How to proactively prepare for workplace violence

    July 19, 2021

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    Written By
    Anne M. Acosta

    Violence in the workplace is often unpredictable and can unfold rapidly.  According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), over 2 million Americans are victims of workplace violence each year.   

    Rather than just accept this astonishing statistic, Kogniz believes that combining computer vision and AI to detect anomalies, suspicious behaviors, weapons or other factors can either prevent harm to your employees or reduce it by giving people access to information faster.   Our goal is to give your employees and leaders critical time to react and manage the chaos that ensues with a more coordinated response through automation of alerts and actions.     

    Should an anomalous event occur, like a gun being detected or running down a hallway, alerts and downstream notice of next steps could be sent to specific individuals via phone, SMS, Slack, email or an announcement, including alerting the proper authorities.   Every second counts in these situations, so our goal is to help you focus on getting things under control and potentially preventing a violent event from intensifying before help arrives.

    In the video and transcript below, Patrick Monteith, Sales Engineer at Kogniz, highlights how the Kogniz AssureAI platform can help organizations get more proactive about workplace violence prevention and response management to reduce the risk of harm to employees and assets.


    Through integrations with on-site cameras, Kogniz computer vision automates the detection of, and response to incidents of workplace violence and the presence of firearms. When these events are detected, designated personnel are immediately notified and prompted to respond. At the same time, Kogniz automations can notify police of the incident and send mass notifications that include emergency response procedures to all impacted individuals. Finally, Kogniz prompts all impacted individuals to verify that they are safe and generates real-time dashboards with critical data for emergency responders.

    Kogniz enables onsite cameras with AI based real-time video intelligence to automate the detection of objects and events, be it small form factor devices called the Kogniz Cortex. In the case of workplace violence, customizable alerts send a notification and a video clip of the incident to designated personnel as soon as a weapon or physical altercation is spotted on camera. These alerts act as a signal to kick off emergency response workflows that include mass notifications to all impacted individuals, along with instructions based on the nature of the emergency.

    Emergency response workflows are created and activated through automations within the AssureAI portal. Automation workflows are made up of four distinct nodes. Triggers and activities are actions performed by Kogniz, such as prompting designated personnel to validate an emergency, validating persons on site at the time of an event via APIs with your building's badging or entry systems, and sending alerts to impacted employees.

    Workflows allow actions to repeat based on certain conditions. For example, if you do not receive a response from a particular employee within 15 minutes, send the message again. And signals kick off an emergency workflow and include incidents such as emergency notifications from the National Weather Services and events detected by IP cameras connected to the [Kogniz] AssureAI portal. These might include weapons spotted or persons seen evacuating a building. Onsite safety staff can also manually trigger emergency response flows at any time.

    In the following scenario, let's look at Kogniz emergency response workflows in the event that a weapon is detected on site. As soon as a firearm is detected, Kogniz prompts security staff to validate the alert before triggering the workflow. If no response is received, Kogniz will continually notify and escalate alerts every 60 seconds until a response is provided. Once the incident is validated, Kogniz will proceed with emergency response protocols, which in this case include notification of 911 via prerecorded call and emailing first responders a video clip and thumbnail of the incident. Activation of audible alarms on site, mass notification sent to all impacted employees, that include prompts to verify their safety, and verification of the number of persons safely exiting the premise via mass notification responses and Kogniz connected cameras at building exits.

    Mass notifications can be delivered via email, text and onsite audio systems. Notifications are triggered by automations and are created using the surveys page of the AssureAI portal. Survey attributes determine which employees will receive a notification, for example, all employees on site at the time of an emergency event, and survey workflows control the texts included in the automated alerts as well as prompts for employee responses.

    Dashboards tied to emergency event automations provide real-time insight into the status of individuals during an emergency, such as the number of employees present at the time of the incident, the status of employees that have yet to mark themselves safe, as well as the locations of all employees at predetermined evacuation sites, once they have safely exited.


    If you'd like to learn more about Kogniz AssureAI, contact an expert to see how it works.

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