Canadian Contractor

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Why preventative tech tools keep workers safe on the site

Canadian Contractor Resources Kenzen ppe safety

Man supervising his health on a phone.

Image courtesy of Kenzen.

In Ontario, construction was the industry sector with the highest risk of injury with critical and traumatic fatalities at a staggering 36 per cent, according to the provincial government. The trades industry as a whole makes up a large portion of Ontario’s worksite injuries and deaths; transportation and warehousing made up 19 per cent and manufacturing made up 13 per cent. 

Contractors, business owners and renovators are doing the best they can when it comes to following safe work practices and wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) but accidents can and do still happen. Although injuries are only preventable to a certain extent, there are still precautionary measures workers can take. At least, that is what Kyle Hubregtse thinks.

Hubregtse is the CEO of Missouri-based health technology company, Kenzen. “I grew up and was surrounded by worksites my entire life,” says Hubregtse. Due to Hubregtse’s parents both working blue-collar jobs, he quickly learned there are plenty of ways to be injured in the workplace. 

“You have a hard hat, steel-toed boots and gloves but there are more risks at hand. There hasn’t been a lot of help for workers to understand the limitations of their bodies. Especially in chronic exposure to certain work conditions and sites, including heat.” 

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Although the modern technology that can prevent health risks for construction workers did not exist when Hubregtse was growing up, it does exist now. The technology behind Kenzen, informs workers of these limitations and alerts them of health risks. Kenzen is modern PPE in the form of an armband, which monitors the wearer’s temperature, sweat and heart rate activity. When an individual is at risk of over-exertion, the armband will vibrate letting the individual know they need a break. A safety manager, for example, would be able to see someone using Kenzen is at risk and may need assistance.

Of course, Kenzen isn’t the only company incorporating modern health technology on the worksite. Tools like 3Motion AI, a body scanning AI app that evaluates and calculates the amount of risk on the body, Smart Caps wearable hard hats that alert users of fatigue and hotspots and Realwear AI smart powered protective eyeglasses that offer thermal vision to users, are slowly but surely being introduced into the worksite.

Over time, modern PPE may become more common than anticipated. Hubregtse believes it is important to make these tools as approachable as possible, especially to those who may be hesitant about modern tech. Ultimately, it is the safety of those in the industry that matter, even though some may be reluctant Hubregtse argues no time is better than now.

“Across the board, if you’re talking about prevention of illness and deaths that are preventable, they’re avoidable,” says Hubregtse. “When you get older, your body becomes less efficient at, you know, moderating itself or thermal regulating itself. It’s important to have longevity.

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