.  
  • Data Integration: AI systems have the capability to seamlessly integrate with diverse data sources including airport baggage systems, logistics systems, and smart building systems. This integration allows for the analysis, prediction, and proactive response to specific business situations. The data can also be seamlessly outputted to an enterprises own data lake and business intelligence systems for further analysis and reporting.  

Securing critical infrastructure and industrial sites from intrusion, theft, and sabotage is just the initial measure to safeguard production and operations. Sustaining ongoing operations also depends on a strategic and proactive approach to operational efficiency, adhering to health and safety regulations, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.  

AI’s Role in Enhancing Health and Safety  

AI-powered solutions offer far more than traditional methods to minimise disruptions, improve operational efficiency, and enhance health and safety procedures. From risk assessment to accident prevention, AI is reshaping how companies approach and implement health and safety practices.  

AI & Video Analytics Systems for Enhanced Safety Compliance  

The new generation of network cameras, thermal sensors, and access control systems, when paired with AI and analytics technologies, efficiently collect and analyse vast amounts of data. This results in faster and more effective safety interventions, not just in real-time events, but also for future protection, raising the bar for long-term site health and safety procedures.  

Key Applications: 

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Detection: AI can detect and confirm the presence or absence of required PPE, enabling workplaces to issue corrective actions and link to access control systems to prevent site access without proper PPE.  
  • Restricted Area Monitoring: AI helps prevent incidents in restricted areas and confined spaces. Sensors can trigger equipment shutdowns and alert operations when detecting a person within a risk zone.  
  • Early Fire Detection: AI supports fire detection with early recognition of smoke and fire, allowing prompt action.  
  • Man-Down Detection: Analytics monitor the working environment for slips, falls, or collapses, mitigating risks in lone-worker scenarios and enabling swift response to incidents.  
  • Blocked Exit Notification: AI systems, when paired with well-placed cameras, can detect objects blocking emergency exits or evacuation areas and send alerts. This reduces reliance on a human patrol of the back-of-house corridors and emergency egress points, saving time and money and allowing human resources to focus on more important tasks.  
  • Leak Detection: AI monitors pipes, tanks, and equipment, sending alerts regarding potentially dangerous leaks using thermal technology.  
  • Safety Regulations Compliance: AI analytics systems can automatically detect potential safety hazards, such as workers not wearing protective gear/PPE or unauthorised personnel in restricted areas, allowing prompt intervention and corrective actions.  

Utilising AI in High-Risk Sectors 

AI integration in high-risk fields exemplifies its potential to mitigate issues, create safer environments, and revolutionise approaches to challenging tasks in critical industries:  

  • Predictive Maintenance in Manufacturing: AI-driven systems use sensor data and ML algorithms to forecast equipment failures before they occur, enabling proactive maintenance, reducing downtime, and minimising accident risks.  
  • Hazard Detection in Mining: AI-powered drones with advanced sensors and computer vision capabilities can survey mine sites and detect safety hazards, such as unstable terrain or toxic gas leaks, prioritising worker safety and enabling prompt threat response.  

Wearable Devices and Sensors for Worker Health Monitoring  

Specialised wearable devices are indispensable in safeguarding worker health in hazardous environments. In industries like construction, mining, and manufacturing, smart helmets equipped with sensors detect harmful gases, monitor environmental conditions, and assess potential head injuries. These wearables can automatically trigger alerts or emergency responses in case of accidents, ensuring timely assistance and preventing severe consequences. 

Disaster Response and Rescue Operations  

In high-risk situations, such as natural disasters or search-and-rescue operations, AI-powered drones and robots aid first responders in assessing situations, locating survivors, and navigating hazardous environments. These technologies enable more effective disaster response and help protect the safety of rescue teams.  

AI has significantly impacted workplace security and safety through its practical applications, paving the way for a future where protection and progress are intrinsically linked. The adoption of AI for health and safety in the workplace marks a significant shift in today’s organisations. AI-driven solutions offer predictive maintenance, real-time risk assessments, virtual reality training, and wearable devices to enhance workplace safety, mitigate risks, and boost productivity.  

By identifying safety hazards and empowering workers with AI-driven insights, organisations can foster a culture of prevention, creating a collaborative work environment where technology complements human capabilities.  

If you want to know more about how to use artificial intelligence, machine learning and camera analytics to safeguard your organisation, dramatically increase operational efficiencies, surface up business insights, and improve health and safety compliance, please get in touch with the Nextro team now.   

Sources: https://itbrief.com.au/story/ai-in-physical-security-opportunities-risks-and-responsibility