VIT Arc: Use cases for getting leading indicator safety data using Arc devices

As we approach the launch of the Arc wearable device and software platform, we wanted to share some of our favorite ways to use the product to improve safety outcomes at your facilities by using leading indicators. In this blog post, we will detail our five (5) favorite use case and implementation methods for the Arc device in your facility. These use cases are a result of research, testing, and discussion with our beta customers and pilot locations. Every facility is different, so use these use cases as a guideline and tweak your implementation as necessary. If you have suggestions or results for a different type of implementation, let us know and we’ll give you a shout out!

Overview

Implementation Comparison Matrix
Example for 100-person warehouse
(Cycle time = how often a user wears a device)

ArcUseCaseMatrix.jpg

Implementations

Coach on the Floor

Implementation Description

All employees at a facility are issued an Arc device.  Employees wear device on a daily basis for a long period of time. Stats are tracked, experiments undertaken, results analyzed, and changes are made. In this scenario, all employees benefit every day through instant awareness alerts via haptic (vibrational) feedback when they enter risky positions on the floor. Ideally, team members have full access to, or regularly see, their data so that they can offer input and make changes. Transparency is key to driving full adoption and engagement of new technology or processes.

Goal Alignment

What company goals would align with this type of implementation?

  • Long term focus on safe lifting practices
  • Commitment to safety and safety innovation
  • Big data-oriented
  • Interested in wholesale warehouse/plant redesign around ergonomic safety
  • Interested in identifying novel approaches to PPE, Assistive Devices, and Automation implementation
  • Want to be a leader in industrial safety
  • Want improved relationship and transparency with workers
  • Want to improve safety culture and make workers feel cared for and safer on the job

Recommended device quantities

Low end: ~67% of workforce, enough to cover 2 shifts to allow batteries time to recharge

High end: 100% of workforce.

Benefits of Implementation Type

  • Consistent wearing of device means workers will not fall back to bad habits.
  • 24/7/365 visibility into potential issues.
  • If you have times when workers aren’t wearing devices, you can miss valuable information.
  • More data will lead to potential for predictive intelligence.
  • Don’t waste money by not utilizing devices at certain times.
  • Always gathering data for review later. Can run experiments with the rest of the workforce as a control group.
  • Consistent wearing of devices means they can be used for performance evaluation (of workers and supervisors) and used to set goals.
 

Rotational Programs

Implementation Description

Some companies may not have the money or bandwidth to provide every employee with an Arc device and we totally understand! Arc devices are person-agnostic. They are calibrated each time a user signs in, and job-position can be logged. This means that multiple team members can use the same device, as long as the battery is fully charged before use.

In this use case, a rotational program is put in place where every member of the workforce cycles on the device 1-4 times per year. Repetitive reinforcement reminds workers to lift safely while on the floor. Workers cycle back onto the devices to ensure that they do not regress to poor safety habits. Different parts of the warehouse can be analyzed at a time, action can be taken based on results, then changes can be measured during next cycle.

Ideal cycle time: 6-8 weeks on.

Goal Alignment

What company goals would align with this type of implementation?

  • Interested in measuring and improving worker lifting safety, but don’t have the resources ($ or time) to handle every worker at once.
  • Interested in incremental workplace redesign
  • Want to be a leader in industrial safety
  • Want to improve safety culture

Recommended device quantities

Based on cycle times:

Cycle Time Arc Rotational Program.jpg

Benefits of Implementation Type

  • Buy less devices, but every worker still gets to wear the device at least once during the year.
  • Ability to evaluate the permanence of behavior change initiatives (i.e. do our changes stick or do things revert back to how they were?).
  • Less data generated at any given time makes it easier to view, digest and act on information.
  • Relatively useful for performance evaluation, but some considerations needed (such a [lack of] worker retention of learned behaviors).
 

New Hire Training

Implementation Description

Typically, new hires have the most issues with safe job performance. They may be hired and thrown into the job with little training, especially if they are temp/seasonal employees around the holidays. Even when new hires are given safety training, they have so many other things to learn and worry about that thoughts about safety often fall by the wayside. Often, new hires in warehouse and distribution facilities are brought on board on a temporary basis, only given permanent hire status after hitting exceedingly high performance metrics for a certain amount of time.

In this use case,  Arc devices are used as a training tool, supplementing a traditional new hire safety training program. New employees are taught how to lift safely, then given the devices for the first 2-6 months (or more) of employment. Consistently hitting safe lifting targets may be made a requirement for permanent employment.

Goal Alignment

What company goals would align with this type of implementation?

  • Highest priority is eliminating injuries to new workers.
  • Want to create a safe, stable workforce.
  • Want to reduce employee turnover.
  • Company wants to be a leader in industrial safety
  • Want to improve safety culture
  • Want to improve relationship with workers

Recommended device quantities

Based on company’s “new hire” designation and employee turnover. Need enough devices to cover however many employees have been with the company <6 months at any given time.

Generally we recommend enough devices to cover 15% of workforce, unless the customer has specific turnover/new hire data that suggests otherwise.

Benefits of Implementation Type

  • Heavy focus on most at-risk population in the warehouse/plant
  • Guaranteed reinforcement of taught lifting techniques on the floor when new hires might be overwhelmed by/focused on other things (particularly by the need to hit productivity metrics)
 

Investigations, Experiments, Job Safety Analysis, and Audits

Implementation Description

Sometimes a company has specific issues or ideas about how they want to use the leading indicator data. Typically, a company has identified a problem area but does not have enough information about the cause of the problem to move forward. Or they may have a solution to the problem, but don’t know if it makes sense to implement it.  

In this use case, the company uses devices to perform periodic assessments and evaluations on workforce and warehouse, as well as perform experiments to improve lifting safety and reduce injuries:

  • Workforce
    • Periodically run job safety assessments and analysis on various department/sections/position profiles
    • Identify highest-risk segments
    • Implement longer term device wear for high-risk users
    • Devise training/coaching programs
    • Assess improvements
    • Repeat
  • Warehouse
    • Periodically run safety analysis on different departments/sections/positions
    • Identify most dangerous sections
    • Design and implement safety changes
    • Redeploy devices to assess improvements
    • Repeat

Experiments examples:

  • Best Practices evaluation
    • Find out how well the Best Practices that are taught actually translate to the floor/how achievable they really are.
  • Productivity expectation evaluation
    • Companies often measure team member performance by timing how long it takes them to perform tasks compared to a standard.
    • Measure movements from standard productivity tasks to see if it is possible to hit productivity metrics while being safe.
    • Use Arc to set up standard new productivity task times that incorporate safe practices.
  • Implementing a new safety initiative/program
    • Use devices to measure current baseline safety levels.
    • Implement new program.
    • Use devices to measure effectiveness of program.
      • Right after implementation is completed.
      • AND
      • Periodically after time to ensure changes are retained.

Goal Alignment

What company goals would align with this type of implementation?

  • Company wants to incrementally improve safety in their workforce or workplace
  • Company wants to run experiments and drive safety
  • Company wants to be a leader in industrial safety

Recommended device quantities

Variable. Enough devices to run at least one experiment at a time.

Recommendation: # of devices = (# of employees per shift in largest department) x 2

  • To run up to 2 experiments at once

Benefits of Implementation Type

  • Can gain lots of value from a relatively small amount of devices and data.
  • Gain more insight into real safety risks in the plant/warehouse.
 

Incentives Programs

Implementation Description

Many companies use incentives programs as a tool to improve employee performance and morale. In this use case, Arc data can either integrate into an existing incentive program or be used to start one from scratch. Team members volunteer to use devices to get incentives. Company assesses baseline lifting scores and provides incentives for consistently using devices, improvements from baseline scores, and/or for maintaining a score above a set threshold.

Goal Alignment

What company goals would align with this type of implementation?

  • Want to create a culture of positive reinforcement.
  • Want to improve safety culture.
  • Want employees to feel cared for.
  • Want to improve relationship with employees.
  • Want to be a leader in industrial safety.
  • Want innovative ways to improve employee performance.

Recommended device quantities

As many as the # of employees that want to participate. Plan for ⅓ to ½ of workforce and may need to add more devices if the program is popular

Benefits of Implementation Type

  • Team members will be happy to volunteer to use devices.
  • Team members will know that their safety is valued.
  • Positive reinforcement is used instead of punishing poor performers like many performance metrics.

These are just a few of the use cases that we’ve seen implemented so far, but there are many other options. If you’d like to talk through another use case, get more information on these, or discuss how you can use Arc to solve problems and improve safety outcomes at your company, please reach out to us at info@vitinitiative.com!