IBM to collaborate with wearables companies to improve worker safety


IBM is collaborating with wearables companies to monitor worker safety in hazardous environments, using Internet of Things technologies.

IBM is collaborating with wearables companies to monitor worker safety in hazardous environments, including those working in construction, mining and factories, using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

IBM’s Maximo Worker Insights will integrate with wearables from Garmin Health, Guardhat, Mitsufuji, and SmartCone to monitor biometric and environmental data.

This will help organisations quickly respond to problems or react to changing environmental conditions.

Employees working in rapidly changing environments face shifting conditions, whether on the factory floor, on the forklift, atop a cell tower or drilling into the earth.

Using IoT to understand what workers are doing in the context of the dynamic environment around them – including heat, height, weather and gas levels – allows organisations to implement near real-time and prescriptive safety practices to help protect the wellbeing of workers, and also maintain lower insurance costs.

For employees, this new offering monitors potential environmental threats to their safety and security as they work on the front lines.

For employers, the solution is designed to help them identify and respond to potential hazards in an effort to keep their workforce safe.

SmartCone CEO Jason Lee with the eponymous smart safety cone. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

Garmin makes activity trackers, while Mitsufuji has launched a new wearable “shirt” called hamon, to track IoT sensor data from worker’s iometrics to help ensure safety and productivity in extreme environments.

The hamon shirt, made from silver conductive fibers, collects a wearer’s biometric data, including heart rate, body temperature and location, as well as environmental data such as humidity, temperature, noise and toxic gas levels.

SmartCone, as its name suggests, provides ‘smart’ safety cones which can help to secure vulnerable and hazardous zones.

Likewise, Guardhat’s smart hard hats provide near real-time situational awareness to workers and company operations.

“Worker safety is a critical priority for all enterprises and this collaboration is a major milestone in dramatically improving the way enterprises identify and eliminate hazards in the workplace,” said Kareem Yusuf, general manager of IBM Watson IoT.