A research team at Virginia Tech has received recognition for their work with a special construction helmet. They received an award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for their research paper describing their work in detecting carbon monoxide poisoning on the job site using a computer equipped hard hat.
The computer is attached to a sensor in the hard hat and it monitors the wearer’s blood gases and will tell the wearer if carbon monoxide levels are increasing. The unit can tell this without any invasive procedure like hooking it up to a blood vessel. The team of researchers stated in the paper that the incidence of carbon monoxide problems in closed construction areas that have gas powered tools in use led them to try this approach. They chose a hard hat because they are worn all year long so in essence the monitor will always be with the worker.
They hope to someday prevent falls, workers being hit by vehicles and breathing in harmful particulates with clothing containing different sensors looking for these hazards. This field of new engineering is entitled Prevention by Design. Their ambition is to “design out” dangerous situations through their efforts but as with most scientists the cost isn’t exactly a concern at this time. We can still applaud their efforts though as safety on the job helps everyone involved.
The old standby of keeping things properly ventilated will always be the best option no matter what futuristic clothing and hard hats we end up wearing. Especially since the cost of these clothes and hard hats are not yet advertised.
Keeping tools going with a gasoline powered generator is still a great help to contractors everywhere. Proper ventilation and a carbon monoxide alarm close by will ensure that products like our Generac GP3250 Portable Generator will be a terrific aid to getting the job done safely and on time.