Can connected safety and smart PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) really improve safety?

Q:

Can connected safety and smart personal protective equipment (PPE) really improve safety?

A:

In the world of industrial safety, forward-thinking manufacturers are turning personal protective equipment (PPE) into personal preventive equipment – giving workers the power to proactively address specific safety risks in real-time. Data that comes from embedded sensors in smart PPE is not only being used to improve individual safety, but also connecting that information to a greater platform in order to improve safety (and efficiency) for all.

As employers continue to spend billions of dollars annually on worker safety programs, injury rates over the past several years have remained stagnant. That statistical plateau has leaders in the safety industry tapping into another resource to take worker safety to the next level - the workers themselves – connecting smart PPE to a platform focused on producing real-time data to and from workers on key safety categories like PPE management, risk management, safety communications and worker engagement.

A simple example of connected safety in action would be in the realm of heat stress. A smart hi-vis vest or work shelter could communicate all sorts of important information to a worker through a system-administered mobile device – notifying them of dangerous heat index levels or when it’s time to find a shady spot for a water break. With real-time alerts, visual information and communication, crews are armed with what they need to be smarter, safer and more productive while working in challenging environments. (Learn more with Workers and Heat Stress: What You Need to Know.)

Leveraging intelligent safety gear to accelerate meaningful communication between safety professionals and workers –- and the time it takes to act upon it – means not only preventing injuries, but, from a very practical business sense, reducing costs, increasing productivity and worker-level investment in the company’s success as a whole.

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