Georgia-Pacific LLC, a global pulp and paper company, has found an innovative way to equip workers on the job, leverage its SMEs effectively, and create better business continuity.

Driven by the challenges of staff turnover,  the desire to maximize its internal knowledge base investments, and a focus on prioritizing their SMEs’ time on the most important issues, the company has worked with Pryon to power an internal safety chatbot that allows workers to use  tablets or smartphones to query critical workplace safety documentation on the go and receive immediate answers.

In a series of webinars, Sarah Chambliss, Innovation and Transformation Project Manager, Georgia-Pacific, LLC, discussed key drivers for the company’s worker health and safety program.

By applying Pryon’s advanced AI to transform Georgia-Pacific’s workplace safety documentation into an interactive experience via the onsite chatbot, Georgia-Pacific can ensure they’re doing everything possible to keep workers safe, surface the right information to workers at the right time, focus SMEs on higher-value duties, and improve regulatory compliance.

What factors drove the need for a different approach to delivering workplace safety information?

“What was really driving us to change was really to two big challenges that probably aren’t foreign to most companies:  We had a large portion of our workforce getting ready to retire and we have the ever- existing issue of turnover.

“We had employees with 30, 40, some even 50 years of experience — and if we didn’t get ahead of that, we were risking losing all of that knowledge. To some degree we capture that information in compliance standards and other documents but we knew that just waiting to ask questions on an as-needed basis to our subject matter experts wasn’t going to be sustainable,  rather than asking questions when they come up.

“We knew that relying on traditional methods of training and onboarding weren’t going to be sustainable in the future. So we needed a way to get information into our workers’ hands more in a real-time format.”

Watch the video clip.

“Rather than solely focusing on how to make decisions for the worker, what if we focused on getting them the right information in real time to allow them to make the best decision?

Sara Chambliss

Innovation and Transformation Project Manager, Georgia-Pacific

What challenges were you trying to address with managing your workplace safety information?

“The majority of our content for safety and health at the corporate level is stored in SharePoint. We underwent an exercise a couple of years ago to revamp our SharePoint site, based on feedback we were getting from the users that they were having difficulty finding the right information. In allowing everyone to manage and maintain their own SharePoint sites, we run the risk of having duplicate and outdated content.

“So we created one source of truth; one site where we kept all of the content, eliminated duplicate copies, made sure that we had the latest versions out there. And we thought that we were making improvements, but then we realized that we were only solving half of the problem — we still had some standards and helpful documents that are 200 pages long. How do we expect an individual to quickly and easily digest 200 pages of content? We had to solve for the other half of the equation: getting a user to the right information in real time rather than just saying, Here’s 200 pages, I hope you find what you’re looking for.

“The biggest benefit of the chatbot is that now we’re able to glean insights into what people are searching for. So we have some search analytics on our SharePoint site to a degree but to be able to see in real time the types of questions that are being asked gives us ideas into the type of information that they’re looking for and the pain points where they are having issues with the equipment, and that’s where we can loop in our subject matter experts and give them those insights that we didn’t have before.”

Watch the video clip.

Why is providing answers in context so important?

Chambliss describes how GP users access the Pryon-enhanced chatbot:

“The user can click on the chatbot and ask any safety and health related questions. The system scans through all the documentation that we have stored in our database to find the best answer, and then it presents three what we call cards that have highlighted answers on those cards. The important thing with the card was to show not only what the chatbot assumed to be the correct answer, but it also shows context before and after that answer.

“Users can click on the answer, and it’ll take them to the document and to the exact passage where that answer came from. That context was key for us because we didn’t want to get too succinct with our answers — a lot of time the answer in the safety world is, ‘It depends.’ There are so many different factors and situational components that impact an answer. So it’s important for us to provide that context to the workers so that they can inform themselves and then make the best decisions.”

Watch the video clip.

How has this project with Pryon changed the way Georgia-Pacific thinks about workplace safety?

“I think for us, our traditional method of thinking about worker safety was to focus on the machinery — adding additional controls and automations. We had a shift in mindset to say, How can we employ technology for the worker, so rather than solely focusing on how to make decisions for the worker, what if we focused on getting them the right information in real time to allow them to make the best decision? Because at the end of the day our workers are our smartest safety device available, and I think sometimes we lose sight of the people part of the technology. I’ve seen a shift in focus away from the tangible assets and more towards technology geared to the worker, to help them to make decisions.”

Watch the video clip.