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 noninva- sive 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 moni- toring blood 􏰀􏰁 saturation was constructed and tested during a user study involving typical construction tasks to determine its re- liability while undergoing motion. As monitoring for 􏰀􏰁 and CO simply differ in the number of wavelengths of light employed, if monitoring 􏰀􏰁 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 proba- bility greater than 99%.

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