When we hear the word evolution, at first we think of the natural evolution, which is the biological evolution. Yes, the most important evolution takes place in this area; however, it is not limited to this. Man has been discovering since the beginning of his existence. Some of these discoveries change our world as well as our life considerably. Although some discoveries do not make an important difference at first, they may become the first steps of an important change.
When we look at the world history, we can see that backgrounds of many discoveries are known. This has been so from past to present.
However, at the present time, this kind of actualization is getting more and more difficult every day. Because, we have almost no day on which nothing new comes into our lives. Although many of these discoveries are so important that they deserve to be recorded in books of discoveries, they are not regarded as so important. In this period, especially technology is advancing so fast that even developments, which would be regarded as insane 30 years ago, are now being understood by everyone.
The world has had different phases in the area of Industry up to now. These phases are believed to be the Industry 1.0, in which Fire was discovered, Industry 2.0, in which Water and Steam power was used, Industry 3.0, which covers the beginning of electricity use, and now Industry 4.0, in which objects communicate.
We have entered the period named as Industry 4.0 step by step with the developments actualizing in the recent past. And now, the current state of technology and the existing knowledge pave the way for radical changes. Many products that we use in our daily lives come together and make the communication between objects possible. With this development, which is defined with the abbreviation IoT (Internet of Things), now, apart from human beings, man-made things also communicate with each other.
As every other revolution in the industry, apart from the product itself, this revolution too will have effects on our lives. The most important effect is machines functioning according to a system by communicating with each other, which is abbreviated as M2M – Machine to Machine.
Think about it!
Machines communicate with each other, act depending on each other’s state, communicate their problems to each other, and the system moves on its own thanks to this communication.
Is the need for human beings decreasing?
In fact, as a philosophical idea, this is a question that can lead to long discussions. This is a situation which is open to any comments and thoughts. To share my own thought:
Yes, with this development, possibly less people will work in the area of production. However, does that necessarily mean that people will be unemployed? I think no. There is a reducing need for human on the one hand; however, on the other hand, people’s needs are increasing. This is a real mathematical pool problem. What is drained from one side is filling the other side.
If we ask the question “What do all these have to do with Occupational Health and Safety?…”
This development means more dangerous works being done by machines and people beginning to work in less dangerous areas. And lower number of people in risky areas can make an important difference in terms of Occupational Health and Safety. Considering the fact that the rate of work accidents are higher for those who work in risky areas, we can attain lower number of work accidents with people working in less dangerous areas.
Of course we should also think about the developments in the area of occupational health and safety in addition to the developing technology. Can accident risks be reduced by foreseeing and anticipating the situations including accident risk or at least by giving warnings at the time of an accident?
I think such a technology can be easily carried into effect while we are talking about a period in which machines communicate with each other.
The dazzling speed of technological advancement provides us with something new every other day. We use these systems without even realizing them. Many products, technologies and new solutions, which we do not understand when they are mentioned, take their places in our lives without being noticed.
I hope all these products coming into our lives provide safer environments in terms of human health and safety.
Marmara Fair Org.