Manufacturer tracking employee health, density with location technology
Emerson is using its technology to monitor the health of essential workers and keep them healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emerson has enhanced its Location Awareness technology to include social density management and contact tracing to protect employee health and help essential industries safely continue operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Location Awareness is designed for severe industrial environments for companies to better safeguard employee safety and help create new work processes and practices for operational continuity.
By utilizing WirelessHART networks along with battery-powered anchors and rechargeable personnel location tags, Location Awareness provides relevant-time, safety-focused monitoring of personnel, enabling enhanced geofencing and monitoring, improved safety mustering and more effective safety alerts. It’s estimated that the system can help address more than 70% of common personnel-recordable incidents. It can also be installed in just days, compared to weeks for existing systems, and costs less than half of traditional alternatives.
“Worker safety has always been paramount for our customers, but now more than ever, they need tools to help them manage employee exposure risks and navigate new regulatory requirements,” said Bob Karschnia, vice president and general manager of pervasive sensing at Emerson’s Automation Solutions business in a press release. “The majority of our customers are part of the essential, critical infrastructure around the world, and the new Location Awareness social density and contact tracing features can help keep workers safe while maintaining vital operations during this global pandemic.”
The technology enables manufacturers to digitally design geofenced areas that limit the number of personnel in specific locations to promote social distancing, consistent with occupational safety guidelines and best practices recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance during this pandemic. If the social density – number of people in a given area – exceeds the predetermined threshold, an alert is sent to the operator.
The technology also provides reports for contact tracing in the event an employee becomes ill, enabling employers to quickly identify and notify other employees who may have come in contact with the individual and to determine the physical environment areas requiring deep cleaning.
In addition, Location Awareness can be used for safety mustering for drills and emergencies as well as safety alerts initiated by personnel involved with or observing dangerous situations. The advanced technology can also be used for creating known hazardous zones and contractor work zones using geofencing.