Kane Constructions has participated in a world-first trial of wearable temperature sensors with the aim to prevent the spread of potential coronavirus cases on construction sites.
The multi-disciplinary research team from Deakin University’s Schools of Architecture and Built Environment and Information Technology placed and tested four different wearable sensors – an ear sensor, axillary sensor, vest, and the Oura ring – on 30 workers over a three-week period during June and July.
Dr Nasirzadeh, a leader in improving health and safety in construction workplaces, explained that the personal sensors provide more accurate data than the current methods being used to screen construction workers as they enter worksites.
“The personal sensors we’ve tested have been customised for construction workers to consider the effects of physical activities and ambient conditions on body temperature, in addition to the temperature fluctuations throughout the day.
“The sensors provide real-time temperature readings every minute, with the data validated by hospital-grade thermometers. The data is then shown on a custom-built advanced temperature monitoring dashboard which includes an alert system.
The alert system is designed to then send a notification to a manager if the employee’s temperature is deemed too high.
Ten construction workers tested the sensors on Kane’s 60 Moorabool St project, followed by an additional 20 workers at CSL’s new global headquarters.
“Once we’ve analysed the data to find the most accurate and comfortable option, we’ll begin the project implementation phase, where the devices will be worn by a large number of construction workers across Victoria.
“Ultimately, we hope that the wearable technology will aid our understanding of the early signs of coronavirus in the next stage of the project and help Australia’s construction industry keep moving forward as we all learn to live in a COVID-19 world.”
If the trial is successful, the technology could be rolled out widely.
Image: Deakin University senior lecturer Farnad Nasirzadeh trials new devices to detect body temperature changes on Kane Constructions labourer Christian Finnigan.