technology and effective data analysis are some of the
ways we’re pursuing that.”
While that testing is still ongoing, the basic calculus
works from a cost-benefit standpoint. Worker’s compen-
sation claims cost $1.2 billion per week in America, a
huge reason why the industrial safety market is worth
$3.3 billion and will grow 64% by 2024, according to
An average wrist injury, likely due to a fall, can cost
$50,000. It makes more sense for an insurer to outfit
the factory with MākuSafe’s devices and software as a
service for about $20,000 a year for a factory of 150 (if
employees share the devices). If the solution prevented
one such injury over two years, the insurer saves $10,000.
(It’s crude to relegate worker safety to dollar amounts,
but I imagine every insurance actuary is like the creep
from Jurassic Park and only cares about saving money.)
As with any new stream of data, the benefits aren’t
always clear cut or obvious. That accelerometer has uncovered more than just tripping hazards. Glynn says that a
test at an industrial laundry facility alerted management to
odd jerky motions every hour or so at the bottom of a chute.
They investigated and found the design of the fixtures was
causing a laundry clog, which workers would have to tug at to
free. They expended more energy than necessary on vigorous
repetitive movements, which could lead to arm injuries over
time. And in the short term, it created a material bottleneck.
The problem was fixed, and productivity increased.
“The more we understand the environment and what the
optimal conditions are, the more efficient and productive
workers can be,” Glynn says.
Worker’s comp savings can be hard to predict for a specific
factory, and therefore a hard sell when so many other areas
of the plant need digital upgrades to increase revenue. But
in theory, wearable safety tech should improve a host of
productivity KPIs as well. An increase in machine uptime
could be one of the more noticeable happy byproducts.
“Eighty percent of equipment failure comes down to human operator error,” says Jim Stuart, senior vice president
of digital products at Lloyd's Register.
Lloyd’s recently came out with the AllAssets Asset Performance Management (APM) platform to manage these
risks from the machine side, using machine data, digital
twins and the cloud-based, SAP S4HANA SaaS to reduce
planned maintenance in oil & gas and shipping by more
than 20% and avoid catastrophic machine failures which
at worst cause injury or death, but more likely will create
machine downtime and a loss of productivity.
Machines are only half the battle, though. His company
is now investigating a solution similar to MākuSafe to
15 minutes flling out paperwork for an accident that
didn’t even happen. They have quotas to meet.”