Tini o te Hakituri

Identifying Solutions for Using Personal Monitoring to Support Workers in Hazardous Industries

Finding a way of keeping workers safe in high-risk and hazardous environments is a top priority for New Zealand’s outdoor-based industries. Current industry-standard monitoring systems cannot reliably predict fatigue and hazard risk as they do not capture any information about a worker’s current activity and environment. They also have poor buy-in from workers who are unwilling to be monitored in this way due to the ethical dilemmas around data use and privacy.This project will develop an innovative, ethical and evidence-based wearable monitoring approach suitable for the New Zealand workforce. It is our hypothesis that data ownership and control will improve worker engagement, therefore improving workplace safety and wellbeing.

This project proposes to empower workers with ownership of their personal data collected during workplace activities following the philosophy of Te Mana Raraunga (the Māori Data Sovereignty Network). Māori are disproportionately affected by work-related injuries; this research embraces and applies cultural philosophies and delivers health and safety benefits for all workers. The resulting increased worker safety will have significant economic benefits to New Zealand’s high-risk industries.

Our New Zealand-best science team is collaborating with major outdoor-based industries to address this hypothesis. Co-designed with workers, active Māori investigators and in partnership with Māori organisations ensures treatment of worker data that respects both its cultural (living tāonga) and its commercial value (data ownership). We will develop a solution that uses incoming data from wearable technology worn by workers which will be analysed along with contextual information to provide live feedback to the workers throughout the day.


Project Contact

Judy Bowen (jbowen@waikato.ac.nz)
Annika Hinze (hinze@waikato.ac.nz)
Rangi Matamua (rmatamua@waikato.ac.nz)


Relevant Academic Publications

J Bowen, A Hinze, & C. Griffiths (2017). “Investigating real-time monitoring of fatigue indicators of New Zealand forestry workers”. Accident Analysis and Prevention, Elsevier, in press, doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2017.12.010

C Griffiths, J Bowen, A Hinze (2017) “Investigating Wearable Technology for Fatigue Identification in the Workplace”. Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2017 (LNCS 10514), pp 370-380, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-67684-5_22

J Bowen, A Hinze, C Griffiths, V Kumar, and D Bainbridge (2017) “Personal data collection in the workplace: ethical and technical challenges”. 31st British Computer Society Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI’17), doi: 10.14236/ewic/HCI2017.57

Griffiths, C. (2016). Investigating tools and methods for data capture of forestry workers. Master’s thesis, University of Waikato. hdl.handle.net/10289/10103

A Hinze (2016) “Smart Landscape: The Rugged Internet of Things”.  Report from Dagstuhl Seminar 16341 Integrating Process-Oriented and Event-Based Systems, DagRep.6.8.21

J Bowen, A Hinze, SJ Cunningham & R Parker (2015). Evaluating low-cost activity trackers for use in large-scale data gathering of forestry workers. In Australian SIGCHI Conference (OZCHI), pages 474–482. ACM.

J Bowen, A Hinze, and SJ Cunningham (2015) “Into the woods”. Workshop on Human Work Interaction Design (HWID): Design for Challenging Work Environments, Interact conference