The future is here. Have you heard of the connected worker?
Beyond using a smartphone or portable detection devices on a jobsite, did you know there has been an emergence of wearable sensor technology integrated into personal protective equipment (PPE)? This transformative technology tool can help workers take more responsibility for their health and safety. This innovation can also enhance existing safety program policies, practices, and procedures.
As sensor technology advances and becomes more affordable, the integration of wearable sensors into PPE offers an opportunity to enhance capabilities for protecting workers and gives occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals new tools for keeping pace with changing paradigms of worker protection.
Learn more about this rapidly evolving field by reading, 3M Personal Safety Division’s Dave Stein and Shane Hainey’s article, “Making Sense of Sensors in PPE: The Future is Here, Introduce Yourself” that appeared in the March 2020 issue of the Synergist, a copyrighted publication of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). Throughout this thought-provoking article they will walk you through:
- Who might be on board for this emerging Internet of Things (IoT) OHS tool, understanding what the adoption curve is and how to overcome it
- What collaborations are key to launching this technology effectively for the OHS community
- Where do multiple systems need to come together for sensor integrated PPE (SIPPE) to succeed from a software, hardware, network, information security, data privacy, and user experience perspective, amongst others
- When the case can be made that the data collection method via SIPPE is far better than the traditional paper record-keeping or manual-input spreadsheet models
- Why analyzing the datasets collected can benefit workers by helping them monitor their own habits to PPE usage and maintenance/replacement needs and help change/improve different companies’ safety programs/protocols
- How this can help change the face of industrial hygiene by allowing PPE to play a bigger role in the hierarchy of controls and helping limit potential hazards through the data it provides to users.