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Discovering Safety is a Springboard to Success for Start-ups


Discovering Safety is a programme of work delivered by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and partners that uses data and analytical techniques to provide new insights and approaches that will help to reduce injuries and fatalities from workplace activity. Working with Discovering Safety can open doors for start-up companies and bring them together with new clients. That's the view of Kyle Dupont CEO of Ohalo, the first winner of our Safetytech Accelerator Challenge.

"Work on the challenge has led to an ongoing relationship with HSE, new clients in the UK and Ireland construction sectors and an ever-growing list of sectors we operate in, including oil and gas, finance and government," says Kyle.

The Challenge

In 2019, the Safetytech Accelerator Challenge was created as a vehicle for bringing the worlds of data tech and traditional industry together. With funding from Lloyd's Register Foundation, the Accelerator offered winners the chance to take part in a three-month pilot project (worth £25k in research time) with Discovering Safety's data scientists and partners from safety-critical industries. The Challenge was held as a 'Dragon's Den'-style pitching competition and hosted online by Plug and Play, who are based in the United States.

The Solution

Ohalo is a data tech company that helps organisations to standardise how they store, analyse and share unstructured data. In 2017, they developed the Data X-Ray, a software product that helps companies discover their data. The Safetytech Accelerator Challenge was the perfect opportunity for Ohalo to apply the Data X-Ray in a safety context and, as part of their pitch, they proposed to mine HSE's vast collection of RIDDOR reports to extract intelligence and identify trends.

Up until now one of the major barriers to sharing any sensitive safety data found in RIDDOR reports has been the need to carefully anonymise it by redaction. It's a prohibitively labour-intensive task, fraught with the potential for error. The benefit of using Ohalo's Data X-Ray technology is its ability to cut through mounds of documents, anonymising them reliably, accurately and speedily.

Ohalo anonymised 600,000 records in 1.4 days with 99% accuracy, a task that would normally take 12.5 years. The trial has led to a successful ongoing collaboration between Ohalo and HSE.

Steve Naylor, HSE Senior Scientist and Data Specialist, said: "The principal driver was the aspiration to promote sharing of health and safety data to stimulate innovation - and the major barrier posed by the risk of breaching data protection legislation. Ohalo won the challenge with their pitch to use their proprietary software platform, Data X-Ray, as a starting point. We ran a pilot project later in 2019 which successfully demonstrated proof of concept."

The Outcome

Working with Discovering Safety has allowed Ohalo to expand their client base and further develop the Data X-Ray. Since being announced as winners, Ohalo has gone on to open a transatlantic base in Atlanta, Georgia. They are now working to help companies in construction, finance, oil and gas and many other sectors extract intelligence from their safety data in order to improve health and safety outcomes.

Kyle Dupont, co-founder and CEO of Ohalo, explained:

"We felt from the beginning that our technology could drive real value in anonymising sensitive data from the safety and accident reports that HSE manages, so that the anonymised records can more easily be used by third parties to reduce accidents and fatalities in the UK. However, it was a fairly high-risk project and so the Safetytech Accelerator was the perfect vehicle for HSE and Ohalo teams to work together, in iteratively improving the algorithms to get to a point where HSE could use the data.

Work on the challenge led to an ongoing partnership with two construction companies based in the UK and Ireland, Costain and Wood Group. It opened new doors and allowed us to meet new clients and expand our reach,"

"We're also working with banks, governments, law enforcement agencies and safety-critical industries such as the oil and gas sectors on redaction, discovery, classification and records and retention management." said Kyle.

"The great work we did between us will hopefully change the lives of many workers for the better."

If you're a start-up tech company or a company working in a safety-critical area and you'd like to find out more about working with Discovering Safety, contact: To read more visit the Discovering Safety Website



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