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Innovations in work safety do not always happen quickly, but the benefit they provide is immeasurable


In order to improve the safe working environment on construction sites, SJSC State Real Estate (SRE) is the first in the Baltics to test the latest IT technologies in the work safety area. For a month and a half, in cooperation with P un P būvniecības grupa and SIA ALTAS IT, the possibilities provided by IT for controlling compliance with work safety regulations at the construction site of the Latvian Puppet Theatre have been tested, informs Renārs Griškevičs, Chairman of the Board of SRE.

SRE is actively working to ensure a safe and ergonomic work environment, not only for its employees and customers, but also for those employed on construction sites. SRE, as one of the largest customers in the construction industry, which works with a wide range of cooperation partners on a daily basis, must pay increased attention to compliance with work safety rules. Although we cannot always achieve compliance with the labour protection requirements of every worker employed at the construction site, it is the responsibility of the company to explain the meaning of these requirements, to ensure the possibility to comply with these requirements and to do everything possible to effectively detect and prevent the recurrence of any violations.

In the nine months of 2021, 130 work safety inspections were carried out, while in the nine months of this year – 137 inspections. In 2021, 573 minor work safety violations were detected, while in the corresponding period of 2022 – 441. However, the number of significant work safety violations has decreased from 104 to 34. The significant reduction in the number of violations can be explained by increased work safety briefings, as well as the explanatory work carried out by our work safety specialists.

Despite the significant reduction in workplace safety violations, SRE continues to work on improving the safe working environment – even if innovations are not happening as quickly as the industry would like. In cooperation with SIA ALTAS IT, in the second half of 2022, IT technology was tested at the Latvian Puppet Theatre, which was able to determine whether a person uses personal protective equipment – reflective vest, helmet and glasses. During the test, no significant changes in the recording of these violations were found, thus giving confidence in the responsibility of those employed at construction sites towards themselves, their health and the importance of the explanatory work invested. At the same time, the proposed solution allows the use of the necessary safety equipment to be promoted, increasing the overall level of safety at construction sites. Currently, the tested technology cannot yet provide the kind of work safety supervision in all areas required for the specifics of the construction site in comparison to in-person visits by work safety specialists, but when technological solutions are improved, they can provide strong support for compliance with safety requirements and control.

“We are also pleased to be able to support the IT industry in artificial intelligence training and development regarding work safety issues at construction sites. Such opportunities allow us to take extra care and make sure that employees work on our construction sites using personal protective equipment. We hope that in the near future we will also be able to use IT solutions in the field of labour protection much more widely and ensure the safety of our employees and those employed on construction sites every day. We can be proud of every building contractor who shows an interest in this project and the desire to cooperate in testing new solutions,” says R. Griškevičs.

“Complying with work safety requirements is essential for both the customer and the supplier; therefore, we support every industry initiative that provides a safe working environment for our employees. The use of various new technologies allows the customer to make sure that the safety requirements are met and provides confidence in the understanding of our employees regarding the need for the requirements, as well as, if necessary, gives a signal about necessary additional training and explanatory work that must be invested in order to ensure that all employees are safe on the construction site,” says Māris Stakens, Chairman of the Board of PS P un P būvniecības grupa.

In order to promote the creation of a safe work environment and the promotion of a safe work culture, not only among industry representatives, but also among their employees, the company has placed informative visual materials on work safety requirements at each site, as well as implements the informational campaign “Work safely! Someone waits for you at home!”. Strengthening its own confidence and the confidence of industry players in the benefits and necessity of a safe working environment, in April 2022, SRE joined the social initiative “Mission Zero” of SCHWENK Latvija, which aims to fully eliminate accidents in the working environment. Looking for new and innovative solutions for creating a safe workplace, SRE also participates in the DEMOLA Latvija project, in which, together with industry and academic experts, it evaluates the opportunities provided by modern technologies. The use of new technologies makes it possible to reduce the number of required human resources at a time when the number and size of various projects of national importance are increasing, while ensuring the comprehensive and high-quality monitoring of security requirements both indoors and outdoors.