Safety Champion Builds the Future of Safety Management on MongoDB Atlas, with genAI in Sight

Anoop Dhankhar

Safety Champion was born in Australia in 2015, out of an RMIT university project aiming to disrupt the safety management industry, still heavily reliant on paper-based processes and lagging in terms of digitisation, and bring it to the cloud.

Most companies today need to comply with strict workplace safety policies. This is true for industries reliant on manual workers, such as manufacturing, transport and logistics, construction, and healthcare, but also for companies dealing with digital workers, both working in the office or remotely.

To do this, organisations rely on safety management processes and systems that help them comply with government and industry-led regulations, as well as keep their employees safe.

Whether it’s legal obligations about safety reporting, management of employees and contractors, or ways to implement company-wide safety programs, Safety Champion’s digital platform provides customers more visibility and tracking over safety programs, and a wealth of data to help make evidence-based safety decisions.

"Data is core to our offering, as well as core to how next-generation safety programs are being designed and implemented. With paper-based processes, you simply can’t get access to rich data, connect data sets easily, or uncover organisation-wide insights and patterns that can help drive efficiencies and improve safety outcomes," explains Craig Salter, Founder of Safety Champion.

MongoDB Atlas: Unlocking the power of data and analytics to improve safety outcomes for customers

Safety Champion started using the self-managed version of MongoDB, and shortly after that in 2017 moved onto MongoDB Atlas which was more cost-effective, meant less overhead and not having to manage the day-to-day tasks required to keep a database up and running.

The main challenge is that industry standards and policies around safety vary significantly for every company - the safety risks of an office-based business of digital workers are widely different from the risks workers on a manufacturing plant are exposed to, making data collection and itemisation for deeper insights very complex.

MongoDB’s document model, its flexibility, and its ability to handle complex sets of data combined with Atlas’ ease of use for developers made it the perfect fit for Safety Champion.

"It was very easy to get started on MongoDB, but also super easy and quick to get applications developed and brought to market," says Sid Jain, Solution Architect for Safety Champion.

"The performance optimisation we saw using MongoDB Atlas was significant, and it freed up a lot of time from our developers so they could focus on what matters most to our business, instead of worrying about things like patching, setting up alerts, handling back-ups, and so on."

The use of MongoDB Charts also gives Safety Champions’ customers access to important analytics that can be presented in visual forms, fitting very specific use cases and internal audiences. This helps organisations using Safety Champion improve decision-making by presenting very concrete data and graphs that can fuel evidence-based safety decisions.

"MongoDB Atlas helps drive efficiencies for our clients, but it also helps safety and operations managers to have a voice in making important safety decisions because they are backed by strong data-led evidence. Connecting data sets means the ability to have a much deeper, richer view of what’s happening and what needs to be done," says Salter.

Managing exponential growth: 2024, the year of scaling up, generative AI, Search, and much more

Before 2020, Safety Champions was still a small start-up, with its platform managing about 5,000 documents a month - these include incident records, checklists, inspection reports, actionable tasks, task completion reports, and more.

The COVID pandemic forced organisations to move their safety processes online and comply with a whole new set of safety measures and policies, which saw the company’s business explode: triple-digit annual growth between 2021 and 2023, a dev team that tripled in size, over 2,000 customers, and now up to 100,000 documents handled per month.

"As our company kept growing, with some of our new customers handling tens of thousands of safety documents every month - we knew we needed to enable even more scale and future proof ourselves for the next years to come," explains Salter.

"We also knew that if we wanted to take advantage of MongoDB’s capabilities in generative AI, search, multi-region, and more, which a lot of our customers were asking for, we needed to set some strong data foundations."

Safety Champion is now in the process of upgrading to MongoDB 6.0, which will offer its clients more speed, especially when handling larger and more complex queries.

MongoDB Search is now also available system-wide, allowing search queries to be performed across all the modules a client has added records for.

"Since many modules allow linking records to each other, allowing a single search query to find and return records from multiple modules makes a world of difference. Developers no longer have to maintain other data systems and the extraction, transformation, and sync of data between MongoDB and search index happens seamlessly, greatly reducing the Ops burden on dev teams," explains Jain.

The use of multi-region functionalities within MongoDB Atlas means customers, especially global ones operating in multiple geographic regions, will be able to segregate data and ensure they meet regulatory requirements around data hosting and security.

Lastly, Safety Champion is exploring the potential of generative AI with plans to start using MongoDB Vector Search, later in 2024. Some of the use cases the company is already investigating include semantic insights, understanding textual data that employees enter in forms, applying LLMs to that data, and extracting helpful information from it.

"Every client wants more analytics, more insights, and more high-level meaning out of data. It’s not just about making it easier to enter data and seeing safety incidents, it’s about what it means and decisions that can be made from a safety perspective," says Salter.

"The new version of the Safety Champion platform powered by MongoDB Atlas means we are fully ready to dive into the next phase of our evolution as a business and offer features such as generative AI which will take both Safety Champions and our customers to the next era of safety management."