Eye on Safety

AI monitoring keeps a close eye on worker health and safety

IR 4.0 Plant Safety Eye streams CCTV to Wait Gas Plant's pilot smart system.

AI monitoring keeps a close eye on worker health and safety

A new automated surveillance system now monitors workers’ safety in real-time and sends instant alerts when potential threats are detected.


The “IR 4.0 Plant Safety Eye” was developed in collaboration between Aramco and FogHorn Systems, a California technology company, and is being tested at the Wasit Gas Plant (WGP), 50 km northwest of Jubail in the Kingdom’s east.


The system streams live closed-circuit television video from standard surveillance cameras through artificial intelligence (AI) software, which detects fixed and moving personnel and assets, and generates automatic alerts via email or text when a hazard is present.


The software sends notifications to plant management, safety officers, and individual workers on safety hazards, such as dangerous on-site behavior, the absence of appropriate PPE, a nearby moving crane, or unauthorized vehicle access to a restricted area.


The system is able to monitor whether individuals are wearing masks, coughing, maintaining physical distancing, and hand washing. If using thermal cameras, it can also measure the workers’ body temperatures.

Ahmad A. Al-Sa’adi, senior vice president of Technical Services, said the solution provides real-time, proactive alerts for safety compliance.


“We worked with FogHorn, one of the AI venture capital startups we invested in through our venture capital subsidiary, SAEV, to develop a new edge analytics solution to monitor, detect, and provide notifications on worker safety violations using digital image processing,” Al-Sa’adi said. 


Edge analytics is computing performed at or near a data source to improve response times, save bandwidth, and strengthen security. It also reduces data transport and storage costs.


The software platform has led to improved monitoring and diagnostics, machine performance optimization, proactive maintenance, and real-time operational intelligence, according to FogHorn.


Digital transformation has opened endless possibilities, not only to enhance the efficiency of plant operations, but to also reach the hard-to-monitor areas that can improve our workers’ personal safety.
Bander R. Al Yousef, general supervisor of the Process Automation Systems Division


The monitoring system was successfully installed and tested in cooperation with Engineering Services in the Process Control Systems Department (P&CSD), Gas Operations’ WGP, Project Management, and the Tanajib Gas Plant Projects Department.


Bassam M. Dossary, manager of P&CSD, said the system was inspired by Aramco’s digital transformation initiatives.


“The introduction of this solution adds unprecedented dimensions into the new digital transformation services that are proudly being catered to Aramco plant facilities,” he said.


Abdulla O. Jallal, manager of WGP, said he was proud his facility was chosen to test the system.


“We are always welcoming new digital transformation initiatives, especially when it serves the safety of our employees. We always desire to be the first to adopt this new capability,” he said.


Bander R. Al Yousef, general supervisor of the Process Automation Systems Division of P&CSD, has been involved in several initiatives relating to smart plants in which new technology is designed to automate processes, enhance performance, and reduce operational costs.


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