Create a safe industrial work environment through smarter work gear

How can you make a work environment safer with smart textiles and wearable intelligence? In the context of the SMARTpro VIS project, Sirris set up three demonstrators illustrating the potential of combining data from different sources for advanced localisation and activity monitoring based on the technological developments realized within this project.

The first demonstrator was set up in the climate chamber of the OWI-Lab in Antwerp, where an employee performed certain work tasks inside the chamber. The climate chamber is used to test industrial equipment against extreme temperatures. The objective of this demonstrator was to guarantee a safe industrial working environment, in which a number of safety conditions had to be met. If this was not the case, an alarm went off. 

By checking whether the employee met a number of conditions, the employee's safety could therefore be better guaranteed.  

Compliance with the following three safety conditions was checked: 

  • wearing appropriate protective clothing, depending on the situation created in the climatic chamber
  • respecting the safety distance between the employee and a dangerous tool
  • the tool trolley is in the correct position when the employee leaves the climate chamber

To this end, a number of Bluetooth-enabled proximity beacons were installed in the working environment: in selected places outside and inside the climate chamber, to check where the employee is; on dangerous installations from which the employee must keep a safe distance; and on the tool trolley which must be returned to its original place after work. 

In addition, the employee wore a temperature monitor that was integrated into his work clothing, coming from the smart textiles demonstrators in that project. This monitor was linked to a Bluetooth module that acted as a beacon. Such Bluetooth modules were also integrated into other parts of the protective equipment to check whether the employee was wearing the required work clothing. Finally, a smartwatch collected the signals emitted by the beacons and raised an alarm when safety conditions were not met.  

Watch the film here:


Click here for more information on the VIS-project SMARTpro.