The arrival of so-called smart PPE, such as straps and patches to monitor heart rate, temperature or other vitals – or just to monitor activity – brings with it a whole new debate about ethical issues. What happens to all the data that is collected?
The Kenzen system collects 1.3 million data points per worker per day. The information is used to protect the workers from injury on the job while helping to optimize total worker health. Three distinct views of the data are available at different levels within a company, one for the worker, one for the site safety supervisor, and one for the corporate health & safety office. Kenzen’s algorithms filter data at each level to keep the most private information available only to the worker. When the information indicates a need for an intervention to prevent the worker from overheating, an alert and suggested next steps are sent to the supervisor. At the corporate level, health & safety teams receive anonymised trend information derived from the original data, which they can use to make decisions to improve safety at the worksite.
“This is a model for all smart PPE companies,” said Kelly DeMarchis Bastide, partner at Venable law firm, which collaborated with Kenzen on the policy and is known for its work in data privacy.