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Digital Personal Protective Equipment

Actively protect lone workers ensuring that help is on the way when something goes wrong.


OnGuard is a worker health & safety management system focused on reducing the risk of incidents and downtime.


Project Duration

From 2016 - 2018

Working closely with clients and stakeholders, early and frequent validation of usability improvements and quick iteration.

Design thinking, and continuous user validation under a waterfall development process.



Client info

Risk management is necessary for workers performing daily tasks that require exposure to any hazard. Also, it is a requirement for companies to prevent negligence, reduce insurance premiums while causing minimum impact on existing workflows, and, above all, support their workforce.

The user experience design has been essential to the company's success. It is very rewarding to participate in a start-up company starting from the ground up and consolidating in multiple industries.  


My role
Physical and digital product design for mobile, web and IoT devices. I also made the illustrations and animations as part of the user journey and marketing materials.


OnGuard changed its branding some years ago. During this project you will see some of the assets under Sens-Net.


Design thinking for protecting exposed lone-workers

In 2014 OnGuard, originally branded as Sens-net, started operations. The company saw an opportunity with the new Working Alone law OHS Code part 280 taking place in Alberta.

This law helps ensure that steps are taken by employers and employees to enhance the safety of those working alone by minimizing or eliminating risks, providing a means of communicating an emergency situation to a capable responder and contacting the worker at appropriate routine intervals to assess or confirm his wellness.


Value proposition

The OnGuard worker safety solution is designed to monitor employee safety 24 hours a day through the use of mainstream or specialized mobile devices.


OnGuard is designed to monitor, record and report employee locations, facilitate simplified employee check-in at predetermined times, remind an employee they are required to check in, detect an employee in a Man Down situation and allow an employee to summon help in an emergency situation.


When user errors could be life-threatening

As part of their MVP, the company focused on Oil&Gas workers in remote areas of Alberta. As their product offering matured, more verticals and industries were included.

Understand user pains

In Oil & Gas lone workers' risk is an everyday concern.  It’s a fact of life for thousands of workers in the oil and gas industry that remote workers will be driving hundreds of miles weekly on back roads in rural areas to work in hazardous areas with dangerous equipment like pump jacks. Intrinsic risks are always present and even when risk assessment, training, and best practices are a high priority for companies, there is a real ever-present possibility that some :

After understanding the needs of these particular workers, we started matching the power story with other verticals, like construction workers.

Main emergency scenarios

Panic Button

When an emergency happens and workers need immediate help, they can simply press a panic button either on the screen, on equipped rugged phones or on wearable IoT devices.

Fall Detection

A man-down alarm ensures no one will be left alone in the event of a workplace incident. A fall alert system uses sensors built into Android smartphones or connected wearables detect that you have fallen, are motionless and may be injured.

Toxic Gas Detection

Sophisticated gas detectors and heart rate sensors integrate with all IoT wearables to provide more accurate information to a response team about the type of alert and how to effectively respond.

HazLoc Detection

The system can define a geo-fence around a hazardous area, notifying the user at entry and triggering an alarm in case the operator stays longer than expected.

Flow chat explaining the roles, statuses and actions in the system


Interfaces ready for the worst-case scenario

Desktop UI for Emergency Response Center

This interface is meant for the ERC responder, constantly monitoring any situation and ready to act in case of emergency.

Initial mockup
Final result

Mobile app for ruggedized phones

The mobile app runs on android and was specifically designed for Sonin phones, including an emergency button included in the hardware.


The app was customizable to fit the needs of clients and match their different requirements.

Matrix of check-in states and statuses

Technology that saves lives

OnGuard became the industry leader in real-time geo-spatial awareness and worker safety.  It is very rewarding to look back at the initial designs developed almost a decade ago.  The company has expanded its services to mining, utilities, hospitality, transportation and hospitality, providing support to thousands of users and countless emergencies.

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