The role of IoT technology in worker safety

Discover how developments in IoT technology can help transform safety and promote a people-centric culture in the workplace.


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The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the vast network of interconnected devices that communicate and exchange data, creating a wealth of possibilities for innovation and improvement. In today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, IoT has emerged as a driving force in transforming various industries, enhancing efficiency, and making our lives more connected than ever before. One area that has been positively impacted by this is worker safety.

Worker safety is a critical concern across multiple sectors. In 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported almost two million work-related deaths worldwide. From workers in oil fields to workers tending to the sick and vulnerable at home, ensuring they can do their duties and get home safe to their families every day not only means reducing the risk of injuries and accidents, but also promotes productivity and compliance with regulatory standards. As we explore new ways to safeguard the well-being of workers, IoT technology offers a promising solution to connect workers with the right people, at the right time, and fosters a more secure work environment.

In this blog, we discuss the IoT technology that Aware360 has to offer. And the best part? It's all about ensuring workers stay safe on the job and creating a culture where prevention and protection are top priorities. Let’s take a look at how IoT can transform the workplace.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT was coined in 1999 by computer scientist Kevin Ashton. It refers to the interconnected network of devices, sensors, and systems that communicate and exchange data via the internet. These devices can range from everyday household items like smart appliances to applications and wearable technology. IoT enables various objects and devices to "talk" to each other, share information, and make decisions based on the data they collect.

As IoT continues to develop and expand, the possibilities for finding value for people are endless. By integrating IoT into various aspects of people's lives, the technology can help improve safety, health, and overall well-being, thus creating a more connected and safer world for everyone.

Putting workers first

Despite its transformative potential, the focus in IoT has predominantly been on physical assets. The time has come to shift our attention toward the most important smart element: people. This is why Aware360’s technology is centered around our patented PeopleIoT™ platform, which emphasizes prioritizing human needs and integrating technology to help people perform their jobs safely and efficiently. 

PeopleIoT™ is about leveraging personal technology like smartphones, satellite devices, and wearables to protect workers. Here at Aware360, we are paving the way by developing tailored IoT solutions that focus on keeping workers safe and healthy in all aspects of their lives. By putting people first, we can unlock the full potential of IoT and create a better, more connected world.

How can IoT improve lone worker safety

Lone or remote employees represent approximately 15% of the global workforce, according to Berg Insight, a global M2M / IoT market research firm. This includes those working alone or in remote locations who may not have help readily available in an emergency. 

The safety of lone workers can be greatly improved through IoT technology, which leverages connected devices, wearables, and communication systems to monitor and protect workers in real time. For example, the Bivy Stick with SafetyAware is a satellite IoT communication device that can connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone, enabling safety supervisors to monitor the worker's location, communicate, and respond swiftly to emergencies, when employees are working in areas with no cellular coverage. 

SOS alerts and automated check-ins can also be enabled by devices and smartphone applications, providing lone workers with the ability to send distress signals to their supervisors or emergency response teams when they require immediate assistance or even when they are incapacitated. These IoT safety solutions can give lone workers a direct line of communication with their supervisors or emergency response teams, ensuring they can easily call for help or receive critical information in emergencies.

By leveraging these IoT capabilities, organizations can significantly enhance the safety and well-being of their lone workers, ensuring they have the support and protection they need while working in isolation or remote locations.

How can IoT improve driver safety

According to the National Safety Council, an alarming 90% of all vehicle collisions are due to human error, such as distracted driving, speeding, or general unawareness. This is where IoT has the potential to significantly improve driver safety by leveraging connected devices and real-time data analytics. IoT solutions like Aware360’s iDriveAware can provide mobile workers with immediate feedback on their driving habits, including speeding, harsh acceleration, and sudden braking, which can help them become more aware of their actions and drive more safely. 

In addition, LifeSaver Mobile is an app that eliminates phone distractions, reducing expenses by preventing incidents before they occur. The app's easy-to-use design allows drivers to remain focused on the road, enabling managers to perform their duties without worrying about decreased productivity or fleet downtime.

IoT solutions don’t just enable supervisors to monitor the location of their fleets, they also provide them with up-to-date data and analytics that can be used to identify unsafe practices, provide targeted training, and improve overall driver safety. By incorporating IoT technologies, organizations and drivers can benefit from increased safety measures, better decision-making, and a reduced risk of accidents and injuries.

Devices connecting workers to Aware360’s PeopleIoT

Aware360 offers support for more than 70 different types of devices, connecting them to our PeopleIoT platform in order to gather real-time data and engage in two-way digital communication, with new releases on a regular basis. 

Smartphone apps

Employers and organizations can easily stay in contact with their lone workers through smartphones, which can be equipped with different types of apps to keep workers safe. These apps provide a familiar and simple means of communication and assistance in the event of an emergency. 

Basic yet essential apps offer one-touch emergency options to alert employers or supervisors in case of emergency, while more sophisticated solutions allow for periodic check-ins with customizable escalation plans and access to real-time response centers.

Satellite devices

Satellite devices are crucial for enabling communication, assistance, and location monitoring in areas without cellular connectivity, including fields, rural areas, and certain roads. Unlike other devices, satellite devices utilize satellite technology to transmit and receive data, ensuring that lone workers can stay connected even in the most remote locations.

These devices allow lone workers to use basic two-way communication to confirm their safety with supervisors or colleagues, request assistance, or send an SOS in an emergency. Satellite devices can also be equipped with location monitoring capabilities, which can locate a worker who may be lost or injured and unable to communicate their location.

Wearables

Fall detection technology can be installed on wearable or standalone devices, such as smart watches,wristbands and pendants, to detect falls and alert a designated contact. Manufacturers are creating new types of personal IoT devices every day – our job is to find the best and leverage them to improve the health and safety of individuals around the world. 

The potential of IoT technology

The role of IoT technology in worker safety is becoming increasingly significant as more devices and applications are developed to protect employees in various environments. The integration of IoT devices into daily life, improved functionality, and affordability have all contributed to the positive impact of IoT technology when it comes to worker safety.

For lone and remote workers, IoT devices and applications provide real-time information and actionable insights that enhance safety and well-being. As IoT technology continues to evolve, it is clear that its role in worker safety will only expand, revolutionizing how we approach personal safety and health in various industries and settings. 

Companies like Aware360 are leading the way in developing and implementing IoT solutions that put people first. At the heart of our connected worker ecosystem lies the PeopleIoT™ platform, which utilizes real-time data to generate valuable business insights while prioritizing people. Our suite of solutions includes:

With access to real-time data about workers’ activity, condition, location, and time, organizations can both drive preventative and proactive safety and enhance productivity across their workforce.To find out more about our safety solutions simply get in touch with our team of experts.

Meet with our experts and learn how we can support your organization’s safety culture

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