IoT Safety Platforms: The Battle For Customer Mindshare Begins In 2019
In our annual, global survey of EHS decision-makers we spoke to 411 respondents: 23% told us that innovation is essential for the success of the EHS function and a massive 60% said that innovation is a high priority for the EHS function. You heard right: 83% of EHS managers think innovation is an important part of what their business function does. A big change from the days when the self-perception of EHS professionals was “compliance police”. But how far can this focus on innovation be stretched? Implementing EHS software is increasingly seen as a given. Hold onto your hard hats. In 2019, the EHS community will be expected to understand IoT safety platforms.
IoT safety platforms are designed to aggregate data from equipment-fixed digital sensors, smart phones and industrial wearables. Firms will need an IoT data processing platform to cope with the vast volumes of data pushed out by wearables from vendors like Honeywell Connected Worker, Reactec and SmartCap. Importantly, they will only want one platform even if using wearables from many digital PPE suppliers. These IoT safety platforms also need to analyse safety data from IoT devices such as worker fatigue and gas leaks. They may also combine this streaming data with ad hoc incident reports and near miss observations. Do tech-weary safety professionals really need this technology in 2019? Yes, the most innovative segment do need an IoT safety platform. According to the Verdantix global EHS survey, 22% of EHS professionals expect to use vital signs monitoring wearables widely across their operations in 2019, 43% plan the same with location tracking wearables and 44% with environmental digital sensors.
Responding to this new requirement, the likes of Corvex and Guardhat launched dedicated IoT safety platforms. Corvex offers an Android OS based wearable safety device, an IoT sensor that can be embedded in PPE and an information server for connectivity and data consolidation. In the case of Guardhat, as the name implies, the IoT platform is tied in with a multi-functional smart hard hat and targets safety issues relating to moving objects, restricted zones, fall detection, active physiological risks and hazardous environments. In case EHS professionals think these developments are a pipe dream it is worth noting that Guardhat has raised $41.9 million and is staffed by veterans of the steel industry.
Established EHS software vendors such as Gensuite, ProcessMAP and SAI Global also see a role as the IoT safety platform of choice. To maximize the value of investments in industrial wearables and EHS mobile apps firms need to choose one worker safety data hub: either their incumbent EHS software vendor or a new IoT-centric platform. The battle for mindshare begins.
To learn more about EHS innovation priorities in 2019 apply to attend the Verdantix webinar: “2019 Benchmark For EHS Budgets, Priorities & Technology Preferences”.