February 1, 2023
3 minutes

The Role of AI in EHS Management: Enhancing, not Replacing EHS Managers

The use of AI in the EHS industry has the potential to revolutionize risk management and compliance. While concerns exist about AI replacing EHS managers, experts believe they will continue to oversee AI applications. Clear lines of responsibility and oversight mechanisms are necessary to ensure human control over AI systems.

Wojciech Tubek

CEO @ Surveily

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the environmental, health, and safety (EHS) industry has the potential to revolutionize the way managers manage risk and compliance. While AI is still in its early stages, it has already been utilized in worker management systems for almost a decade to collect data on workspaces, workers, and the work they do. However, there are concerns that as AI becomes more advanced, it could make EHS managers redundant.

Despite these concerns, experts in EHS software and frontline operations generally believe that EHS managers will continue to maintain oversight of AI applications to ensure that the data generated is accurate and fit for purpose. Businesses and organizations need to establish clear lines of responsibility, oversight mechanisms, and ensure that humans remain in control of AI systems.

While AI can make automated or semi-automated decisions, the EHS manager will still be the one calling the shots. For example, AI can be used for video analytics to quickly gather data from surveillance cameras to alert EHS managers to potential risks, such as workers entering hazardous areas without proper personal protective equipment. AI-driven video surveillance and analytics can also reduce the cost of employing security guards and save time by performing real-time monitoring and raising alerts within seconds.

AI can also improve risk management by accurately monitoring worker safety and informing strategy. This allows EHS managers to focus their efforts on preventative actions to minimize the risk of incidents. However, there will always be limitations to what AI can do, and the future of EHS managers is safe and secure.

Ultimately, the use of AI in EHS management systems has the potential to enhance the critical role of EHS managers, but it must be managed correctly, and the right data must be extracted and acted upon. Furthermore, there will always be a need for EHS managers to provide support to workers dealing with AI systems with compassion and empathy in difficult situations.