Our Idea

Who are we?

We are Huron Heat Stress Management System, and we are a group of engineering graduate students. We bring experience in industrial safety and software development, which makes us uniquely qualified to develop an application to improve workplace safety.

What are we offering?

Huron is a software system that combines heat stress detection and hydration management to improve worker health, reduce risk and provide piece of mind to safety managers.

The system works by providing real time updates of a workplace’s heat stress index to a safety supervisor’s computer or smartphone and displays the recommended course of action. The hydration of employees is estimated by the number of times that they have scanned a bar-code next to a water refill station. This information is relayed to the supervisor, who can then advise workers who may be at risk of dehydration.

Who are we offering it to?

We are targeting companies who employ safety supervisors to manage employees who work in physical labour positions where heat-stress and dehydration are concerns. Many provinces in Canada have legislation that obliges these companies to follow certain protocol for how to manage working at high levels of heat stress.

Why does that person care?

Safety supervisors are responsible for the safety of individuals who are at increased risk for injury and illness due to dehydration and heat-stress effects.

These customers are also required by government regulation to follow heat-stress warnings and procedures but there is currently no existing tracking system. 

Giving safety supervisors a tool to easily track heat stress and worker hydration will allow them to devote more of their time and attention to other safety concerns.

Our distinctive competencies

Our team has connections to people that work both as safety supervisors and workers, in industries where heat stress is a concern. We also boast work experience in safety management, as well as in software development.

Occupational health and safety organizations currently recommend very poor tools for managing heat stress in the workplace. From our conversations with these organizations we are confident that we could get their recommendation for our system within a few years after our system is released. In provinces where there is legislation around heat stress in the workplace, this recommendation would be tremendously valuable.

The substitutes & alternatives

From speaking with the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, we have seen the tools that they recommend for managing heat stress in the workplace, and following the guidelines that provinces have included in their legislation.

 

These tools include a simple paper cut out that displays a recommended course of action based on a Humidex value, which is not the Heat Stress metric found in legislation. Another alternative is an application which calculates the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (which is the metric found in legislation), however this application does not even function in Canada.

We are confident that there a large amount of room to improve on these tools, and to add even more functionality by additionally tracking hydration levels of workers.

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Our Pitch

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The Key Personas and the Value They See

Our first key persona

Our first key person is a safety manager of a workplace where people are exposed to heat stress.

They care because their job involves minimizing the risk to the workers that they supervise, by following proper procedures and abiding by legislation. Having tools to make this process easier is very valuable to them because they have many different concerns when it comes to keeping the workplace safe.

Our promise to them is that we will provide reliable and powerful tools to help them keep their workplace safe. We will make it easier for you to follow the proper procedures laid out in guidelines and legislation for heat stress in the workplace.

Our second key persona

Our second key person is a worker who is at risk of being exposed to working with a high heat stress index, and/or at risk of dehydration.

They care because they have a difficult job and following proper safety procedures should have minimal disruption on them performing their job if possible. For their water consumption to be monitored all they have to do is quickly scan their water bottle right after after they refill it. They will appreciate that this system gives their supervisor another tool to help keep them safe, without causing them much hassle.

Our promise to them is that this system will enable their safety supervisors to better protect them, while having minimal disruption to them. Putting this information in their safety supervisor’s and their hands will also help them to perform their job better, and feel better overall.

Our third key persona

Our third key person is a worker in an occupational health and safety organization, that advises companies on how they can meet manage heat stress in the workplace, and prevent dehydration.

They care because being a good resource of workplace safety information for companies and workers is one of their core purposes. Any tools that make workplace safety easier to achieve, while not upsetting workers or supervisors, is something that they would be happy to endorse.

Our promise to them is that we will deliver a product that you can fully recommend to companies. Our design will make it so that there are fewer complaints made to your organizations about people working in conditions with high heat stress.

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Your feedback and ideas

Feedback on our idea and your assessment of it are incredibly important. Please provide yours below.

Giving feedback and making an assessment are pretty straightforward, but make sure you know how it's done »

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8 Comments

  1. Customer (C)

    5

    Value proposition (VP)

    6

    Substitutes & alternatives (SA)

    4

    People (P) on the team

    5

    Offering (O)

    7

    Distinctive competencies (DC)

    6

    A good idea. I would like to give a suggestion to this venture. If you can keep a track of the worker’s blood pressure, heart rate and pulse that it would really help in extreme medical cases, which provides utmost safety to your employers.

  2. Customer (C)

    7.9

    Value proposition (VP)

    7.3

    Substitutes & alternatives (SA)

    4

    People (P) on the team

    8

    Offering (O)

    8

    Distinctive competencies (DC)

    6

    I love your product and your pitch. But I really concern about the safety problems. Just think if you could change it to a kitchen stuff, it will be way more safer.

  3. Customer (C)

    6.5

    Value proposition (VP)

    6.5

    Substitutes & alternatives (SA)

    5

    People (P) on the team

    5

    Offering (O)

    8

    Distinctive competencies (DC)

    5

    -I’d like to hear some concrete examples of specific domains where this might be used (ex: Site construction, kitchen workers, etc.).
    -Nice demo, makes the product seem feasible.
    -I think you could improve your value prop by mentioning the severe consequences of dehydration (i.e. death), instead of just casually mentioning heat related illnesses.
    -I am curious about the limitations of the product. Is this feasible for all types of physical labor? (ex: I could see some difficulties setting something like this up for road workers or rig workers working in remote locations)
    -Make clear in your pitch that the substitutes/alternatives here are outdated, low tech, or do not function in Canada, and that you plan to fill the void.
    -Introduce your team in the pitch (your names, your roles, competencies, etc)
    -Make note of your distinctive competencies in your pitch (e.g. being first to market for a product that doesn’t exist here, holding that competitive advantage through working/building relationships with safety organizations, patenting your product if possible, etc.)

  4. Customer (C)

    5.6

    Value proposition (VP)

    5.3

    Substitutes & alternatives (SA)

    5.5

    People (P) on the team

    3.1

    Offering (O)

    5.2

    Distinctive competencies (DC)

    3.2

    I believe the idea is a very good one, it helps prevent incidents at the work place. Your pitch did not however make me feel like you can do this and there was no reason for me to believe your product will last long in the market. I would try and connect more with the audience with a story and explain why your team can carry this idea out.

  5. Customer (C)

    7.2

    Value proposition (VP)

    5

    Substitutes & alternatives (SA)

    6

    People (P) on the team

    5.4

    Offering (O)

    5.7

    Distinctive competencies (DC)

    5.9

    – each person has different hydration requirements, this could be difficult to control without getting more personal details, ie. how much water do they drink normally, do they sweat a lot? etc. How are the hydration requirements going to be determined? Is there going to be physical feedback from the workers or is this simply monitoring use of the water bottle? Perhaps there could be a wearable monitor to help identify when a worker’s vitals show indicative signs of dehydration against a hydrated baseline vitals.
    – the worker does not seem to be an ideal persona, as in theory, this will be a mechanism that will be imposed on them. they would not most likely be the ones who would seek this product out for purchase. however, it could be offered as a health and wellness app/system for people to keep track of their water intake on a personal level
    – highlight specific experience in engineering and safety, and possibly any experience or knowledge in physiology

  6. Customer (C)

    5

    Value proposition (VP)

    7

    Substitutes & alternatives (SA)

    5

    People (P) on the team

    7

    Offering (O)

    7

    Distinctive competencies (DC)

    6

    Nice pitch and great idea but many limitations. Not every place persisting this situation will have this. Not every worker will be in this periphery though the situation arises. Taking about the dehydration, it doesn’t fit well. What are the accurate statistics for this. Companies have EHS department and they have their own software, it would be more expensive for them to install, because not every worker will be exposed to this.

  7. Customer (C)

    7.7

    Value proposition (VP)

    8.7

    Substitutes & alternatives (SA)

    7.6

    People (P) on the team

    6.8

    Offering (O)

    6.7

    Distinctive competencies (DC)

    8.9

    Your product is amazing and I would like to buy one if you make it. But what I am concerned is it fit for all the perennial customer you guys mentioned in your pitch, I think you should consider more on the feasibility aspect.

  8. Customer (C)

    8

    Value proposition (VP)

    8

    Substitutes & alternatives (SA)

    8

    People (P) on the team

    8

    Offering (O)

    8.5

    Distinctive competencies (DC)

    8

    The product is fantastic and ideal for people with dehydration issues. If the product can be put into market, then it will solve the problem when people work in physical positions and heat is strong. But I think that it would be better that you combine personal details to make specialized solutions for different customers.