How FEMA Does Resiliency; Computer Vision Enhances Safety

Whether it’s making a community more resilient to disasters or helping an employer to reduce accidents in the warehouse, having the right data is key to focusing prevention efforts where they will have the greatest ROI. Join Host Pete Miller as he talks with Daniel Kaniewski, Managing Director-Public Sector of Marsh & McLennan and former deputy administrator of of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Alex Senemar, CEO and Co-Founder of Voxel, on how they are each working to transform the status quo and make communities and employees safer, and reduce the toll of paying for preventable losses.

Segment 1 [02:25]: Pete and Daniel discuss how preparedness, mitigation and insurance are the foundation of resilience, how FEMA shifted its focus to resilience from recovery, growing investment in pre-disaster hazard mitigation, identifying other stakeholders vested in resilience, the importance of incentives, communicating the ROI of resilience, and the urgent need to close the resilience gap.

Segment 2 [21:59]: Pete and Alex talk about the inspiration for Voxel, integrating artificial intelligence and computer vision technology within existing workflows and equipment, gaining a real-time view of safety risks and hazards, capturing near misses to identify preventable losses, effectively measuring improvements in safety, and building a culture that inspires and rewards safer behavior.

Daniel Kaniewski
Daniel Kaniewski
Managing Director, Public Sector
Marsh & McLennan
Alex Senemar
Alex Senemar
CEO and Co-Founder
Show Transcript

Pete Miller [00:00:03] Hi, I'm Pete Miller, president and CEO of The Institutes. We're a global not-for-profit whose mission is to educate, elevate and connect the people focused on risk management and insurance. You're listening to Predict & Prevent, a podcast that explores how technology and resiliency can prevent losses before they occur. In each episode, we learn about innovative solutions and hear from leading experts on how they are making these approaches a reality today. Welcome to another episode of Predict & Prevent. Today, I'm excited to bring you two conversations with leaders who are driving change in crisis navigation. First, I sit down with Daniel Kaniewski, managing director, Public Sector for Marsh McLennan. In his role, Daniel leads enterprise wide initiatives that deliver innovative solutions for public sector challenges. Before joining Marsh McLennan, Daniel was deputy administrator for resilience at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA in the previous administration, where he led the agency's pre-disaster programs. During his career, Daniel has worked in academia, government and the private sector. Throughout, his focus has been on how to reduce the impact of disasters by making homes, businesses and communities more resilient. We discuss the essential elements for effective resilience. Daniel also describes how FEMA evolved from an agency focused on responding after a disaster to one that is proactively working to make communities more resilient. We dig into these lessons Daniel learned along the way on the ROI of resilience, incentivizing risk mitigation efforts, the role that insurance plays in these efforts, and the power of collaborating with other stakeholders. So Daniel, tell us a little bit about your background. And I know resilience has really become a focus of your career, both in industry and in government. And just tell us a little bit about how you got there and what you're doing today. 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:02:25] Well, I started as a firefighter paramedic in a small town in Northern Minnesota. And in that role, I saw I saw disaster firsthand. Right? I saw that local crisis, what that can mean to that individual. And it was really visceral, right? Because you see those losses, both loss of life and loss of homes, financial losses, and it sticks with and frankly, it stuck with me my whole career. I went into academia. I got my Ph.D. in public policy with a focus on emergency management. And I had the opportunity to serve in government a couple of times in the George W Bush administration. I was in the White House. And then the previous administration, I was the deputy administrator of FEMA. And I would say that I've had the opportunity to see some of these national catastrophes. Frankly, you know, I started three weeks before Hurricane Katrina at the White House and just three days before Hurricane Maria at FEMA. 


Pete Miller [00:03:25] Well, you could say your timing is impeccable, Daniel. Just kidding. That's actually pretty amazing, right? Talk about stepping from the frying pan into the fire. Right? I know during your time at FEMA, you talked about the three pillars of resilience. So can you just tell us what those are and why they're essential and important? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:03:41] Sure. I think we should always have a goal in mind. And the goal is reduce the impacts of future disasters, when we're talking about resilience. And those three pillars I would often talk about are preparedness, mitigation and insurance. Pretty straightforward preparedness, planning and risk assessments, equipment exercises, anything you can do to prepare yourselves, your family, your community for that future disaster. Mitigation is really about risk reduction. So that's strengthening your home, your business, your government institutions against the effects of of disasters. And the really popular number that's out there from the National Institute of Building Sciences is 6 to 1. Right? We know that every one dollar invested in government grants can save six dollars when a disaster occurs. And then the third pillar would be insurance, something that all of us know well. And at FEMA, we focused primarily on flood insurance and the NFIP. But really, it's all kinds of insurance that can reduce the financial burden on disaster survivors. 


Pete Miller [00:04:51] So, Daniel, I think I've heard you talked before and it's been very interesting. I'm very interested in your thoughts on how FEMA's kind of changed its traditional role. From maybe, you know, here comes a disaster and FEMA's here to help us, which, of course, they still are, to more of a resiliency agency. Can you sort of tell us your experience and and what's been done and kind of the theory behind that? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:05:17] You had to be blunt. FEMA was often thought of as the federal government's ATM after disaster. People and governments would look to FEMA to pay them after that disaster to help them recover. And while that's an important mission to provide that financial assistance, I really saw during my time at FEMA, I saw 2017 as an inflection point. It's where policymakers were asking us what could be done to address the future risks, you know, to address those risks before disaster strikes as opposed to providing funding and resources after that disaster strikes. So I really focused my time at FEMA on reorganizing around resilience. And specifically, I reorganized FEMA's pre-disaster resilience programs so that they were all under a single leader again myself at the time. And I'm glad to say that this administration has retained that structure and said resilience is just so important that we need a sink's, a senior leader that's overseeing this. We do an organization that's dedicated to this, and it should be at least on par with the response and recovery mission. Again, that traditional FEMA mission. And in fact, today, I think that FEMA's more often known as the resilience agency than as a response and recovery agency. 


Pete Miller [00:06:34] That must have been very satisfying for you, right? Because as a firefighter, I'm sure you saw a lot of pain and suffering. And I guess the idea of resiliency is let's just not have that happen at all. 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:06:45] That's right. And to the extent, you can reduce that risk to zero, that can always be our goal. We can prevent the bad thing from happening in the future. 


Pete Miller [00:06:53] So FEMA has many programs. I believe they have one called BRIC. Can you just tell us what that's about and its focus and and just, you know, how does that help make communities less vulnerable to unknown hazards? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:07:09] So again, at that inflection point I talked about in 2017, remember we had Harvey, Irma and Maria, three hurricanes back to back. And that's really when policymakers said, what can we do to help? How can we help FEMA with its mission? And so what we decided was we would have one ask. We could ask for many things, but we decided we wanted one thing for sure, which is to have a pre-disaster hazard mitigation program. And what does that mean? That means having grants available to state and local communities before that disaster strikes. And what we came up with was BRIC, Building Resilient Infrastructure Communities Grant program, which provides these communities that haven't yet been hit by a disaster with the grant dollars to help them strengthen their infrastructure, strengthen their communities to reduce those future losses. And I would say it was a combination of that this 2017 disasters combined with a study that had come out around that time for the National Institute of Building Sciences that referenced that that 6 to 1 number I referenced earlier, that study came out right on the heels of those three disasters. So it's really seeing that empirical evidence that mitigation saves combined with those extreme loss events that we saw in 2017 that gave us the program that we have today. 


Pete Miller [00:08:29] So can you just drill into that for a little bit? How would a community go about getting a grant from the BRIC program? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:08:38] Well, traditionally you would only that community would only be eligible for a hazard mitigation grant after disaster happens, right, after a presidentially declared disaster. In this case, with BRIC, it's just like FEMA's other traditional preparedness grant programs, where the states can apply every year for these grants for specific projects in their communities. So to kind of take a step back, that local community would put together a proposal and give that to their state emergency management office and the State Emergency Management Office will review that. And if the state agreed, they would send that forward for their their annual review by FEMA. 


Pete Miller [00:09:19] Pretty interesting. So what are some of the lessons that you've learned in your time at FEMA around shifting an organization, in this case, a governmental organization, from a focus on disaster response to resilience? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:09:36] Well, I'd say most importantly, it requires an understanding of risk to remain focused on the resilience mission. And I mean that both from a FEMA or a local or state emergency management standpoint, as well as from a federal policy standpoint or a state or local policymaking standpoint. Both elected leaders and the career civil servants that are focused on resilience need to understand the risk and need to keep that risk top of mind. Because it's not like a disaster where there's a clear demarcation between a nonevent, meaning steady state and an event, meaning a response phase, right? So that without that, that galvanizing event, it's sometimes hard for all of us to stay focused on this long term mission of resilience. And so making sure that you whether you're in government as an emergency manager or you're in the insurance industry or other related industries, you need to make sure that you are working with your industry, working with those industry associations to keep resilience top of mind for all. 


Pete Miller [00:10:46] So, Daniel, I mean, one of the things that I found very interesting was your background, because you're you obviously work you got a Ph.D., you've worked in academia, you worked in government at FEMA, and now you work in the for profit sector. So within within an organization, you know, what are some of the lessons you've learned that happen within an organization to help make that shift as well? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:11:11] Hmm. I think we need to remind all of ourselves that we are risk managers, even if we don't explicitly have that title. You know, we could have the title of emergency manager or insurance agent and broker or underwriter. But really, what our goal is, is to reduce the risk to our client and society writ large. And the more we can remind ourselves that that is our role, that we need to focus on this, it it will help that organization evolve from a more knee jerk response to a more deliberative and focused effort around resilience. 


Pete Miller [00:11:50] You know, one of the interesting things when we talk about, say, natural disasters or things like that is they're very complex risks. Right? And there's a wide variety, I've heard you say, and there's a wide variety of responses that are required. And insurance is part of that answer. And I think we understand that. But can you tell us about some of the responsibilities that other stakeholders might have? And what are the what are other in fact, who are the other stakeholders along with insurance that might be needed for a more collaborative approach? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:12:25] So obviously, emergency managers, as we've talked about. I think that there needs to be a greater lash-up between emergency managers and at the state level, state insurance commissioners and at the local level, insurance agents and brokers and at the federal level, as you as we discussed, that lash-up is now starting to occur at FEMA because of the keen focus on resilience between, for example, the National Flood Insurance Program and the the other parts of resilience at FEMA. But there's others. Building Sciences is an example that I often use because I'm with the National Institute of Building Sciences. I'm under multi hazard mitigation counsel, just full transparency. And I lead there committee on finance, insurance and real estate. And I think this encapsulates, well, some of those other stakeholders that are out there by looking at their lenders, by looking at the insurance agents, brokers and underwriters, and bringing in real estate developers and governments that are looking to incentivize these good behaviors. I think you have a real opportunity to leverage what the insurance industry is doing together with those other industries if only we can all agree that resilience is our North Star. 


Pete Miller [00:13:45] One of the things you just mentioned was incentives. And, you know, it's a whole theory on people work on incentives, right? So and that seems to always be a pretty good agent of change. So what are the incentives that you can provide the stakeholders to help them, to help them drive action in prevention and resiliency? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:14:05] That's actually the focus of a study that the National Institute of Building Sciences is undertaking right now. It's called Resilience Incentivization 2.0. It's a project sponsored by Fannie Mae that looks at those industries finance, insurance and real estate and says, what can we collectively do together between our industries as well as with governments? And to kind of summarize this, I would say each resilience investment that a homeowner, a business or a government makes has many co-beneficiaries. For example, if you were to strengthen your roof against a wind hazard or elevate your home against a flood hazard, obviously you as the homeowner are going to benefit from that. Your your home is going to remain safe and secure and hopefully you won't have a loss as a result. But beyond just the homeowner, these other industries and governments benefit as well. For example, the lender is going to benefit because you're less likely default. An insurer is going to benefit because you're less likely to have a claim. The local government is going to benefit because there's an economic benefit to the investment itself as well as to the taxpayer or broader community if residents remain there after disaster. So as you can see, these many stakeholders are actually co-beneficiaries and could develop incentives each in their own industry that would help that homeowner take that leap to invest in hazard mitigation and invest and in these resilience measures that we know can have a benefit not only to themselves but to the to the broader community and, frankly, society at large. 


Pete Miller [00:15:43] So Daniel, just for clarification, does that program do outreach directly to consumers, directly to homeowners, or is it done through these various sort of agencies? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:15:54] So that study in particular is one that NIBS is doing as as a thought leader in this space to show some, you know, what is in the art of the possible, right, and to highlight some best practices. Our hope is that there are communities and that there are industries that pick this up and say, "Yeah, we want to be part of this, we want to be part of this movement, and here's what we can do." Even at the the most micro level, if one community were to adopt some of those ideas and bring together some of these stakeholders like we're talking about, you know, frankly, I would see that as a win. But I think the opportunity is is much larger and that's really what we want to look to towards the future. 


Pete Miller [00:16:31] So let's just focus for a minute on on what NIBS says about quantifying financial benefits and so in risk mitigation and resilience. So I think you talked a little bit about this, but just an amplification of how does this research into ROI, the ROI of hazard mitigation helped to propel interest. And what have you seen? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:16:54] Yeah, and I think that 6 to 1 number is now part of the emergency management lexicon. Right? Those of us in the emergency management industry are now talking about hazard mitigation, with an with a real tangible ROI in a way that hasn't been the case before. And and frankly, there are other number I mean, just part of this, maybe it's called Mitigation Saves is the name of the 2017 initial findings of that study that were published in final form in 2019. Strong building codes are also part of this, right? So strong building codes actually have an even higher number, 11 to 1. So would be great if in our industry and in these adjacent industries, if we understood that by upgrading to the latest code, you can have an ROI of 11 to 1. I think that that would almost that would propel this even further forward than the original 6 to 1 number on federal grants. Again, measuring different things. But I think all are important and all of us have a role to play, whether it be that local those local officials that set local zoning and building codes to those federal officials who provide federal grants, these numbers really do mean something, the 6 to 1, 11 to 1. And I think the study summarizes it well. Right? It's called Mitigation Saves and it really does. 


Pete Miller [00:18:16] Daniel, just real quick thing, you know, sounds pretty compelling. 6 to 1, pretty good ROI. Bad things don't happen. I'm curious if you see sort of resistance or barriers. What would what is your experience been? Have you seen that and what have they been? And, you know, what needs to be done to overcome them? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:18:39] Yeah, there's always more that can be done. And, you know, I'd say the most fundamental issue is whether it's 6 to 1 or 11 to 1. You still need the one. Right? You still have to make the one to get the six. So that's the first [00:18:50]comp [0.0s] you have to get over. And that's really where BRIC plays a big role, right? Because it provides that initial investment to be able to get that return. Now, what else could be done? Well, if we're talking about building codes I referenced, those are really local decisions, right? A local government will decide they're zoning laws, they're going to decide their building code and educating those communities on the positive benefits of strengthening that building code is certainly somewhere where we have further to go, because quite frankly, again, even with the 11 to 1, there's still the one. All right. You still you still have to invest the dollar and getting whether it be the individual or the community to be willing to do so and to be willing to say even to industry groups that might oppose spending more on new construction or retrofits of homes and businesses to say, no, these investments really do have a high ROI and it's something that we should all be doing. 


Pete Miller [00:19:50] So this is pretty exciting stuff, right? I think, you know, world's a better, safer place and people's lives are certainly not interrupted or disrupted and actually saved through some of these techniques. And it certainly sounds like you've done a lot of outstanding work. But if you've been around this and when you think about the future, what would what would you like to see done? What are your thoughts and predictions and what are you hoping and hoping to see happen in the next few years? 


Daniel Kaniewski [00:20:20] Well, it seems like some of us have been at this a long time, some our whole careers. Right? But we're actually probably still in early innings here. If you think about the protection gaps, and that's a term that's used often in our industry, it's the difference between insured and economic losses. It's a huge number and we know that for many years in the future, we're probably still going to have this huge protection gap because of inadequate availability or uptake of insurance, because insurance may not be available again in certain areas or not be affordable for all kinds of reasons. That's going to be a huge challenge for us as an industry and obviously one where there needs to be more attention. But even if you if you if you kind of move up a level and you say, wow, well, insurance is only one part of resilience, what more beyond just closing the protection gap do we need to do? And frankly, I think we have to talk about it as resilience and frankly, as the resilience gap. And I would define the resilience gap as the investment necessary to make America resilient. And that includes preparedness and resilience and insurance. So since that resilience gap is inclusive of insurance, it's really quite overwhelming because it's even larger than the protection gap. So I think we have a long ways to go. I think, again, if we have resilience as our North Star, then we can get there eventually. But it's certainly not going to happen quickly or easily for all the reasons we're aware of in our own industry. And I assure you there are similar challenges in those other areas of resilience. 


Pete Miller [00:21:59] Daniel, this is great. Really interested in the work you've done. Pretty, pretty cool. And I applaud you on your forward looking. And I agree with you that, you know, we always say the best loss is the one that never happens. And and certainly in your experience, you've you've certainly experienced that firsthand, as you said so. I appreciate your work. Thank you.


Daniel Kaniewski [00:22:18] Thank you. 


Pete Miller [00:22:24] I truly enjoyed speaking with Daniel about the importance of resilience and making a stronger to prevent the worst effect of disasters. I hope you found our conversation is engaging, as I did. Next, I sat down with a visionary who works on the cutting edge of technology to make workplaces safer by preventing accidents and injuries with data driven insights. Alex Senemar is the CEO of Voxel, a tech innovator that uses AI and computer vision to analyze live video from worksite cameras to predict and prevent accidents and injuries. Prior to Voxel, Alex founded and sold Sherbit, an AI health care company focused on improving patient outcomes. At Voxel, he's built a team with world class AI experience, and several come from the self-driving car industry, where analysis of real time video sensors is critical. Voxel was recently recognized as one of the ten most innovative companies in AI for 2023 by Fast Company. Alex was kind enough to take me on a walk through the Voxel software and it was impressive to see. Alex had a chance to look at your your website and other things about Voxel. How did you get the idea to first launch Voxel? 


Alex Senemar [00:23:52] So originally I had a health care company that got acquired back in 2019 called Sherbit, and one of the biggest challenges that we always had was in the health care system. Essentially, if you make someone healthier, the hospital loses money because it's got a paper service kind of model and the person is in the hospital like incentivized to keep people and within stay in the hospital system. So when we came to start another company, we were trying to actually get one level higher up and see if we could actually prevent people from getting hurt or sick in the first place and try a different a few different ideas and ended up connecting with one of our co-founders, who is originally the head of Global Risk Analytics for AIG and then the head of risk and insurance for Waymo. And we ended up putting this idea together with a few other people on my team who I brought on as co-founders, and that's how that company ended up getting started. 


Pete Miller [00:24:47] Yeah, pretty interesting company. Pretty interesting history, too, Alex. Some of your technology, I'll dig into that in a little bit is pretty fascinating. But just to sort of for our listeners, if you had to say the elevator speech, if you will, on on what Voxel's trying to do, like you're your mission. But would that be? 


Alex Senemar [00:25:07] So, we are using provision AI to prevent injuries and reduce risk in workplaces. So for us, it's running on existing security cameras and identifying a number of risk and hazards in real time, and that includes environmental risks. So anything from blocked tiles, blocked exits, spills on the floor so you can prevent slip and fall accidents. We look for things around ergonomics risks. So repetitive motions, whether someone's overreaching or lifting poorly and identifying those. We look for a lot of risk around power vehicle safety, mostly forklifts or other industrial vehicles speeding, not stopping intersections where you can have a high severity based accident with a person or potentially a collision with some kind of property. And then lastly, we look at PPE. So that will be like your hart adds safety vest, safety gloves and other type of equipment, protective equipment people should be wearing on your side and the whole products really in real time and will identify something Triage, will provide alerts. It's really important for people to act on in the moment and prevent those types of injuries from occurring. Otherwise, it's more about analytics and make sure coaching out bad behaviors before they become issues for your company down the road. 


Pete Miller [00:26:19] So you're using the existing cameras, which is is pretty cool. And I imagine you just do pattern matching. You see somebody and and they're leaning incorrectly and you kind of train the system that that's a bad body lean if you will. And then you flag it is that is that kind of in layman's terms the way it works out. 


Alex Senemar [00:26:41] Yeah, so the way the system works is we detect key objects in the scene and key poses and we have these base models and then they can be adapted to the environment that we're looking at. So for something like ergonomics, Latin those are more in place models of what a good and bad lab might look like based on like industry standards. And we have a Ph.D. from Stanford on our team who does just ergonomics is just focus on the ergonomics standpoint of that and essentially something like good, good and bad left, those rules are pretty standard. But something like a vehicle speeding people might have different rules that adapt to their environment. So we detect the key attributes of like a forklift or a powered industrial vehicle and then let the different people in the facilities set the rules are important for them, whether it's like a complete stop or, say, California stop at a certain side where you want people walking in a certain region versus like not another region if they're actively working, those are kind of adaptable and we detect the key things in the scene to make those enable different sites to set their own structures rules. 


Pete Miller [00:27:43] And I think I read I read either in a paper in a site that you're able to sort of take. You don't have to train each site, right, or in general. Is that correct? Which is pretty fantastic in my point of view. But you can take sort of the training and move it between sites fairly easily. Is that correct, Alex? 


Alex Senemar [00:28:02] Yeah, that's completely correct. So we are getting up and running within one day and the facilities and most of that just testing to make sure it's working kind of as we expect before we put it on site and hand off the accounts. And really it's making sure that we're working effectively with the different clients and the customers so we can identify the key use cases that are important for them that impact the losses and making sure we're walking kind of a behavioral change in coaching on how to have these conversations. And that's where a lot of the work and focus goes from our team. 


Pete Miller [00:28:33] So it's really front to back, right? You analyze something. You come in, you're up in a day, which is kind of amazing. And then you look in and then you say, well, you know, Pete Miller, who's warehouse workers driving a forklift, let's go Coach Pete, because we just noticed he's driving too fast. Kind of stuff. 


Alex Senemar [00:28:52] Yeah. And there's a few important points about this. The system was kind of built, like how you think of, like, a self-driving car or ask to see the next environment so we don't have to re-learn everything from scratch. And it's always auto learning, improving. The other important part is like kind of seeing Voxel as a program, not just the technology, right? If you just look at it as just we might have an amazing technology, but if you don't understand how to present that information, it's not really effective. If you don't have the right stakeholders, it's not really effective if you don't coach through how to have these conversations. The behavioral change aspect on the site, it's not very effective in the results. We've seen a lot of these sites, which is close to 60, 70 percent reduction in injuries and recordables really comes from the end, the end to end program, not necessarily just the technology or just one component.  


Pete Miller [00:29:39] So when you get a learning, when you get a site, does it does the system learn across all sites at the same time or is there learning specific to that site? 


Alex Senemar [00:29:48] No, it's across all sites. So essentially, when we get a new site and we see another type of forklift for another type of hard hat, that gets added to essentially the understanding and learning of the AI model. And then when we ever see that type of hard hat or specific type of equipment again, we'll always have that understanding within the system built. 


Pete Miller [00:30:08] Yeah, that's pretty slick. I like that a lot. Tell me, how how do you work with insurers and employers? I mean, because we you know, a lot of what we've been trying to say is, you know, integration and how that works is is obviously key. And obviously, you've made a great step forward by using existing equipment. But beyond that, how do you how do you make sure that integration is is well done and seamless? 


Alex Senemar [00:30:35] Yeah. So I guess to me, integration has a lot of meanings. The first one is like making sure we're integrating the right places of the organization because the losses are pretty massive. A lot of the sites that we're out as well as the corporations we work with. So making sure, one, we're working with the risk managers and the risk team that can really see the impact and the losses in the claims and measuring this effectively with them and making sure we're integrated with the safety team, the operations team, or the facility managers in some capacity. But then, as you also mentioned, is working through with their broker and carrier. So we kind of end the system and can kind of really effectively bring this to the team and help them reduce the losses they're having. So when I kind of think of like how it integrates like one is from that perspective. And then the other thing that I think of when I see the word integrate or from our perspective is integrating into the existing workflows and existing system. So one is the cameras that's really important. You don't want to change your camera as you don't wanna change your cabling. It creates a significant amount of tension before you can get to like this live. But the other one is also fitting the product itself, fitting into the workflows of the people on site. So being able to effectively can be configured to the workflows, understanding that there's different shifts at specific site, they can alert the right people and making sure they're getting the right data based on what they're trying to accomplish. 


Pete Miller [00:31:54] Based on your what you've learned so far, technology is is great as long as it's used, right? So is that a component, Alex, to make sure that the organization and most particularly the folks who are working in the warehouse are accepting of that? And what are what are like what are the tricks of the trade or what have you learned? What are the learnings have you had around that? 


Alex Senemar [00:32:17] I read one of the comments I was making earlier was about fitting into the workflow. The goal here is to reduce the amount of time people have to spend on safety and preventing these types of incidents. Right? When an injury happens on site, there's like an usher form that that everyone I still are down to constant reported. And it takes a lot of impact not just in cost but in time. And if you can count and get exactly the near misses the unit to act on and have the data on what the specific issues and trends are moving, it's really gives you a leg up in kind of preventing these things happening in the first place and potentially saving you a lot of time and the ramifications afterwards. So from our standpoint, it's like, can we effectively fit into the workflow? Can we make sure that people are more effective with the amount of time and energy they're already putting in safety and getting it up and running as quickly as possible? 


Pete Miller [00:33:03] So you've seen pretty good results. I think you said 60 or 70 percent reduction. And I guess there's there's a measure, right? What what's how what are the metrics, if you could just reiterate terms of how you measure success and what does that look like? 


Alex Senemar [00:33:18] Yeah. So to me, there's really three parts to getting in front of this and making sure that the teams are measuring this effectively. And the first one is the leading indicators, which is what we're detecting in our system in the near misses. So we have clear metrics and really two fashion. One is the total number of times a specific event occurred, but also this percentage of time that someone complied with the rules. So we'll tell you like the percentage of time of every lift that someone did a good versus bad lift. And one thing to note is you don't actually identify the person. There's no facial recognition in the platform. So we're just giving kind of the overall data. And then the key moments within your own video infrastructure to review our video security footage. So one is the leading indicators. The second one is the site metrics are report to OSHA. So the recordable is as well as the days away from work. And then those are metrics that are most that I'm rolling, but at least yearly kept by company. So you can quickly see how those have changed over time. And then the third measure that we look at is the claims and what are the actual losses and impact of that. Obviously, the losses from the claims are significantly longer term and they don't happen nearly as quickly. So we can't measure them in the same in the same way we can measure like key metrics that are reported to OSHA on a monthly or yearly basis. And when we go on site, what we've seen is when there's active engaging in the performance and rolled out effectively within the organization, you typically have about a 60 to 70 percent reduction in the leading indicators, which are the ones where capturing and those tend to correlate pretty closely to the lagging indicators, which would be more of like the ocean quarter goals that are reported. 


Pete Miller [00:34:54] That's pretty impressive. 


Alex Senemar [00:34:55] And I think at the end of the day, it's like not super surprising because that's the base of safety. The safety parameters like captured the leading indicators and and that should have a pretty similar impact of lagging indicators. 


Pete Miller [00:35:06] Have you seen any big wins lately beyond kind of what you've described or maybe in at the same time, where do you think this is headed? What other opportunities do you see? 


Alex Senemar [00:35:18] So can you describe a bit more what you mean by big wins, like big wins as an organization or in general for A.I. in this space? 


Pete Miller [00:35:24] Well, kind of both. So for your organization, what a you know, what a big win is. And then maybe where you think A.I. is headed in this space. 


Alex Senemar [00:35:32] Within our organization, the key goals are make sure we're reducing the impact and the cost of injuries. So we're starting to see that over and over again. And the more we can make that a repeatable model that people can implement quickly, know that they have a fully refined and then program that can essentially prevent by using the technology on site and get them up and running quickly. That's really what we're seeing is the big wins and also adding other features for the teams on site. So making sure that the operations team can capture other key metrics that are also important for them in managing our overall and and business. So that's kind of our key goals. And moving forward, we also like to move into more outdoor environments. Right now, most of our environments have some level of four wall. We're looking outside of four walls in some capacity, mostly in like warehousing, manufacturing or retail. And retail are the three environments we started the company in. But we think there's a lot of really interesting ways to prevent risk. Also in construction, oil and gas and other type environments that are fully outdoor. So that's one thing that I think will also happen as we kind of have all the company, but also something that I can be really impactful for moving forward. 


Pete Miller [00:36:43] Do you see is that a big challenge, indoor versus outdoor that a big difference? 


Alex Senemar [00:36:48] There's really two key parts to it. One is within when you move into an outdoor environment, you have multiple lighting conditions. Things can look different. But also within a lot of these outdoor environments, things within the facilities or within the locations are constantly moving. While rigs might be constantly moving, there might not be cameras always in place. Construction zones have different phases. So it's constantly changing type of risk and different types of hazards that could apply. So the complexity of the placement of the cameras as well as the type of risks that are constantly changing in those outdoor environments is where the difficulty lies and those will be solved at some point. But right now it's just easier to start with in a location that's a little bit more controlled. 


Pete Miller [00:37:32] Alex who's the team behind you? That sounds like it's a great team, but can you just expand on that a little bit? 


Alex Senemar [00:37:38] So the team that's come to put this together really as a core group of people from the self-driving car space. So we have people from Waymo, people from Uber self-driving unit Aurora, which is another large self-driving unit, and we brought that computer vision skill set that we have on the team and merged it with people with have a background in risk and insurance. And that's kind of how we came to develop this and build out the business. 


Pete Miller [00:38:05] So domain knowledge in both spaces, right? Insurance and and that vision technology, that's pretty pretty cool. So tell us about industries and key players, including risk management insurance that you work with. 


Alex Senemar [00:38:18] Yeah. So within the key players, like in terms of the companies and the industries, we really started out in manufacturing, distribution and warehousing as well as retail. So it's everywhere from Builders FirstSource, PBG. We're working with Office Depot, Berry Global, Wesco, a lot of really large Fortune 500 companies to really scale out and build this as well as also a number of ports and airports now at this point. So we're really excited about the potential opportunity in that location that we can have a major impact on. 


Pete Miller [00:38:51] Alex, have you had any challenges onboarding customers or what what lessons have you learned? 


Alex Senemar [00:38:58] Yea, so I think the most important pieces to kind of walk them through are best practices and behavioral change. And we built the product actually with Americold originally. And what we did is we bought on the facility manager from that site, Brian Benson, because he did such a good job of rolling this out is really like a positive tour. What you don't want to do is create this into like a big brother kind of situation. And really what we've done is try to set up a program that we onboard everyone what is one is best practices, but to how do you have this communication. How do you make it really a positive motion towards getting people to one buy in but also feel like they're winning? And if you're preventing injuries, like making sure the employees are kind of getting some of that benefit as well and that reduction of costs can go towards them. So really what we try to do is build a program around it where we support the site teams to roll out something like this and make it a really a positive experience for everyone. 


Pete Miller [00:39:51] Well, it's a very exciting time, I think, to be in predict and prevent. And certainly you're you're a leader and a pioneer in this area. So I really appreciate your time today, Alex. I'm thankful for for you taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us. So thank you. 


Alex Senemar [00:40:09] Thank you so much. I really appreciate the time and looking forward to connecting again in the future. 


Pete Miller [00:40:19] This brings us to the end of another fantastic show. Today's episode was a revealing look into two powerful approaches to identifying opportunities to prevent losses and make communities and workplaces stronger and safer. Daniel and Alex both offered examples of the importance of data when it comes to prevention. Both also use incentives to drive changes in risky behavior, and their resulting reduction in damage and injury has a big ROI. I'd like to thank Daniel and Alex for coming on the show and thank you for listening. I hope you learn something new and inspiring from this episode. Predict & Prevent is a podcast brought to you by The Institutes. Subscribe on your preferred listening platform and join us for future episodes where we continue to dig into this approach and the opportunities that come with it.