by Matthias Neuner

September 6, 2016

Update on Wearables for Anti Work Place Injuries

According to International Labour Organization, every 15 seconds one worker dies from a work-related accident or disease and 153 workers have a work-related accident. So, it’s good that there are some interesting products for the workplace out there that can help prevent these. There are solutions which can help employees to better manage their personal health in order to reduce the number of work-related injuries or even deaths. In the following article I would like to introduce you to the latest wearable developments for workers’ safety:

SmartCap

The SmartCap system is a monitoring tool especially developed for drivers and operators of heavy vehicles. It provides real-time measurements of fatigue, based on direct physiological measurements. It can be used for different industries like mining or road transport. Each SmartCap looks like a normal piece of headwear that is fitted with a removable sensor and is capable of reading electrical brain activity and processing that information to determine an individual’s fatigue level. The system operates inside the cabin of a vehicle and uses a Bluetooth wireless connection to transmit data from the SmartCap to an in-cap display. Through alerts, reports and profiles each user will know when they are at risk and the times of day that their risk is greatest. The operator display provides real time information and relays visual and audio alarms if specific fatigue criteria are met. SmartCap also has the option to provide real time monitoring of alarms where communication is available.

Ergo Senz

LifeBooster provides a wearable, real-time injury prevention system called ErgoSenz that seamlessly integrates into a work environment. This system effectively records and analyzes ergonomic data to help companies predict and prevent musculoskeletal disorders and even personalize injury prevention plans. It constantly scans and analyzes the upper-body motions of the entire workforce and provides real-time alerts of high-risk movements or postures. ErgoSenz assists Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) professionals with site-specific risk assessments through highlighting areas in which most injuries occur, identifying actions that are deemed high risk. This allows for a proactive approach to injury prevention specific to the unique needs of a company’s workforce and will decrease the frequency of injury overall. Through the use of trending data, an OH&S professional is able to create effective health and safety training exercises, as well as site-specific injury prevention plans.

UBIQUITOUSWARE

Japanese company Fujitsu announced UBIQUITOUSWARE last year. It is an Internet-of-Things package that senses the status of people and their surrounding environments and analyzes quickly providing valuable and actionable data. The package consists of special core modules in combination with sensors, microcontrollers and wireless communication function to analyze a big number of different data. Recently, Fujitsu has begun field testing of UBIQUITOUSWARE with customers and is making initiatives toward it’s deployment within the Fujitsu Group. Worn by workers in manufacturing, construction or agriculture, this IoT package can be used for example to estimate heat stress from the surrounding environment or whether the wearer is taking breaks or not. It also records and analyzes the health status, to help manage the workers’ health.

AIG & Human Condition Safety

Human Condition Safety is a research and development lab that uses technology to create solutions with substantial, positive social impact. HCS’s technology includes wearable devices, artificial intelligence and cloud computing and creates an ecosystem that keeps industry workers safer in which they face the most physical risk. Human Condition Safety creates a comprehensive solution to workplace risk, with a platform that enables workers to reduce injuries and employers to improve operational efficiency. AIG (American International Group), announced a strategic investment in Human Condition Safety. They believe that wearable technology can help make workplaces much safer and reduce the number of work-related injuries and deaths.

Let´s see how wearable devices like SmartCap, ErgoSenz or other devices will reduce the number of work-related injuries and deaths in the future. The advantages for industries and management, but also for workers are clear. The reduction of work-related accidents and their associated costs alone suggest the future of wearable technology is bright.