Blog PostsAptima Launches Spin-off
Sentinel Occupational Safety: Safety Made Personal

Aptima Launches Spin-off

Venture-Backed ‘Sentinel Occupational Safety’ Introduces “Safety as a Service’ for hazardous and confined space workers

Sentinel’s SafeGuard offering provides ‘Safety as a Service’ to monitor and protect workers in dangerous industrial environments

With millions of workers injured and killed annually in hazardous industrial workplace environments, Sentinel Occupational Safety Inc., a new venture-backed startup, is introducing its ‘Safety as a Service’ platform known as SafeGuard™ to improve workplace safety through more preventive oversight. 

SafeGuard’s unique IoT approach combines sensors, wearables, and AI analytics to intelligently and continuously monitor workers in a variety of dangerous occupational settings. From frontline firefighters and construction workers who face excessive heat, smoke, and pollution on the job, to those working inside dangerous confined spaces in the presence of noxious fumes, chemicals, and other hazards, workers face far greater risk of injury or death when inadequately monitored, working alone or remotely.  

100 occupational fatalities each week are deemed preventable.  Work-related injury and illness cause 500+ million annual lost workdays.*

How SafeGuard works

SafeGuard fuses a combination of environmental, human, and locational data from a worker’s sensors, analyzing it in the cloud and at the edge to provide real-time detection and alerting.  For a mechanic welding inside a ship compartment, for example, algorithms assess their physiological, atmospheric, and other indicators, including heart rate, breathing, air quality, and motion, detecting risks such as dangerous levels of fuel vapors or low oxygen, and their health status.

Unlike current safety protocols that rely on one-to-one observers to check in with confined space workers at intervals, SafeGuard’s cloud-based monitoring enables a single safety manager to oversee the real-time health and safety of 15-20 workers simultaneously, even tracking their precise locations in GPS denied environments.  

Predictive alerts and intuitive at-a-glance “green-yellow-red’ status indicators provide continuous, comprehensive monitoring for proactive injury prevention. In the case of high risk or man-down situations, SafeGuard’s built-in decision support capabilities facilitate the appropriate intervention, including emergency or medical response when seconds and minutes are crucial.

Commercializing defense innovation

Funded by Aptima Ventures and the Dayton-based Accelerant Fund, Sentinel was launched to commercialize an innovative ‘confined space monitoring system’ originally developed to improve safety oversight of US Air Force aviation maintenance personnel.  The system developed by Aptima, Inc., Lockheed Martin, and the Air Force, and the basis of SafeGuard, will improve real-time incident detection and alerting for safer operations. It is also expected to boost Air Force productivity, allowing nearly 80% of personnel previously used in 1:1 worker monitoring to be freed up for other work.

“We’re excited to take innovative technology designed to protect military personnel and transition it to the urgent safety needs of workers in the wider industrial market,” said Zachary Kiehl, CEO of Sentinel Occupational Safety and former Human System Performance Lead at Aptima. “Through the remarkable partnership of the US Air Force, Aptima, and Lockheed Martin, we were able to realize the lifesaving potential of fusing together wearable sensor data, AI analytics, and operational context to personalize worker safety monitoring. SafeGuard not only better protects workers in dangerous jobs, but it’s also a workforce multiplier enabling better allocation of human labor.”

The rise of more dangerous work

In the US alone, the costs of occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities exceed $250 billion annually. In addition to the inherent dangers of confined space jobs, the general trend toward increasingly dangerous work conditions are being exacerbated by civil unrest, global pandemics, climate change, heatwaves, and forest fires. In the case of first-responders, fire, and medical personnel, SafeGuard’s AI-based physiological baselining, contextualized sensing, and predictive alerting can monitor for heat stress, exhaustion, pollution and other conditions impacting worker health.

For lone and remote workers, such as utility and power grid personnel at risk from falls or electrical shock while far from others, SafeGuard’s motion- and fall-detection, and man-down alerts are uniquely suited to providing these vital monitoring and response needs.

Extensible Platform

The SafeGuard platform is sensor agnostic. The patented fusion engine technology and big data modeling can integrate and correlate nearly any sensor and data type to provide monitoring and predictive alerting for specific jobs and occupational safety requirements.

Because SafeGuard’s underlying technology was initially developed for stringent military application, its algorithms have been validated to prevent false positives. The Safety-as-a-Service platform employs encryption and other data security measures for transmission, cloud storage, and privacy requirements.  

To hear more about the development of SafeGuard and the team’s future plans, please listen to the MINDWORKSTM podcast, hosted by Aptima CEO Daniel Serfaty as he interviews key team members at or wherever you get your podcasts.  To view the SafeGuard video, visit:

*Statistics from OSHA, Dept. of Labor and Integrated Benefits Institute

About Sentinel Occupational Safety

Sentinel Occupational Safety was founded by a passionate team of professionals working to usher in the future of safe and productive work. Born out of America’s Small Business Innovative Research Program and Aptima Ventures, LLC, Sentinel is a leader in the use of industrial IoT for occupational health and safety optimization. Humans have been and always will be more important than hardware. We don’t just believe in this philosophy, we’ve developed an entire system around this premise. Come join us in our quest to personalize safety and provide a safer work environment for all. For more information

Media Contact:

Joel Greenberg
202-363-1065 | 202-669-3639 cell