Protecting Workers And Responding to COVID-19 Concerns
July 10, 2020
‘Business as usual’ no more.
Post-pandemic, Iowa startups adapt to the times
|BY KATE HAYDEN, Staff Writer|
Friday, July 10, 2020 6:00 AM
At the start of March, MakuSafe of West Des Moines was prepared to see four years of work launch its wearable employee safety devices into a global market. Around 8,000 of the two-piece armbands were earmarked for initial U.S. manufacturing clients, who would use the armbands to collect environmental data surrounding industrial employees — using indicators such as location and speed to identify workplace risk factors on a busy warehouse or factory floor.
Then the week that MakuSafe received its first large-scale shipment of armbands, the entire nation shut down to cripple the COVID-19 pandemic, CEO Gabriel Glynn said. Travel to promote the company and raise funds shut down indefinitely; manufacturing clients banned vendors from their premises to protect their own employees.
“We’ve been moving so fast for four years, and building things so fast … it was our first pause to go, ‘Let’s do some self-evaluation of the technology,’” Glynn said.
The MakuSafe team realized their customers were seeking new protocols to help reopen workplaces to industrial employees without risking the spread of a COVID-19 infection. They turned to the location data that MakuSafe armbands collect in routine operation, which they realized could tell safety managers exactly how close employees were working together in real time on the manufacturing floor.
Read the full story on the Business Record website.