With real-time monitoring of environmental and internal worker conditions, users can shift from responsive-safety to preventive- and predictive-safety interventions
Guardhat, the platform of choice for frontline worker connectivity and safety, today announced the release of the first industrial-grade solution for worker condition monitoring. The solution includes a variety of wearable sensors and software for real-time monitoring and event-based alerts to help prevent injury or even death from exposure to heat, gas, radiation, noise, over-exertion, or worker-specific health issues.
Over exertion and exposure to harmful substances or environments together cause more than a third of all workplace injuries, according to the National Safety Council. Heat exposure and stress incidents are on the rise, and the U.S. Department of Labor is developing the first federal standard to better protect workers. Today, most of these risks are managed via PPE (personal protection equipment), regularly scheduled breaks, the buddy system, static sensors, audits and inspection and the like.
The ability to monitor and respond to internal worker conditions and relevant environmental conditions, as they pose risk to individual workers in real-time, is a first for industrial workplaces.
A summer deployment of the Guardhat Worker Condition Monitoring solution at a metal production facility on the East Coast, coincided with dramatic heatwaves. With temperatures exceeding 102°F, the organization received alerts that workers were getting over exerted and were able to check on them and get them cooled off before any injury occurred. The solution was utilized to take preventative action across a range of potential issues, and tie safety actions to actual operating conditions, rather than site or industry benchmarks.
The solution measures exertion rates as well as heart rate threshold limits for individual worker levels to provide advanced proactive health monitoring, via the BioTrac band from SlateSafety. The band is an IP68-rated arm band built to withstand dust, dirt and sand and remain water resistant even when submerged for up to 30 minutes up to a maximum depth of 3 meters. Workers in low-connectivity environments can still deploy this solution, by utilizing a local, mesh network for long-range and reliable communication in industrial environments.
“Safety is too often seen as at odds with productivity, but deploying safety-predictive tech, saves lives as well as time, dollars and waste,” said Nirmal Chudgar, chief product officer at Guardhat. “This solution, and future solutions we will be rolling out, centers the worker. When they are well served – meaning safe, empowered and unhindered – our customers do better. Our Worker Condition Monitoring solution immediately makes workers safer but is also extensible. Customers can build off their investment in this solution and add capabilities as needed.”
System administrators also gain access to anonymized, historical worker condition trends correlated to environmental sensor readings to adjust and fine tune safety limits and processes going forward.
The Guardhat Worker Condition Monitoring solution will be available globally in Q2 2022. Pilot programs are available now. For more information, visit guardhat.com.