Smart Manufacturing SME features MākuSafe CEO, Gabe Glynn

May 21, 2020

One man’s war on disaster

May 12, 2020

By Brett Brune

Editor in Chief,Smart Manufacturing magazine

For the tech pioneer Gabe Glynn, factory safety is a very personal matter

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An explosion on May 22, 1919, at the Douglas Starch Works plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, killed 43 workers and injured 30 others. MākuSafe CEO Gabe Glynn’s great grandfather survived—by a stroke of luck.

Factory safety is not a theoretical issue for Gabe Glynn, CEO of the wearable tech firm MākuSafe. “The reality is I wouldn’t exist today because of an industrial accident—had it not been for my great grandfather walking out of a factory in Cedar Rapids 101 years ago, just moments before it exploded,” he said in reference to John Griffin. “He spent the next few weeks pulling the bodies of 43 coworkers out of the rubble.”

Today, more than 1,000 people around the world die each day because of work-related accidents, according to the International Labor Organization.

“People read articles about us and call us, and they say, ‘Hey, my brother died in a work accident. My family is praying for you guys’,” Glynn said. “That stuff gives me chills. The reality is, here we are 101 years after that explosion in Cedar Rapids, and too many people aren’t going home from work. We are significantly better. But we still can be better yet.”

To that end, MākuSafe began offering its safety solution for sale in March—with about one-third of its available inventory for the year committed to a variety of industrial end-users and workers-compensation insurers, such as EMC and AF Group.

The firm uses a subscription model. A one-year subscription, which includes all hardware, software data access, installation and support costs $22 per wearable each month. One device can be shared by a first-shifter and a second-shifter but it must be recharged during the third shift. So, a company that subscribes to 20 wearables to cover 40 employees would pay $5,280 a year.

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