Improving Workplace Safety With IoT

Rosina Geiger

From factories, plant facilities, and construction sites to warehouses, airports, and oil rigs (and a lot more), there is hardly a shortage of worksite environments that pose potential danger to workers. But by using emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and pervasive cloud connectivity, organizations can now pull in work environment data, analyze it, and respond in ways to help keep workers safe and healthy.

What kind of data should be tracked? Common points of concern are temperature, humidity, noise levels, air quality, and more. One startup focused on tracking such metrics is Heads Up – a U.S.-based device manufacturer providing a wearable communication system that workers can attach to an eyepiece.

On its own, the Heads Up technology can detect out-of-tolerance conditions for heat, humidity, and noise levels – flashing different colored lights that alert workers to take action accordingly. But when you connect Heads Up – or similar technology – to critical business applications, enterprise data, and analysis engines on the backend, you can achieve even more. Here are some examples:

  • Ensure long-term safety – By analyzing data over weeks and months, you can calculate long-term exposure to potentially hazardous conditions. With integration into HR and scheduling solutions, you could then trigger re-rostering processes to keep exposure levels below acceptable limits
  • Improve compliance – With integration into business data regarding local, regional, or national worker safety regulations, you can monitor compliance and demonstrate your adherence to the rules as needed
  • Predict issues and take proactive action – Using machine learning algorithms, you can analyze data across worksites to detect patterns that can predict potential issues before they impact workers
  • Track workers with context awareness – With geolocation capabilities and schematics on particular worksite environments stored in business applications, you can track workers’ locations and alert them, for example, to not enter secured areas for which they may lack authorization
  • Speed and improve rescue operations – In a disaster situation, you can collect critical data in real time, enabling rescue crews to understand the situation quickly and plan rescue operations that have a higher chance of success

Learn more

To learn more about how SAP is working with startups, get in touch with the SAP Startup Accelerator for Digital Supply Chain and SAP.iO.

Rosina Geiger

About Rosina Geiger

Rosina Geiger is the Director of Startup Engagement at SAP. She has worked at the Hasso Plattner Institute before joining SAP in 2016 to establish the SAP Startup Accelerator for Digital Supply Chain in Berlin and Palo Alto.