Contractors and tech innovators needed for smarter safety regs

Photo of workers on a construction site for smarter safety regs story
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A public-private accelerator is looking for contractors and technology suppliers to join a project aimed at exploring the potential for new technologies to deliver smarter safety regulation.

The Smarter Regulation Sandbox, as the project is known, is run by Discovering Safety and Safetytech Accelerator. It will demonstrate how digital technology can enhance accessibility to health and safety regulatory information. According to the organisers, this will “accelerate compliance, improving efficiency and productivity, and reducing regulatory burdens on industry, while supporting innovators to bring emerging digital products to market”.

They describe the sandbox as “a safe space for regulators, construction companies and tech providers to explore how the digitalisation of regulations together with regulatory information can unlock new products, services and efficiencies in the sector”.

The organisers said: “While regulation is currently available online, it’s not considered ‘machine readable’, and regulatory data is only available ad-hoc. This programme will explore use-cases for how full digitalisation of these digital assets can be used by industry.

“We want and expect technology providers to utilise information in commercial contexts, embedding it within their own products and demonstrating how AI and data analytics can leverage information in novel and impactful ways.”

Who can take part

Tech companies that have ideas for how to leverage regulatory and health and safety information into new and/or existing products, ranging from start-ups to enterprise providers can participate, as can contractors who have a problem to be solved and see the digitalisation of HSE information as a way of solving this, from optimising compliance to improving efficiency in their organisation.

Helen Balmforth, Discovering Safety lead and head of data analytics at the Health & Safety Executive, said: “Regulatory technology has the potential to improve the ability of workplaces to comply with health and safety regulations and improve health and safety outcomes, but a host of barriers to adoption, including regulation, are stifling this opportunity and the adoption of technologies in the workplace. This is, ultimately what we are looking to change. Addressing these barriers requires us to work together to promote and stimulate emerging technology.”

The deadline to take part has been extended until the end of April.

The Smarter Regulation Sandbox follows the work carried out by the Industrial Safetytech Regulatory Sandbox, which concluded last year. That brought together six start-ups and the likes of Balfour Beatty, BAM Nuttall, Costain, Heathrow Airport and Laing O’Rourke to explore the potential for safety technologies.

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