16th May, 2023 Read time 3 minutes

How does smart PPE that can monitor and report on worker safety benefit workers?

Like all technology, there are breakthroughs that are going to have a significant impact on different industries. In the world of health and safety, the development of smart PPE (in the form of intelligent or connected PPE) will be able to monitor and report on worker safety in real-time, which can help mitigate real time risks workers can experience. 

With the smart PPE industry market expected to grow from USD 3.13 million in 2021 to 9.05 million by 2028 according to Fortune Business Insights, the use of this technology is only going to bring benefits to many industries. Keep on reading to learn how smart PPE of this technology will impact workers’ safety.

Better Protection

One of the most important and useful benefits of smart PPE is that can provide better protection for workers. For example, smart gloves for firefighters can include infrared sensors for heat, which will help to protect them on the job. 

As a general overview, some of the safety benefits can include: 

  • Smart protective clothing with sensors that detect body temperature and fatigue levels to prevent illnesses.
  • Smart ear muffs monitor noise levels in the area and alert personnel when their hearing health may be at risk.
  • Smart respirators measure the concentration of airborne chemicals to ensure that workers are adequately protected.
  • Smart safety shoes with sensors that detect when a worker has fallen and notify personnel of the emergency.

It’s important to remember however smart protective clothing still needs to be worn correctly to work efficiently. 

Real-time monitoring

Smart PPE that monitors and reports on workers’ safety is critical for the safety of employees beyond conventional health and safety work. This can include: 

  • Temperature 
  • Chemicals
  • Noise
  • Impact

The ability to discover these hazards in real time ensures the worker is aware of dangerous exposure straight away and therefore can mitigate risk which increases the safety of the worker. 

For example, an employee may not be fully aware of the noise level due to the length of time working in a loud environment, like a construction zone. Without action, it could damage their hearing causing long term hearing loss, and the use of monitoring PPE will ensure the worker is aware of the excess volume and therefore mitigate it. 

Improved Data

As well as increased safety, the improvement in smart PPE can ensure that real-time data is being loaded and ensuring employees are using PPE correctly. For example, smart PPE can help employers to learn if workers are wearing their equipment correctly, which can be the difference between a small and serious injury. 

This data can help sort these simple issues, and can therefore prevent serious accidents in the future.

Emergency response

Smart PPE can beat the traditional mobile phone emergency call because it can send a notification to emergency services if an emergency health and safety error were to occur. From here, this will increase the speed at which emergency responders will make it to the workspace, therefore minimising the chances of serious injury. 

Overall it’s clear that the use of smart PPE will have a significant impact on monitoring and reporting on worker safety, which could significantly impact workers’ safety, well-being, and the chance of serious injury. 

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