Smart PPE patch monitors and relays real-time stress indicators to protect workers against heat injuries and death
May 7, 2020 (NEW YORK)—Kenzen, a smart personal protective equipment (PPE) innovator focused on physiological monitoring and the prevention of heat injury and death among workers, has launched a real-time worker heat monitoring system. The cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) system includes a wearable device, worn by workers on their arm, that alerts both workers and their supervisor when their core body temperature is too high. Real-time alerts allow for immediate intervention and worker safety from heat injuries.
The wearable, via its advanced sensor compliment, monitors multiple physiological and environmental metrics, including heart rate, activity, and skin and ambient temperatures. Together, these sensor data allow for the real-time prediction of core body temperature, providing alerts to workers and supervisors when temperatures approach unsafe levels.
Kenzen’s multilevel alerts are sent to workers via device vibration or iOS or Android app notification and sent to supervisors via Web dashboard alerts, signaling that the workers should take a break and allow their temperature to return to safe levels. Alerts are accompanied by actionable recommendations such as advising workers to take a break, find shade, drink water, or remove any excess clothing and equipment to decrease body heat. A second “back to work” alert then indicates when workers’ core body temperature has returned to a safe level.
Data captured by the system can be used to help companies identify heat risk and proactively manage outcomes by adapting worksites accordingly to improve worker safety while maximizing productivity. Modifications may include changes to work-rest schedules, where and when to add water and shade stations, the addition of air-conditioned rest areas, and even recommendations for prestaging ice-bath locations in case of extreme weather and working conditions. The data can also inform decisions on workplace expenditures such as certain equipment and clothing.
“The Kenzen system is all about prediction and prevention. Heat related injuries are 100% preventable but potentially deadly and difficult to detect until it’s too late,” said Heidi Lehmann, chief commercialization officer for Kenzen.
The Kenzen system has been piloted on worksites of large industrial conglomerates across the globe in domains such as construction, field services, power, oil and gas, and renewable energy. In the future, open APIs will allow integration into large connected-worker platforms. Kenzen also expects to receive Intrinsic Safety (IS) certification for use of its system—a prerequisite for use in many oil and gas, mining, and other enclosed environments—later this year. Once approved, the system would be among the first smart PPE products to receive Zone 0 IS certification, which authorizes safe operation of electrical equipment in hazardous areas where any thermal or electrical malfunction is catastrophic.
Kenzen is sold as a subscription on a per-worker, per-month basis.