Working from home has become the “new normal”. And companies are not only faced with technical IT challenges. They must also ensure that the working conditions do not endanger the health of their employees. The ergonomics of the workplaces play a critical role. DEKRA supported a global pharmaceutical company with more than 20,000 employees, in overcoming this challenge. Two factors were decisive here: First, DEKRA is internationally positioned and, secondly, has extensive experience in workplace health and safety.
The DEKRA team assessed the working situation of employees worldwide working from home. 22 consultants conducted around 1,800 individual assessments of workplace ergonomics in eleven countries, in nine time zones and in several languages. This was only possible with the help of a digital solution. The DEKRA Safety Platform allowed for the large number of assessments to be scheduled, conducted and documented in the required short time frame. Overall, the combination of DEKRA’s expert knowledge and digital technology helped the customer to identify and prioritize areas of improvement to further enhance the health and safety of its home office workforce.
Each year, around eight million vehicle damage reports are submitted in Germany alone, which results in a corresponding level of claims settlement work. Here, too, digitalization has made processes far more efficient.
Since 2021, DEKRA has been working with Swiss company Spearhead AG – in which DEKRA also has an interest – to advance digitalization in this area. Together, they help insurance companies and fleet operators to handle vehicle claims digitally. Data about an accident are analyzed and assessed using artificial intelligence (AI) and a large database of previous damage appraisals.
A critical component in this process is a telematics solution, which 100% automatically creates a first notice of loss immediately after an accident and makes it available to the insurer. This means that, soon after the accident, the insurance clerk receives a qualified initial estimate of the severity of the damage, the damaged area of the vehicle, and the anticipated repair costs, enabling them to engage a tow service or repair shop immediately, send out an expert, or arrange for digital expert services. All on the basis of concrete facts.
Working with partners, DEKRA also uses AI in solutions for inspecting the damage to vehicle bodywork. In the Netherlands, vehicle scanners not only identify surface damage faster but also in consistently high quality. This facilitates the assessment of vehicles and the management of the other processes involved. Vehicle scanners are also being tested in Germany.
Industrialization is no longer in its infancy but work, especially in industry, remains hazardous. The International Labour Organization (ILO) reports between 1.9 and 2.3 million deaths worldwide as the result of accidents or work-related illnesses each year.
The work of inspectors in industry is inherently dangerous – irrespective of whether it is in the mining industry, the oil and gas industry, or other process industries. Safety standards are crucial in these industries: on the one hand, to maintain reliable production and protect the plants as assets, and, on the other hand, to ensure the safety of employees and inspectors.
Increasingly stringent environmental and safety standards are raising the pressure on those industry sectors where risks are higher.EU Directives like ATEX, for example, define strict minimum safety requirements for working and equipment in potentially explosive environments.
For this reason, DEKRA has developed the lightweight ATEX I camera system. It enables inspectors to avoid high-risk areas such as enclosed spaces or great heights.
Today, modern technology allows inspections to be carried out without the personal presence of an inspector, for example, by digitalizing plants for inspection purposes or using autonomous inspection robots. In 2021, DEKRA was awarded a contract worth millions from one of the world’s largest chemical companies for remote inspections using robots.
Thanks to digitalization and increasingly rapid data transmission, other types of inspection are gaining in significance. For example, on-site inspectors can use the support of augmented reality (AR), helmet cameras, or remote-controlled drones.
In remote-assisted inspections, smartphones play an important role in enabling the inspection team to discuss activities and findings on the basis of audio and image data. In this way, it is not only possible to pool knowledge, but also to achieve an important environmental effect. DEKRA and its customers are reducing CO2 emissions by traveling less. At the same time, instant communication with DEKRA experts is possible in order to quickly resolve any inspection-related matters.