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While PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) has not traditionally had the capabilities to help prevent human error, the latest safety innovations, such as gas detection wearables, can help provide the visibility and data-driven insights to help create adaptable, proactive safety programs and establish a culture of behavior-based safety.

But what is a gas detection wearable? What are the benefits of connected safety technology? Here are answers to those top questions:

MSA Altair io4 wearable gas detection

MSA (Mine Safety Appliance) ALTAIR io 4

What is a gas detection wearable?

A gas detection wearable, such as the ALTAIR io™ 4 Gas Detection Wearable, is designed to be worn by each individual worker, on his/her person, while on the jobsite. With a wearable detector that can simply clip directly onto apparel or other PPE, such as a fall harness, lone workers can be monitored in real-time to help provide critical data points about on-site workers to off-site safety managers, including emergency monitoring.

The number of workplace injuries remains nearly unchanged year-over-year, with more than 2 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employees in 2019.¹ And up to 90% of serious workplace injuries can be attributed to human error.²

What makes the ALTAIR io 4 different from other gas detectors?

Compared to other portable gas detectors and other MSA ALTAIR detectors, the new ALTAIR io™ 4 was built to be connected from the ground-up. The ALTAIR io™ 4 device’s automatic CAT-M LTE cellular connectivity right out-of-the-box enables instant connection to MSA Grid cloud-based software.

With the ALTAIR io™ 4, you no longer need to involve IT teams or add a software service separately; the technology simplifies safety rather than making it more complicated. The device goes beyond local alarm capabilities; its automatic integration with MSA’s Grid cloud-based software means that safety managers have visibility of lone workers and remote worksites instantly.

What is the durability rating of the ALTAIR io 4?

The ALTAIR io™ 4 was tested under the harshest conditions. It has a military-grade durability rating, the ability to survive a 25-foot drop test and withstands exposure to extreme temperatures. It has a dust and waterproof IP68 rating and was tested through a 60-minute tumble test and 60-minute vibration table test.

The io™ 4 also features the industry leading XCELL® sensors that are expected of MSA detectors.

What are the benefits of connected safety technology for gas detection?

A connected work program for gas detection can provide the visibility that is needed to manage large teams of workers and help establish a behavior-based culture of safety. Connected hardware and software solutions can provide real-time data such as worker location and how the detector is being used by each worker – which all help inform safety training. With real-time visibility of lone workers, safety managers can make sure those workers are protected with instant alerts.

What is the MSA Connected Work Platform?

The Connected Work Platform includes hardware and software solutions to help build connections between workers and worksites to provide actionable data that helps safety managers create safer and more efficient work environments.

Included in the Connected Work Platform are:

  1. The ALTAIR io™ 4 Gas Detection Wearable
  2. MSA Grid cloud-based software
  3. MSA+ subscription offerings

The ALTAIR io™ 4 drives the platform, making the connection between the device as a gas detector and the software that provides the data and insights to help your safety program.

How does MSA+ work?

MSA+ is a subscription program including hardware and software, that gives you access to powerful cloud-based solutions enabling faster implementation, increased warranty coverage and automatic software and firmware upgrades – with minimal capital expense.

The ALTAIR io 4 is only available through an MSA+ subscription. Benefits include:

  • Devices are always under warranty for subscribers
  • Minimal capital expense through monthly or annual subscriptions
  • New features and functionality are pushed routinely to Grid software and your fleet for instant—and ongoing—improvements to your safety program

What are the subscription options for the ALTAIR io 4 and Grid?

Based on what your safety program needs, you can choose from three levels of Grid software service – Grid Compliance Service, Grid Fleet Manager, or Grid Live Monitor – with pricing based on a 36-, 48-, or 60-month subscription plan.


Grid Compliance Service

Grid Fleet Management Service
Grid Live Monitor Service
Emergency Live Monitor
OTA Software Updates
MSA id Digital Device Assignment
90-Days Cloud Logs
Fleet Cloud Configuration
Fleet Manager Dashboard 
Streamlined Device Compliance 
Fleet Manager Reporting 
ALTAIR io DOCK Monitoring 
Lifetime Cloud Logs  
Full Event Live Monitoring  
Event Management  
Fleet Messaging  
Location Awareness  

Connected platforms are ideal for:

  • General Industry
  • Fire Service
  • Mining
  • Utilities
  • Construction
  • Oil & Gas


2 Gartner Digital Markets – Global Software Trends for 2021: A New and Normal Future


Have a Safe Day!