May 19, 2022 / Tim Turney

Wearable Exposure Monitors: Is Remote Connectivity Worth the Financial Cost?

Sponsored by Casella

Technology is advancing for exposure monitors, such as noise dosimeters and air sampling pumps, that are worn on the body. Not only have they become lighter, but many are now equipped with features such as Bluetooth connectivity, which allows your mobile phone to connect remotely to the sampling pump or noise dosimeter, often through an app. But do these features provide value to an industrial hygienist?

Checking Products Remotely

With any exposure monitor, you simply attach devices to employees who go off to do their jobs. As an IH, you visit employees throughout their workdays, regularly checking on them and the monitoring equipment to ensure that exposures are being logged correctly. Historically, this might have meant encroaching into employees’ workspaces and getting their attention so that you could record exposure levels, check the monitoring devices’ batteries, and take care of other things. These interruptions impact employees’ productivity and break their concentration; if they are performing dangerous tasks, disruptions put you both at risk. For this reason, the key benefit of remote monitoring via Bluetooth is that IHs can check people's exposures without disturbing them, which improves productivity and reduces danger.

Value Through Saving Time

An IH has a lot to do on site during a survey. Often, your work is as much about using your eyes and ears as it is about using monitoring technology when you look around the workspace to understand what has happened, how people have been exposed, and what control measures are in place. Many mobile IH apps associated with remote monitoring devices have inbuilt notetaking capabilities that save you from duplicating your efforts, which is necessary when writing things down on paper or keeping records on another device. Some apps can also allow you to email your data and notes directly to your inbox, which is another time-saving capability.

Some of the latest advancements in exposure monitoring technology include remote calibration features that allow both an electronic flow meter and an air sampling pump to be controlled through an app. This can save time setting up and calibrating multiple air sampling pumps.

The remote calibration feature of air sampling pumps described above also provides the benefit of keeping related data together in one place. When an air sampling pump is connected to an electronic flow meter via an app, this means all the data measured by the equipment is collected in the app, which can even calculate items such as flow deviation across a shift. This data can be compiled as a calibration report and shared by email. This automation of tasks that previously had to be written manually reduces user error and saves time.

Tangible Improvements

It can sometimes feel as if new product features are gimmicks. But remote monitoring of exposure devices has tangible benefits for you as an industrial hygienist, in the forms of increased convenience and improved productivity for yourself and the workers you're monitoring. Getting more done and saving time throughout the day helps make you a more productive IH and improves your business’s bottom line.

Tim Turney

Tim Turney is global marketing manager at Casella and graduated as an engineer from Queen Mary and Westfield in London. Since starting at Casella in 1998, Tim has been involved in the acoustics and air sampling industry, specializing in measurement and instrumentation technologies.


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