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Heat sensing wearables can reduce risk of heat stroke and illness

There are many individual factors that determine a worker's threshold for working in the heat. Age, gender, fitness, experience, weight, medications, heart disease, high blood pressure and so on influence the likelihood of a worker developing a heat related illness. Technologies that can track workers' body and skin temperature and heart rate in outdoor environments can reduce the risk of heat stroke and illness.

A wearable device worn by workers on their arm and a cloud-based technology alerts both workers and their supervisors when their core body temperature is too high. Alerts include actionable recommendations such as take a break, find shade, drink water, or remove any excess clothing and equipment to decrease body heat. When a worker's core body temperature has returned to a safe level, a "back to work" alert is sent.

Having the supervisor receive the data via web dashboard alerts is helpful as some workers may not heed the warnings or may not have access to their phone. As part of the onboarding, workers should be informed of the system's privacy settings to give them confidence that their personal information remains private. Data at the manager and corporate levels do not include personal health information of the workers.

In addition to the heightened situational awareness for individual workers, the technology can help strengthen a company's heat safety program. The data can help determine optimal schedules and rest breaks, where and when to add water stations, as well as customize the timing of rest periods for individual workers. It also can also inform decisions on workplace expenditures on equipment and clothing.