Kenzen Climate Tech and new federal rules will help reduce worker deaths in record heat | News

Kansas City, Mo. – (BUSINESS WIRE) – January 18, 2022 –

Temperatures broke records in 2021, including July, the hottest month on Earth on record with 200 million Americans under heat alerts, driving up worker deaths — from product pickers to construction crews to garbage collectors. Extreme temperatures are expected to result in annual losses of 2 billion man-hours and $162 billion in wages, with each 10 degree (F) increase in temperature resulting in a 393 percent increase in hospitalizations due to heat exposure.

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Wearable climate technology, like this sensor on the arm from Kenzen, helps protect workers from heat in increasingly hot temperatures. (Photo: Business Wire)

In 2022, the problem is getting attention: President Biden has announced emergency federal heat rules and tasked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with setting new standards. Technology entrepreneurs are creating ways to track and prevent the dangers of heat to the body.

“There is a new technology that can save workers’ lives,” said Heidi Lehmann, a technology entrepreneur whose latest venture is Kenzen, which makes a wearable device that monitors workers’ physiology to predict and prevent heat-related injuries and deaths. “Progressive employers are already incorporating technology that tracks worker wellness.”

Kenzen has fitted first responders, miners, and workers in construction, energy, steel and manufacturing with sensors that constantly monitor physiology to assess core body temperature, sweat rate and exertion. She welcomes legislation that mandates care for overheated objects — rest breaks, water and cooling techniques — but warns that the standards should not be one-size-fits-all. Biological sex, age, physical fitness, coping, and other individual factors determine what each worker needs to stay safe and productive.

“Temperature monitoring is key to achieving ‘total worker health.’ Everyone has a different threshold of ability to withstand high temperatures and hot work. Blanket mandates will not hold back these alarming statistics. Advanced technology for a personalized approach must be part of the solution,” Lyman said.

Kenzen sensors collect tens of thousands of data points for every worker on every shift. Through research and validation with top universities and use of their system by more than 50 companies, Kenzen has compiled the world’s largest known continuous basal body temperature dataset.

The Kenzen device warns workers, through tactile vibrations, when physiology indicates a risk of heat stress. Managers receive an app alert when a worker needs intervention to stay safe. A second alert indicates that the worker’s body is ready to resume work. Corporate safety leaders use an analytics dashboard to make enterprise-wide decisions to reduce heat risks, reduce injuries, and improve productivity. They may adjust work schedules or assign certain tasks to individuals. During the process, personal data is protected; Workers can only view their health information while others see only what is necessary to keep workers safe.

“Thermal health of workers is at the forefront of the industry in 2022,” said Lehman, which is backed by the Working Capital Fund, which invests in companies that meet growing demand for more transparent and ethical supply chains that protect workers.

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Contact: Beth LaBreche

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612-578-2834

Keyword: United States, North America, Missouri

Industry keyword: construction and health property data management medical devices consumer technology convenience and nutrition construction and other property

Source: Kinzen

Copyright Business Wire 2022.

Publication date: 01/18/2022 01:37 PM / Disc: 01/18/2022 01:37 PM

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