In 1919, the E.D. Bullard Company patented and registered the trademark for the ‘Hard Boiled Hat’, based on the steel helmets used by soldiers in World War One. These hats were made of steamed canvas and glue, and were designed as daily protective headgear for miners.
Over the course of the 20th century, the hardhat evolved to become the brightly coloured, impact-resistant headgear of choice for those working in hazardous environments. And today, many countries have legislated to ensure hardhats are worn at all times in such places – with good reason.
Failing to wear a hardhat in a hazardous workplace can be fatal. In the US in 2012, more than 1000 people died from head injuries while working. Data from the US National Safety Council suggests that such fatalities are increasing, with construction, transportation/warehousing and agriculture reporting the highest number of preventable deaths in 2016 and 2017.
Importantly, not wearing safety headgear not only costs lives: it can also cost companies money in lawsuits, compensation and life insurance payouts, and lost labour.
Enforcing safety in a busy environment
In spite of the risks, enforcing hardhat use can be challenging, as people can forget or decide not to put them on. This means site managers must keep a constant lookout, but that’s not always easy in a distracting, noisy environment with vehicles, materials and people always moving around, often over multiple levels.
That’s why many organisations are turning to AI-powered solutions that intelligently help identify if people are complying with hardhat safety rules.
AI cameras watching out for workers
In real life, artificial intelligence technology is being used every day to make workplaces operate more efficiently, more productively and more safely.
The latest hardhat detection video cameras use embedded AI algorithms to ‘learn’ what a person wearing a hardhat should look like. They then apply this algorithm while scanning a site, rapidly identifying if anyone is working without a hardhat, and alerting management teams so they can take action.
Hikvision’s AI-powered Hard Hat Detection Cameras are equipped to intelligently detect if workers are wearing safety headgear or not. The high-definition cameras constantly scan your site, sounding an alert if someone is identified as breaching defined rules. Cameras can also be linked with access control systems, to ensure that members of staff are wearing hardhats from the moment they enter a hazardous location.
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