Technology feature - smart personal protective equipment (PPE)

Woman with safety glasses

The safety and health field becomes more reliant on technology every year as innovations emerge. One concept that has changed the way employers address safety is smart personal protective equipment (PPE). Workers in numerous industries are provided PPE that acts as a barrier between them and a hazard. Some examples of PPE include wearing gloves while handling toxic chemicals, wearing a hard hat at a construction site to protect from falling debris, and using a respirator during paint spraying operations. Advances in technology have led to the creation of smart PPE that provides real-time information about a work environment using sensors and other detection devices.

The benefits of smart PPE include:

  • Better protection for workers
  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased productivity
  • Fewer injury-related costs

There are hundreds of options on the market when it comes to smart PPE, but some notable items are:

  • Smart protective clothing with sensors that detect body temperature and fatigue levels to prevent illnesses
  • Smart ear muffs that monitor noise levels in the area and alert personnel when their hearing health may be at risk
  • Smart respirators that measure the concentration of airborne chemicals to ensure that workers are adequately protected
  • Smart safety shoes with sensors that detect when a worker has fallen and notify personnel of the emergency

For more information on the use of personal protective equipment, visit OSHA's website at

By: Libby Burgher
Loss Control Associate

Woman with safety glasses
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.