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Cat’s Connected Worker Puts Safety In a Hard Hat, Wearable Tag

Embedding tracking and communication capabilities into PPE just makes sense.

Cat says its new Connected Worker system, which will be available during the first quarter of 2022, combines smart wearable technology with the power of analytics to make workers safer. The system was developed by GuardHat.

Introduced at MINExpo this week, the Connected Worker consists of three major components: the wearable hardware, software that captures and reports data and an Internet of Things platform that receives field reports and alerts workers of potential safety risks.The system communicates evacuation orders, fall detections, SOS signals and geofence violations.

The lithium-ion battery backs last 8-12 hours and can be easily swapped out.GuardHatThe “wearable” part comes in two different forms: an HC1 Hardhat has an embedded GNSS chip that tells users where each wearer is on site. Users employing Ultra-Wideband systems can also track wearers indoors, offering 3D tracking (longitude, latitude and elevation) to quickly locate workers in an emergency. The hard hat features video and audio call, push-to-talk and offline geofence and recording capabilities.

According the the GuardHat website, the HC1 Hardhat is powered by a rear lithium-ion battery pack that provides 8-12 hours of power. The yellow brim is where most of the features reside. Buttons on the underside of the brim include a call button, volume, SOS, status/resolve, push-to-talk, channel change and power button. The maximum weight of the hard hat (with suspension) is 1 pound, 12.2 ounces.
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The Cat Connected Worker TA1 tag offers GNSS and Bluetooth tracking outdoors.
The Cat Connected Worker TA1 tag offers GNSS and Bluetooth tracking outdoors.CaterpillarAnother wearable is the TA1 tag, which offers GNSS and Bluetooth tracking outdoors. The tag has SOS, evacuation and social distancing alerts and notifies workers of geofence breaches. The tag can also capture images and videos to report hazards that are automatically shared with the system’s safety control center (SCS) to teams can quickly develop geofences around the hazard. 

The system, part of Cat’s MineStar Detect portfolio, also has an Android smart phone app to monitor crews outdoors. It allows field managers to communicate with workers, issue SOS alerts, and can capture images and videos. 

Cat says Connected Worker creates a safety ecosystem at the mine site, capturing and storing data either in the cloud or on a local server for analysis. Using the SCS, managers can view worker location and data in near real-time to communicate unsafe situations to those in the field. Reports include event reporting, violations and emergency evacuations, location reports with heat signatures that designate highly traveled areas, sensor readings that include temperature, noise, humidity and pressure. 

Smart hard hats are gaining traction, especially in the mining sector. The SmartCap, now marketed by the Wenco International Mining Systems division of Hitachi Construction Machinery, attacks a different safety issue: fatigue. It measures alertness and fatigue by analyzing brain activity, often referred to as EEG. Alertness scores, early warning alerts and fatigue alarms are delivered via a smartphone app installed on rugged devices. 

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Equipment World Announces Editorial Leadership Transition

After a stretch of more than three decades, Randall-Reilly announces a change at the top of the Equipment World editorial team.

Marcia Doyle, Equipment World’s chief editor, is retiring at the end of 2021. She will be succeeded by Jordanne Waldschmidt, formerly head of content for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), who joins the Equipment World team this month as chief editor. Doyle will serve as the brand’s editor emeritus during the transition.

Doyle joined Randall-Reilly in 1989 and has expertly guided Equipment World since its inception, helping readers navigate the ever-changing construction industry and evolving equipment trends. She also served as editorial director for Randall-Reilly’s construction brands and successfully launched new brands in related markets such as Total Landscape Care and Big Iron Dealer.

Under Doyle’s leadership, Equipment World has become the most respected media brand in the construction industry and has won dozens of awards from the American Society of Business Press Editors and other industry associations. Equipment World’s June 2018 special report, “Death by Trench,” won the Jesse H. Neal award for Best Single Issue from Connective, the Business Information Association, a division of SIIA.

“Equipment World would not be where it is today without Marcia’s tireless service and dedication over the last 32 years,” said Jeff Crissey, content director, OEM/Aftermarket, for Randall-Reilly. “She has been the driving force behind award-winning content, and most recently guided the Equipment World team through the transition from print to digital and multimedia content.”

Waldschmidt joins Randall-Reilly from AEM, where she served as the organization’s content marketing manager for more than nine years leading trade show editorial, content marketing and social media strategies. Her audience focus and multimedia content skillset will propel Equipment World to new heights for audience engagement.

Waldschmidt has earned awards from the Content Marketing Institute, Construction Media Alliance and other organizations for her forward-looking approach to social media and audience engagement for AEM’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show.

“For decades, Equipment World has set the standard for trusted industry news and insights,” said Waldschmidt. “It is an honor to lead a team of top journalists as we explore new opportunities to serve construction professionals in a digital-first world.”

“Serving this industry as a journalist has been a great honor,” said Doyle. “I treasure the memories and look forward to seeing Jordanne and her team propel Equipment World to new heights.”

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