Modeling and mitigation of occupational safety risks in dynamic industrial environments

by   Ashutosh Tewari, et al.

Identifying and mitigating safety risks is paramount in a number of industries. In addition to guidelines and best practices, many industries already have safety management systems (SMSs) designed to monitor and reinforce good safety behaviors. The analytic capabilities to analyze the data acquired through such systems, however, are still lacking in terms of their ability to robustly quantify risks posed by various occupational hazards. Moreover, best practices and modern SMSs are unable to account for dynamically evolving environments/behavioral characteristics commonly found in many industrial settings. This article proposes a method to address these issues by enabling continuous and quantitative assessment of safety risks in a data-driven manner. The backbone of our method is an intuitive hierarchical probabilistic model that explains sparse and noisy safety data collected by a typical SMS. A fully Bayesian approach is developed to calibrate this model from safety data in an online fashion. Thereafter, the calibrated model holds necessary information that serves to characterize risk posed by different safety hazards. Additionally, the proposed model can be leveraged for automated decision making, for instance solving resource allocation problems – targeted towards risk mitigation – that are often encountered in resource-constrained industrial environments. The methodology is rigorously validated on a simulated test-bed and its scalability is demonstrated on real data from large maintenance projects at a petrochemical plant.


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