Aussie firm uses the Internet of Things to keep workers safe in desert heat

Construction is a business that carries inherent risks, especially when your teams are working in one of the most remote regions of the world. Operating in the Australian outback, where heatstroke can injure or even kill workers in hours with little warning, engineering firm Laing O’Rourke uses the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to keep its workers safe.


Working with Microsoft Partner MOQdigital, Laing O’Rourke used Microsoft IoT technologies to design a “smart hardhat” that uses a sweatband sensor and data-collection array retrofitted in a conventional hardhat. The smart hat monitors the temperature and heart-rate of wearers and external temperature and humidity. The data these devices collect is uploaded to the cloud via low-power radios and a gateway to Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Power BI, which analyzes the data and looks for patterns that show an employee is close to heatstroke. The hardhat then receives a sound and vibration alert that warns the employee, “Cool it! Head to safety!” The system can also tell a manager, “Your team has been in the sun too long. Send them indoors,” ensuring workers stay safe when working in the outback’s extreme weather conditions.

To learn more about the smart hardhat, read Doffing the hat to an innovative safety solution. To learn more about how to add business value with IoT, visit