What if your PPE could communicate with you?

June 8, 2018

In the business world, we use technology every day to help improve processes, enhance worker productivity, and make our lives easier. Technology is interwoven with everything we do. For many of us, it’s hard to remember a time when technology wasn’t a part of our lives.

Specifically, a concept called the Internet of Things (IoT) has become the norm in today’s world both at home and work. You’ve probably heard of people being able to use their phone as the one device that can open their garage door, turn on their lights, or set their security system at home. This is the IoT at work; the idea of connecting anything with an on/off switch to the internet. Technically speaking, the IoT refers to the connectivity between electronics, software, sensors, and actuators, which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. This connection is accomplished via an embedded computing system within an existing internet infrastructure...like people’s wireless internet.

In the industrial and manufacturing world, the IoT often involves machines that capture, process, analyze, and interpret data while performing day-to-day functions all in the name of maximizing efficiency and profits. This data helps organizations create smart, self-regulating manufacturing and production systems.

But what about IoT impacting safety in an industrial environment? Regarding safety and personal protective equipment (PPE), IoT technology is a newer concept; and it’s changing the way we at HexArmor are thinking about PPE.

Workers typically think of PPE as a physical thing they put on and wear while on the job, a necessary component of their work life to avoid injuries on the job site. But what if your PPE could communicate with you? What if it could tell you when a hazard was present or that a job could be done safer? What if IoT capabilities could somehow be implemented with workers PPE?

Imagine if you knew instantly when a box slipped off a shelf, when a liquid spilled, when you were out of safety eyewear, or when your PPE was worn out? What about if the temperature rose too high or if a worker had been working too long, risking an over-exertion injury?

Those were the types of questions we started asking. We envisioned a workplace where IoT could enhance the worker experience, not compete with it. A workforce where the human element was still the most important part of the job, yet workers were empowered through the use of smart technology. Connected safety that wasn’t just a “listening” device communicating TO us, but allowing workers to interact with it, giving them a voice and enhanced awareness.

Considering there are “approximately 2.9 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers, per theU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” we knew there had to be another way to help keep workers safe in addition to providing high-quality manufactured PPE.

We found the answer in a partner called Corvex™ – the first worker-powered IoT safety platform. Corvex helps put the power of connected safety in the hands of workers to create a safer, more engaged workforce.

Staying worker-centered means providing tools that are second nature, unobtrusive and, intuitive.

This IoT safety platform ensures that everyone has the information and data they need; and gives workers a voice to communicate in real time. In most organizations, safety training and information starts from the top down. This platform puts the connectivity and solution in the worker’s hands from the ground up - where it means the most, helping to increase safety engagement and awareness.

The spectrum of options within this connected worker platform is still being discovered, and the future is bright. At HexArmor, we focus on safety from an individual level on up. We will only support tools and technology that enhances and emboldens the labor force. We hope that by manufacturing PPE with smart IoT capabilities, we will help save workers from serious injuries, cut down on injury-related costs, and drive other manufacturers to do the same. Because in the end, our goal is all the same; all workers should go home safe, every day.

We’re excited to continue the trial process and look forward to implementing pilot programs to test out functionality soon. Stay tuned… a safer future for your company is right around the corner.

You can learn more about this new platform here: Corvex™ Connected Safety.

Read more about HexArmor’s new partnership here.




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