Guardhat, a Detroit-based provider of connected worker solutions, announced that its HC1.1 Communicator smart hardhat has received Class 1 Division 1 hazardous location certification for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, which accepts U.S. certification.
Class 1, Division 1 locations are defined as areas where “ignitable concentrations of flammable gasses, vapors, or liquids,” exist or may exist in operations. An array of industrial work environments from chemical production and oil refineries to mines and manufacturing facilities fall into this category.
The intrinsically safe version of the Communicator smart hardhat brings the full power of the Guardhat Platform to hazardous work environments so workers can worry less and accomplish more via cutting-edge monitoring, emergency response, PPE compliance, lone worker connection, remote expert collaboration, and work path trends, according to the company.
Additionally, the Guardhat Platform is designed to integrate with additional and third-party devices, from gas detectors and dosimeters to biometric bands and smart glasses, to better detect danger and proactively prevent injury, while making it easier for industrial workers to do their job.
“Worker safety improved dramatically from the 1980s until recent years, when rates of serious injuries and fatalities have plateaued,” says Saikat Dey, Guardhat co-founder and CEO of Guardhat. “Part of the issue is that technologies that are connecting people and improving outcomes in the consumer and business world haven’t been built or ‘ruggedized’ for the industrial workforce. This certification brings that tech — for connectivity, collaboration and protection — to workers in some of the most dangerous workplaces in North America.”
Packaged in an ergonomically designed hardhat, the near-hands-free device blends seamlessly with natural worker processes and movements for minimum invasiveness and maximum impact, says Guardhat.
“We often see workarounds with consumer and business tech attempted to be adapted to industrial operations,” says Peter Bussey, a research analyst with LNS Research. “Folks are taking tablets in expensive intrinsically safe cases into the field to execute new digital processes, while trying to do work that requires use of their hands. Devices with intuitive functionality — that more seamlessly and intimately integrate into the daily operations of industrial workers — are uncommon.
“User-focused innovations like the Guardhat IS Communicator smart hardhat help solve this problem by bringing frontline workers modern tech built for their specific work and challenges.”
Guardhat partnered with i.safe MOBILE GmbH, a German provider of mobile communication devices for hazardous locations, in the certification process. The intrinsically safe hardhat retains all the features and capabilities of the original HC1 Communicator and is available now. For more information, visit guardhat.com.