Putting safety first with Connected Worker and SAP IoT.

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When Westernacher was asked by our customer, a chemical company, to review and improve their worker safety levels, our experts knew immediately what was needed: reliable real-time data that would proactively protect workers by detecting the first signs of impending danger. Leveraging the innovative technology of SAP’s Internet of Things (IoT), Westernacher created a platform to ensure the highest level of worker safety and compliance. For this groundbreaking contribution to worker safety, Westernacher Consulting was recognized as a 2021 SAP Innovation Awards finalist.

Connected Worker SAP IoT 1
A new platform for protection.

In light of several incidents that had occurred to workers in plants and during regular maintenance in remote areas, our customer wanted to focus on increasing the health and safety of its workers. When Westernacher examined these incidents, it realized that, more often than not, they were either identified too late or discovered by chance.

Westernacher understood what was lacking: real-time, detailed and individual tracking for gas exposure and reliable motion detection for workers. The advanced technology and IT infrastructure were there to ensure employee safety and compliance, while conforming with established business processes and procedures. A new platform was needed that would draw on these measures and provide unprecedented innovative protection to workers.

Westernacher tapped into the cutting-edge technology of SAP IoT, which embeds physical objects with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies to exchange data with devices and systems over the Internet and other communications networks. 

Safety tracking with smart devices.

Westernacher’s Connected Worker platform was deployed in November 2020, using SAP IoT as the foundation for its real-time monitoring of worker safety and compliance.

Core information came from smart devices such as gas detectors, smart shirts and smart watches to determine the presence of toxins, along with worker heartbeat and respiration activity.  These also relayed information on whether employees were wearing harnesses. Incidents were also pinpointed with position monitoring. If a worker in a remote spot fell, for example, a manual mobile app immediately reported the location.

Transparency has been taken to a whole new level, enabling continuous safety and health monitoring of employees.

Matthias Hollenders, Westernacher’s global lead for Industry 4.0 and IoT

Connected Worker introduced a generic platform that enables all data from different wearables to be monitored in one single dashboard by managers. It increases transparency of incidents and close-to incidents with parameters such as alerting and heat maps. Another bonus is that it improves plant security meetings by pulling reported incidents with voice messages, videos and pictures into daily meetings.

The benefits of Westernacher’s Connected Worker platform were quickly noticeable, among them 65 percent fewer accidents.  And with their concentration on their jobs, rather than the fear of getting hurt, worker efficiency increased.

The successful project “proves that such innovative solutions can be implemented in a short time and generate tremendous value,” adds Hollenders.

To sum up, these value-adding advantages include:
  • Increased worker safety with real time monitoring
  • Increased transparency of incidents with alerting
  • Continuous worker-centered process optimization
  • Improved operation efficiency with integrated mobile apps
  • Heightened plant security with real-time data

For this groundbreaking contribution to worker safety, Westernacher Consulting was recognized as a 2021 SAP Innovation Awards finalist. For a complete overview of the project, download our Innovation Awards pitch deck below and check out the SAP website:


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