IBM Watson Wants to Use Wearable Devices to Improve Worker Safety

IBM worker safety
Image: IBM

IBM has announced collaborations with Garmin Health, Mitsufuji, Guardhat and SmartCone to improve worker safety for those working in hazardous environments like construction sites, mines, and factories. The company plans to equip workers with wearable Watson IoT devices that monitor biometrics and changes in the surrounding environment, including height, heat, and gas levels.

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“Garmin Health is excited to work with IBM Watson to modernize worker safety,” said Travis Johnson, global product lead, Garmin Health.

The wearables will employ advanced data collection and artificial intelligence (AI) to drive significant advances in monitoring and assessing the safety and health of workers in hazardous surroundings.

The data will be collected by IBM’S Maximo Worker Insights platform, which will then be retrieved by employers to respond to potentially dangerous conditions in the workplace, reports Mobile ID World.

Guardhat
Image: Guardhat

“The implementation of smart protective equipment allows us to better analyze workplace data and provide important safety insights in near real-time,” said Saikat Dey, Co-Founder and CEO of Guardhat

“Worker safety is a critical priority for all enterprises and this collaboration is a major milestone in dramatically improving the way enterprises identify and eliminate hazards in the workplace,” added Kareem Yusuf, PhD, General Manager of IBM Watson IoT. “It’s in the context of a major focus area for us, to improve worker safety using IoT data and AI.”

With the development of wearable technology, a number of industries and businesses are utilizing it to try and boost the safety of employees in the workplace.

Mining giant BHP, for example, is using autonomous drills at iron ore mines to trialing smart caps that analyze brain waves and monitor worker fatigue.

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According to IBM, there were approximately 3 million on-the-job injuries in 2017, which collectively cost their employers nearly $60 billion in insurance and compensation expenses.