One important aspect of keeping people healthy is to help them avoid injury, whether due to a specific physical trauma, or due to environmental factors. This is a key concern for companies whose employees are exposed to difficult working conditions; how can you tell if an individual has had too much exposure to one potentially harmful factor or another?

IBM is applying it’s Watson IoT Platform to address this issue. In a trial project with NorthStar Bluescope Steel, sensors continuously monitor workers’ skin temperature, heart rate, galvanic skin response (for stress levels), and physical activity. Sensors in the workplace measure temperature and humidity. The two sets of data are correlated analyzed, resulting in a personalize set of safety guidelines for each worker. The system can even issue an alert to the worker and to supervisors, such as recommending a short break if the heat levels are too high. The companies believe that this system can not only avoid injuries, but can also increase productivity through measures to reduce fatigue.

The system can also be expanded and adjusted to meet the needs of other work environments. Sensors on the workers and in the workplace can also monitor radiation levels, light, noise, toxic gases, or other potentially harmful conditions. The end result could be a significant reduction in injuries and more efficient working conditions.