Feasibility of Intelligent Monitoring of Construction Workers for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


This paper presents a feasibility study of a wearable computing system to protect construction workers from carbon monoxide poisoning. A pulse oximetry sensor has been integrated into a typical construction helmet to allow continuous and non-invasive monitoring of workers’ blood gas saturation levels. To show the feasibility of monitoring for carbon monoxide poisoning without subjecting users to dangerous conditions, a prototype for monitoring blood O2 saturation was constructed and tested during a user study involving typical construction tasks to determine its reliability while undergoing motion. As monitoring for O2 and CO simply differ in the number of wavelengths of light employed, if monitoring O2 is feasible, then monitoring for CO will be feasible as well. Using this equivalency, the results of this initial study show that integrating an oximeter into a construction helmet will warn the user of impending carbon monoxide poisoning with a probability greater than 99%.

IEEE Trans. on Automation Science and Engineering Volume 9, Issue 3