Advances in Wearable Piezoelectric Sensors for Hazardous Workplace Environments
Recent advances in wearable energy harvesting technology as solutions to occupational health and safety programs are presented. Workers are often exposed to harmful conditions—especially in the mining and construction industries—where chronic health issues can emerge over time. While wearable sensors technology can aid in early detection and long-term exposure tracking, powering them and the associated risks are often an impediment for their widespread use, such as the need for frequent charging and battery safety. Repetitive vibration exposure is one such hazard, e.g., whole body vibration, yet it can also provide parasitic energy that can be harvested to power wearable sensors and overcome the battery limitations. This review can critically analyze the vibration effect on workers’ health, the limitations of currently available devices, explore new options for powering different personal protective equipment devices, and discuss opportunities and directions for future research. The recent progress in self-powered vibration sensors and systems from the perspective of the underlying materials, applications, and fabrication techniques is reviewed. Lastly, the challenges and perspectives are discussed for reference to the researchers who are interested in self-powered vibration sensors.
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Australian Research Council