Wakefield is a new type of EHS consulting firm—the next generation of EHS professionals ready for the challenges of today’s workplace safety and health issues.
Wakefield is a Minority-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business. We are a group of seasoned EHS professionals dedicated to helping our clients understand and address the hazards associated with more sophisticated operations. We are experienced in EHS issues associated with:
Understanding the Challenges of Working in Today’s Technologically Advanced Work Environments
What is evident—in our post-industrial, A.I. world—is that new technologies emerge rapidly and that the hazards they present may not be easily evident. Subsequently, while industry moves forward to improve their products through nanotechnology—as an example–we are not quite sure what harm exposure to nanoparticulate will have on humans as it is not yet possible to measure. Likewise, humans working with collaborative robots—which are typically used to perform the more “unsafe” tasks—might not understand the intrinsic risks of working in such close proximity to these intelligent machines. However, manufacturing and R&D sectors need to push forward with more and more advanced robotics to improve output, so safety practices need to meet the pace of these changes.
The internet has revolutionized not only how we communicate, but how machines communicate with each other. This will only become more valuable and important to how modern operations function when 5G technology is readily available. Yet, this phenomenon known as “the Internet of Everything” brings with it a set of risks to worker and public safety. There is the simple risk of computer programming or system failure which could impact mechanized safety controls, or the alarming possibility of outside infiltration of a computerized systems. In such a case, unsafe conditions may not be immediately evident, allowing more time for incidents to occur.
Old assumptions have been challenged and these new sources of hazards have driven the need to apply OSHA and other standards in new ways. They require a performance due diligence that mandates the understanding of exactly where the hazards lie and how to control or abate them. New procedures and employee training are needed to keep workers safe.
An additional challenge as companies seek to fill many of the jobs that perform the tasks with the greatest risks in many industrial, R&D and distribution operations, is the need to expand their workforce pool. This includes retaining an aging, less computer literate workforce as people stay on the job longer and hiring workers who do not speak English as their primary language, creating comprehension barriers.
The Team at Wakefield specializes in providing EHS direction and guidance for the challenging environments specific to Technologically Advance Workplaces. We use the best available methods to evaluate all the hazards and give the utmost consideration to each facility’s workforce to design programs that can—and will—engage them as required.