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  • RSS Symposium 2023 logo

    For fifteen years, Risk and Safety Solutions (RSS) has had an ever-growing role in the University of California’s EH&S and Risk Management efforts, from creating a systemwide technology team in 2010 that supports all ten UC campuses to partnering with the five UC medical centers in 2015 to provide a mobile inspection solution. To further our mission of advancing safety throughout the UC community and beyond, RSS took a huge step in June by holding our first safety technology symposium, and we couldn’t be happier with the result!

    Over the two-day event, RSS welcomed two hundred attendees who were able to hear two dozen presenters speak on AI, wearable tech, current trends in EH&S, and best practices. It was a great opportunity for networking and problem-solving as clients collaborated with colleagues and had one-on-one time with members of our Customer Success team.

    Risk and Safety Solutions’ Executive Director, Safa Hussain, kicked off the symposium with a warm welcome to the audience, expressing his sincere hope that the two days be filled with collaborative learning and sharing. He recognized the past successes of RSS, attributing them to incredible collaborations and valuable learning experiences across UC—a model he hopes will continue into the collective future of RSS and all its clients. In his address, Safa emphasized the rationale behind the RSS platform, underlining the advantages of a "design studio" approach for swift solution development through the reuse and sharing of configuration tools. Additionally, Safa discussed the significant role AI will play in enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and scalability within RSS solutions. Safa highlighted that RSS is exploring various avenues, including both custom and off-the-shelf AI tools, as well as mining RSS data to provide customers with valuable insights and information for improved problem solving.

    Figure 1 Safa Hussain addressing the Symposium on Day 1
    Safa Hussain addressing the Symposium on Day 1

    Figure 2 Van Williams

    After his opening remarks, Safa introduced keynote speaker Van Williams, Vice President and UC Chief Information Officer, who provided real-world examples from his own life of how technology is already aiding people in their lives to stay healthy, stay connected, and to learn and grow. He expressed his true belief that the work RSS is trying to accomplish is transformational as it adopts and integrates new technologies to deliver real-world solutions. Williams set the stage for what would be two days of engaging topics surrounding the joining of technology and safety, with RSS at the forefront of these advancements.

    Front and center at the symposium were AI and wearable technology, which are playing a crucial role in shaping the future of EH&S and Risk Management. Experts in the field, including Dr. Carisa Harris-Adamson, Associate Professor & Director Northern California COEH, and Dr. Joe Hitt, CEO and Co-Founder, GoX Labs, Inc shared insights on the transformative power of AI-driven wearables in bolstering enterprise safety and occupational health. Dr. Harris-Adamson spoke on ‘Wearable Devices, Robotics, AI, and the Future of Work’ and Dr. Hitt spoke on ‘AI-driven Wearables Reshaping Enterprise Safety.’ In the eLearning field, Dr. Imke Schroeder and Alisha Klatt demonstrated the latest AI technologies that are revolutionizing the creation and enhancement of eLearning content. Attendees also engaged with an AI panel to delve into emerging trends and their profound impact on health and safety.

    Figure 3 RSS Object Detection for PPE
    RSS Object Detection for PPE


    In addition to the engaging speakers and informative panels, the RSS Innovation Hub was on display at the event, captivating attendees with its interactive demonstration of AI-powered technology that visually identifies PPE in real-time. The RSS Customer Success team also operated their dedicated Client Concierge Corner, providing guests with a personalized and face-to-face experience, offering invaluable assistance, and sharing tips on optimizing the utilization of RSS solutions. At the end of day one, attendees seized the opportunity to enjoy the pleasant Davis weather during a networking event that helped foster connections and facilitate the exchange of ideas over hors d'oeuvres.


    Figure 4 Kevin ConfettiSafa opened day two of the symposium by interviewing keynote speaker Kevin Confetti, Associate Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for the University of California. The interview revolved around the theme of advancing risk management initiatives within the University of California (UC) system. Kevin started by discussing plans to use technology within the UC’s insurance program to better evaluate and determine risk and to intelligently implement efficiency and prevention measures. As their conversation moved into the culture of safety and active participation, Kevin recognized that informed and engaged staff and students play a pivotal role in successful risk management programs. He emphasized that measuring and evaluating effectiveness served as a necessary follow-up ingredient towards ensuring continuous improvement.

    Safa and Kevin’s conversation also addressed the influence of technology on risk management, with a focus on leveraging technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, and automation to enhance EH&S programs within the UC system. Kevin shared his views on how he sees AI and machine learning impacting data analytics in evaluating data that UC already possesses to make it more effective. He discussed his involvement in the presidential task force on AI, discussing how the UC system is addressing concerns about AI such as balancing individual rights while still encouraging technological innovation. Safa added that the incredible speed at which technology is changing and how it is regulated or unregulated provide significant challenges when it comes to matching the same rapid pace during development and ensuring that society is using new technology ethically.

    The symposium also provided opportunities for attendees to hear speakers share insights on RSS solutions and best practices. Caroline Hedge, ChemCentral Program Manager at UCSF, discussed the effective utilization of RSS modules in managing and minimizing chemical quantities. Andrew Peterson, Technical Program Assurance Manager at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), showcased the application of RSS Inspect, highlighting the solution’s role in driving safety assurance improvements and operational efficiency at LBNL. Scott Bourdon, Senior Manager of Risk & Environmental Health & Safety at California State University, shed light on the EH&S metrics associated with RSS and shared valuable lessons learned from the comprehensive multi-year program evaluation at CSU.

    Figure 5 Caroline Hedge gives a talk on managing chemicals
    Caroline Hedge gives a talk on managing chemicals

    Figure 6 RSS Team members at the 2023 Symposium

    Risk and Safety Solutions team members also took the stage to provide a glimpse into RSS's ongoing developments and future projects. Hannah Perez, Applications Architect, offered insights into the iterative development process employed by RSS. David Murray, UX Designer, led an interactive demo that showed how the UI/UX team collects customer feedback to create user-friendly solutions. Justin Sabo, Senior Product Developer, provided an in-depth walkthrough of the brand-new Computer Ergonomics solution and demonstrated how RSS is incorporating predictive analytics into solutions to reduce injuries and improve efficiencies in managing risk.

    The symposium has garnered positive feedback from attendees who commended the diverse range of speakers who brought expertise from various fields. The attendees also recognized the significance of understanding the evolving landscape of technology and its relevance to EH&S and Risk Management challenges. Moreover, participants valued the interactive nature of the event, expressing excitement about the opportunity to engage directly with the RSS team and gain hands-on experience with the software.

    RSS Symposium 2023 proved to be a delightful and enriching experience for all participants. Attendees were able to delve into a wide array of captivating and novel subjects, expanding their knowledge and fostering a sense of discovery. Equally significant was the opportunity for RSS team members to connect with clients and colleagues, engaging in insightful conversations about their experiences and exploring the future of safety together.