Industrial Wearables Survey 2019: Budgets, Priorities & Tech Preferences

Published 8 October 2019 by Steve Bolton & Bill Pennington &
Environment, Health & Safety Industrial Wearables Worker Safety Global Survey

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Executive Summary

This report helps EHS executives benchmark their budgets and technology preferences in relation to industrial wearables, relative to their global peer group. The data collected through this Verdantix survey also supports strategic decision-making and business planning among executives at EHS consulting providers and industrial wearable technology vendors. The inaugural Verdantix industrial wearables survey spanned firms across 
23 countries in five geographical regions and 13 industries. Interviews were conducted with 102 senior EHS decision-makers with direct responsibility for firm-wide EHS management strategies, technology selection and related initiatives. Of the 102 EHS managers interviewed, 80% belong to firms with revenues greater than $1 billion. Additionally, 19% of respondents are from firms with revenues greater than $20 billion. This survey finds strong appetites and investment trends for various wearable devices and use cases ranging from safe driving to hazardous environment monitoring. Furthermore, respondents expounded on various technical and regulatory barriers to wearables selection and implementation.

Table of contents

EHS Survey Measures Global Priorities For Industrial Wearables
Global Survey Of EHS Decision-Makers Delivers Granular Insights 

Decision-Makers Perceive Wearables’ Value For EHS Programmes
EHS Decision-Makers Are Adopting A Diverse Range Of Industrial Wearables
Firms Plan To Progressively Adopt Wearables For High-Risk Use Cases 
Appetites Are High For Wearable Technologies Covering Various Use Cases 

Firms Face Budget, Buy-In and Infrastructure Barriers To Uptake
Current Generation Of Wearables Suffer From Cost And Capability Barriers 
Infrastructure And Technical Issues Create Barriers For Implementation Success

Firms Desire Rugged And Safe Wearables For Frontline Workers
Firms Want Wearables Geared Towards Empowering Frontline Workers 
Rugged, Safe and Long-Lasting Wearable Devices Are Essential
Equal Interest In Using IoT Platforms Or Analysing Data Via Existing Software

Industrial Wearable Devices Will See Sizeable Spend Growth In 2020
Growing Spend For Lone Workers, Safe Driving And Hazardous Environments

Table of figures

Figure 1. Industry Breakdown Of Respondents By EHS Risk
Figure 2. Geographic Locations Of Respondents
Figure 3. Wearable Device Adoption 
Figure 4. Wearable Device Use Case Adoption 
Figure 5. Desired Use Cases For Wearable Devices
Figure 6. Perceived Deficiencies Of Wearable Devices
Figure 7. Barriers To Implementation Of Wearable Devices
Figure 8. Important Business Criteria When Selecting Wearable Devices
Figure 9. Important Operational Criteria When Selecting Wearable Devices
Figure 10. Preferred Method Of Wearable Device Deployment
Figure 11. Expectations Of Wearable Device Data Management Structures
Figure 12. Optimal Data Management Structure For Wearable Devices
Figure 13. 2020 Investment Plans For Wearable Device Use Cases

About the authors

Steve Bolton

Research Director

Steve leads the Verdantix EHS research practice, based out of our New York office. He has 25 years of experience advising on sustainability, EHS, circular economy, corporate social responsibility and other business value topics. Steve received a dual environmental science and public policy Bachelor's degree from The College of William and Mary, a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University, and an MBA degree from James Madison University.

Bill Pennington

Research Director, Environment, Health & Safety

Bill leads the Verdantix Environment, Health & Safety practice. His current agenda focuses on EHS and sustainability services, product stewardship as well as benchmarking EHS technology buyer’s budgets, priorities and preferences globally. Bill comes from a background of corporate EHS roles in the manufacturing and logistics industries. He holds an MBS degree in sustainability from the Rutgers University.

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