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Wearable technology for hazardous remote environments: Smart shirt and Rugged IoT network for forestry worker health

This paper introduces the architecture and details of our wearable IoT solution for workplace health and safety in rugged outdoor environments. We focus on the specific requirements defined by the New Zealand forestry environment as it is the industry with the most fatalities and highest accident rate in New Zealand. Neither consumer-level products nor professional wearables have been found to be suitable for forestry conditions. Furthermore, forestry workplaces cannot rely on existing networking infrastructure, and due to their remote and rugged nature, no permanent setup is possible. We describe the Hakituri project in which we integrate wearable devices, networking, data analytics, and a buddy system into a novel monitoring solution for worker health and safety. Our wearable IoT solution includes a dynamic network set-up, wearables suitable for forestry conditions, contextual rule-based data analytics, and real-time alerts. A wearable smart shirt carries sensors for collecting personal data from forestry workers, while further environmental sensors capture contextual data. The IoT network is set up for communication in unreliable and rugged outdoor environments. We explore a variety of setups to achieve the best quality outcomes for health and safety in the forestry domain.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Elsevier BV
© 2022. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/