KENZEN SETS NEW STANDARD FOR WORKER PRIVACY IN DATA COLLECTION INDUSTRY

KENZEN SETS NEW STANDARD FOR WORKER PRIVACY IN DATA COLLECTION INDUSTRY

New Physiological Monitoring Technology and Privacy Policy Designed to Safeguard Workers’ Rights While Bringing Valuable Insights to Employers

October 27, 2020 (NEW YORK) – As companies around the world rapidly adopt wearable industrial devices to improve worker safety and business productivity, the protection of personal information being collected is an ongoing concern. Kenzen, the smart personal protective equipment innovator or industrial internet of things innovator)  that recently launched a physiological monitoring system to keep workers safe from heat, overexertion, and illness, has debuted a new privacy policy for its system that is precedent-setting in the data collection industry. The policy details the type of information collected from a worker, how a worker can opt out of the system, how long the data is available, and who owns it. The privacy policy is accessible on the Kenzen website and is easy to understand, to ensure all workers can learn about the system and know their rights when Kenzen is deployed at their worksite.

The Kenzen system collects 1.3 million data points per worker per day. The information is used to protect the workers from injury on the job while helping to optimize total worker health. Three distinct views of the data are available at different levels within a company, one for the worker, one for the safety supervisor, and one for corporate EHS. Kenzen’s proprietary algorithms filter data at each level to keep the most private information available only to the worker. When the information indicates a need for an intervention to prevent the worker from overheating, an alert and suggested next steps are sent to the supervisor. At the corporate level, health and safety teams receive anonymized trend information derived from the original data, which they use to make decisions to improve safety at the worksite.

The technology and the privacy policy were built from the ground up with the worker as the primary focus, according to Heidi Lehmann, co-founder and chief commercial officer of Kenzen. The company collaborated closely with Working Capital Venture Fund, which invests in scalable innovation that meets the growing demand for more transparent and ethical supply chains which protect workers.  Working Capital, a Kenzen investor, is headquartered in San Francisco, the epicenter of Internet of Things technology, with offices in Washington D.C., where the firm advocates for workers’ rights.

“The definition of worker safety now includes protection of personal information,” said Lehmann. “From the beginning, we’ve engineered worker privacy into our technology and now have created a standard-setting companion privacy policy. Until now, companies had to weigh the benefits of saving lives and gaining productivity against the risk of exposing workers’ personal data in the process. As the business case for personal monitoring gets stronger, worker privacy safeguards must also get stronger.”

“Kenzen is at its core committed to protecting workers, and this includes respecting their privacy,” said Paarul Dudeja, managing partner at Working Capital Innovation Fund. “As smart personal protective equipment become essential, other innovators should study Kenzen’s approach to differentiating access to personal information such that it allows the technology to fulfill its promise without compromising the right to privacy.”

“This is a model for all smart PPE companies,” said Kelly DeMarchis Bastide, partner at Venable law firm, which collaborated with Kenzen on the policy and is known for its work in data privacy.

About Kenzen

Founded in 2016, Kenzen is the premier physiological monitoring platform to keep industrial workforces safe from heat, over exertion and illness on the job. For more information about heat stress and how to integrate the system into a safety plan, visit Kenzen.com.

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KENZEN Accepted to Leonard Catalyst Accelerator

KENZEN Accepted to Leonard Catalyst Accelerator

You can see the original press release, here.

PODCAST:

 

After announcing the six laureates of its SEED startup program last week, Leonard is unveiling today the 11 companies joining the CATALYST program, designed to foster and accelerate partnerships between VINCI and startups and scale–ups in their commercial development phase.

This program aims to foster the creation of common projects between innovative companies and the VINCI Group around innovations related to its business activities. The 11 startups selected to join the programme will benefit from:

  • a special contact in the Leonard team to interact with VINCI entities, from first contact to signature of a contract,
  • special access to VINCI decision-makers,
  • being integrated to the Leonard event cycle
  • for international startups, better conditions of access to French and European markets.

In order to select these 11 companies, Leonard worked hand in hand with its investor, institutional and academic partners in France and abroad, in particular in Spain, Germany, the UK and the USA throughout 2019.

MOBILITY

Waycare (USA) enables road infrastructure operators to capitalize on the enormous amount of data coming from various sources such as navigation applications, connected and autonomous vehicles or meteorological predictions to improve traffic safety and proactively manage the infrastructure. The Waycare Platform includes a suite of cloud-based products supporting a variety of applications. With web and mobile interfaces, users can find, report, and respond to incidents quickly.

CONSTRUCTION

AOS (France) digitizes and optimizes the call for tender process in the AEC industry. The software simplifies the request, monitoring and analysis of bids and allows technical teams to focus on their core business.

Combo Solutions (France) has developed Vizcab, an automated Life Cycle Assessment service that allows construction and real estate players to master the energy + carbon ambitions of their projects and fully succeed in the turn to the French RE2020 regulation.

Converge (UK) combines artificial intelligence and physical sensors to digitize construction. Its first product, Concrete DNA is a digital tool following the curing of concrete and relying on sensors directly attached to the steel rebar cages to wirelessly transmit information such as temperature, humidity or compressive strength.

Hiboo (France) is a SaaS application that helps construction companies to optimize their field’s operations. Hiboo centralizes the data collected from all connected equipment on a single end point and turns them into actionable insights.

Holobuilder (USA) is a San Francisco-based construction technology company that designs, develops, and sells enterprise SaaS software. HoloBuilder offers enterprise-ready reality capturing solutions for progress analysis and project management. By combining 360° imagery data with machine learning, HoloBuilder provides a fast and insightful solution to document construction projects.

REAL ESTATE

Spacemaker (Norway) – Spacemaker is on a mission to help build better and more sustainable cities. With its game-changing AI technology, Spacemaker empowers development teams to maximize the potential of a building site through rapid generation, analysis and evaluation of the optimal design based on physical data, regulations and preferences.

WORKER SAFETY

Kenzen (USA) is a biometric enterprise platform relying on a wearable smart patch to prevent heat related fatigue, and over exertion within industrial and construction workforces.  Kenzen is currently works with large industrial conglomerates across the globe in domains such as renewable energy, oil and gas and construction.

Smartvid.io (USA) gives construction teams the ability to predict and prevent safety incidents – saving lives and timely project delivery. Unlike checklists and manual review processes, Smartvid.io’s Safety Suite uses risk-weighted observations with analytics by its AI engine “Vinnie” to better predict risk and reduce incident rates by 30% or more.

ROBOTICS

CivDrone (Israel) develops fast, smart, and reliable marking solutions on unmanned vehicles. CivDrone’s autonomous layout is 4x faster than traditional surveying. Each stake includes clear construction instructions for the builders. Digitizing and automating the marking process shortens the time of construction and reduces the amount of reworks while lowering its costs.

INFRASTRUCTURES

DIREXYON (Canada) is a highly scalable financial modelling platform that defines the most feasible and financially profitable investment options to reduce the OPEX/CAPEX required by the desired service levels of assets and infrastructures, all in a secure and user-friendly environment, without programming code nor reliance on IT experts.

Treating All Workers the Same in the Heat? That Could Be Risky

Treating All Workers the Same in the Heat? That Could Be Risky

JULY 14, 2020 BY RICK LEBLANC

Read the full Reuseable Packaging news article, “Treating All Workers the Same in the Heat? That Could Be Risky” featured here.

By Nicole Moyen, Vice President of Research and Development at Kenzen and heat stress blogger

When it comes to planning for the prevention of heat-related injuries & illnesses among an entire workforce, a one-size plan does not fit all.

The research behind managing worker safety under hot working conditions has largely been based on studies of young, healthy men, which means that other populations – women, older adults, and people with other risk factors – will need different accommodations if a heat safety program is to be effective.

Sex, age, health status, and other factors can impact risk

According to researchers who study how heat affects workforces, “…existing guidelines adopted and recommended for use by government agencies worldwide to protect the public and workers also assumes a “one size fits all” approach to protect human health. These guidelines generally prescribe protective measures (e.g., heat advisories, exposure limits) using models defined by the assessment of heat strain in young and/or relatively healthy adults. They fail to consider key factors such as sex, age, health status, and other factors, which can markedly alter a person’s tolerance to heat, thereby leaving a large segment of the population under-protected…” (1)

For example, a man working at the same relative work rate as a woman will typically have a higher sweat rate. This is because men generally have a larger body-surface-area-to-mass ratio than women.

Given that sweating is the main way a body gets rid of body heat, this higher sweat rate among men means that their body temperature will be lower in hot-dry (low humidity) climates. As a result of this higher sweat rate & lower body temperature, men will likely be able to work for a longer period of time than women. However, in hot-humid climates where sweat can’t evaporate as easily and therefore doesn’t cool you down, women will likely be able to work for a longer period of time than men. This is because men will continue to sweat more than women, but this sweat won’t be cooling them down, and in fact, they’ll just lose a lot of body water. The effect: in hot-humid environments, men will become dehydrated more quickly than women, and see a faster increase in core body temperature – the primary trigger of heat-related injuries and illnesses.

Older workers more susceptible to heat stress

Another natural factor that can vary the susceptibility of heat-related injuries and illnesses among workers is age. After age 35, the body’s ability to dissipate heat, primarily through sweating, declines. As a result, older adults tend to have higher core body temperatures than younger adults, when working at the same rate in the heat. This difference between older and younger individuals can be minimized with heat acclimatization and endurance training.

In addition, some people are able to acclimatize faster and tolerate heat better than others; a portion of this appears to be attributable to genetic makeup.

Moreover, there are various diseases that can impair the body’s ability to effectively thermoregulate, such as various cardiovascular diseases (e.g., hypertension), sweat gland disorders (e.g., Type I and Type II diabetes), skin disorders (e.g., psoriasis), and metabolic disorders. Individuals with these diseases will be at increased risk for heat-related injuries and illnesses.

These factors (age, biological sex, and disease) affect each individual differently when working in the heat, and therefore require workforce supervisors to alter their approach in developing work/rest schedules for workers. It is important to observe changes in employees’ health while on the job site and take appropriate, individualized measures to ensure that each person remains at safe core body temperatures. Always listen to workers when they say they’re not feeling well, and allow them to take a break.

Smart PPE sensors can detect and relay warnings

Smart personal protective equipment (PPE) is available to monitor individual workers’ health during work in the heat. New sensors, worn on the body, can detect and relay warnings to both the worker and supervisor and alert when an intervention – such as stopping work, resting, and allowing the body to cool-down – should happen.

In the absence of such a system, active monitoring such as keen observation, a worker-buddy system that pairs employees with each other to do “check-ins,” and encouraging workers to be acutely aware of their body’s signals of heat injury/illness are all ways to help prevent the negative consequences of heat stress on workers.

When an employee begins to exhibit goosebumps or chills, light-headedness, nausea, and/or feels more weak or fatigued than usual, likely they are experiencing heat exhaustion. Other indicators include fainting, light-headedness, unusually hot skin, excessive sweating, potential vomiting, and difficulty working.

If the worker experiences hallucinations, behavior changes such as aggressiveness, irritability, confusion, and/or irrational tendencies, feels week, or is no longer able to work, their core body temperature may have reached greater than 104°F or 40°C. Likely, this person is experiencing exertional heatstroke. This is a medical emergency and the person needs to be immediately cooled in an ice-water bath.

Flexible work-rest schedules can make a difference

Again, given the person’s biological sex, age, genetics, and diseases, people on your workforce will react differently to working in hot and humid conditions. The main way to “customize” a heat safety program for a diverse team is to be flexible in work-rest schedules. Not all workers will need a break at pre-designated intervals. The body signals outlined above will dictate when rest is needed, where cooling (finding shade and/or air conditioning, and removing excess clothing) and hydration should be emphasized.

During the rest periods, continue to observe individual workers and check their ability to return to work every 10-15 minutes. Because each person will respond completely differently to working in the heat, only that individual can indicate when they’re ready to safely return to work.

REFERENCES

Kenny, G.P., Notley, S.R., Flouris, A.D. and Grundstein, A., 2020. Climate Change and Heat Exposure: Impact on Health in Occupational and General Populations. In Exertional Heat Illness (pp. 225-261). Springer, Cham.
https://www.osha.gov/heat/

Budd, G.M., 2008. Wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT)—its history and its limitations. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 11(1), pp.20-32.
Regulation, T.R.A.D.O.C., 2016. 350-29. Prevention of heat and cold casualties. Fort Eustis, VA: US Army Training and Doctrine Command, Publication TRADOC Regulation, pp.350-29.

Coco, A., Jacklitsch, B., Williams, J., Kim, J.H., Musolin, K. and Turner, N., 2016. Criteria for a recommended standard: occupational exposure to heat and hot environments. control Ccfd, editor.

Nicole Moyen leads R&D at Kenzen, the smart PPE innovator focused on physiological monitoring and the prevention of heat injury and death among workers. Kenzen’s real-time heat monitoring system is used by companies to keep workers safe from heat. Moyen has a decade of research experience in industry and academia related to human physiology and wearable devices and advises companies on heat stress physiology and dehydration. Nicole has an M.S. in Exercise Physiology and is currently finishing her PhD in Biology from Stanford University.