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M&S distribution centre boosts staff safety

28 November 2022

UK RETAILER Marks and Spencer has reduced workplace incidents by 80% just 10 weeks after introducing AI driven health and safety technology from Irish start-up Protex AI to its distribution centre in Castle Donington.

Chosen by the retailer for its seamless integration with existing surveillance infrastructure, Protex AI uses CCTV systems to provide health and safety teams with safety technology that autonomously captures unsafe events and flags them to health and safety officers. By increasing visibility of these incidents on-site, Protex AI helped the M&S HSE team to catch patterns in unsafe behaviour and take proactive action, providing focused training to staff to correct issues.

In addition to flagging unsafe events to HSE teams, Protex AI allows them to be played back to employees, aiding in the provision of relevant health and safety education to correct unsafe behaviours. This ability to identify patterns in dangerous behaviours on the warehouse floor and respond to them quickly saw the frequency of unsafe events decrease by 40% in the first two weeks of implementing the technology. 

The appointment by M&S shows a re-think on how safety is approached. By providing greater visibility of activity in the workplace, the retailer is able to identify risks in real-time and make data-informed decisions. In Castle Donington, an increase in events captured by Protex AI corresponded with an increase in external agency workers on-site, prompting a review of the induction and training process for agency workers to ensure their familiarity with the safety rules specific to that site. 

“We can't be everywhere at once, and we can't be on site 24 hours a day. So having Protex AI is like having an extra set of eyes, and it helps keep our colleagues safe,” comments Alice Conners, HSE specialist at M&S Castle Donington Distribution Centre.

Dan Hobbs, co-founder and CEO of Protex AI said, “Our mission is to revolutionise attitudes towards health and safety across all sectors by promoting proactive safety cultures. We are thrilled to hear that M&S has been so successful in using Protex AI to create a safer work environment for all by tackling unsafe behaviour patterns as they happen.”

The Protex AI platform is fully customisable, allowing HSE teams to set their own rules and hazards to flag. Its computer vision technologies are able to capture unsafe events autonomously in a range of settings, including warehouses, ports, and manufacturing facilities. Following installation, Protex’s customer success team is on hand to assist clients with any queries or concerns, ensuring the product is used as efficiently as possible across industries.