Smart Technology in Safety; Smart PPEs
Workplace safety is a major priority for organizations. Organizations are required by law to ensure the safety and health of her workers. More so, our rapidly changing world demands that more efficient methods be used in meeting safety requirements. Smart technology has been of immense help to meet the demand.
Smart Technology combines mobility with intelligent properties. Devices have the ability to connect and communicate wirelessly with others, gather data from different sources, and leverage these data to carry out functions. Monitoring and analysis are made easier by Smart devices. Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) have been great aids to industrial safety.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are protective clothing or equipment designed to protect the wearer from hazards- physical, electrical, chemical, biological, thermal or particles. These traditional PPEs are being enhanced to better protect the worker. Smart PPE involves the incorporation of advanced technologies into personal protective equipment.
Smart PPEs have the basic properties of other smart devices. They use sensors to collect data, connect to the internet as well as other devices remotely or autonomously. They thus provide timely safety data that can be artificially processed with the artificial intelligence ability integrated.
Unlike the traditional PPEs, which are only designed to protect the wearer from hazards, smart PPEs would not only reduce workers’ exposure to hazards but also gather, transmit and store data, give alerts in extreme work conditions and possibly adjust automatically to suite the condition at the time. Stored data can be analyzed to produce strategies against risky operation processes.
The Smart PPE have sensors that makes it possible to monitor any parameter that affects a worker’s health – from noise to radiation. With Smart PPE, a worker in an environment that is no longer safe could be alerted and the safety control room can receive the information at the time to provide support for the workers.
Communication would be better with Smart Ear muffs with mouth piece to transmit voice sound to other connected devices, this would protect the worker from noise and at the same time aid communication between workers conveniently in the working environment.
Clothing with environmental sensors embedded in them can monitor the users’ exposure to the work environment, giving information on both internal and external conditions; workers’ condition and the environment’s condition. It could monitor gas chemical, heat sound, UV, impact, etc. High-visibility clothing are also enhanced with high light emitting devices with light sensors for control. Smart PPE could alert workers of imminent dangers and perform self-protecting functions. According to predictions, Intelligent harnesses and smart footwear, for example, would enable safety managers to continuously monitor a worker’s posture and prevent musculoskeletal disorders later in life.
“With smart PPEs that are digitally connected, worker-powered and data-driven, safety of a worker with PPE is better improved, data needed to improve workers’ safety are gotten and Safety in general is improved.”