In any industrial setting, the safety of employees is of paramount importance. Employers are always looking for ways to keep their employees safe while also maintaining production efficiency. In a workplace where mobile plant and machinery are in use, the risk of being hit by moving objects is always present. This includes accidents involving vehicles, machinery, and mobile plant. These types of accidents can cause serious injuries such as fractures, head injuries, lacerations and can be fatal.
These accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common causes is the proximity of workers to mobile plant and machinery. It’s important for employers and employees to take steps to prevent workplace accidents by identifying and controlling hazards, providing appropriate training and equipment, and maintaining a safe work environment.
One safety solution that has been gaining popularity in recent years is the use of proximity alert solution to separate workers and mobile plant.
Proximity alert solutions use a combination of sensors and software to track the location of workers and equipment in real-time. When a worker gets too close to a piece of equipment or enters a hazardous or “No Go” area, the system will trigger an alert to warn of the potential danger. This technology is particularly useful in environments where workers and machinery operate in close proximity, such as manufacturing plants, construction sites, mines, road works, and warehouses.
There are few different types of proximity alert systems available, and each has its own unique features and benefits. These can be:
Standalone solution – individual devices, each operating independently
Integrated solution – as part of infrastructure and network
Sensor technologies can include RFID, Bluetooth, Camera, Radar, BLE Beacons
Integrated Proximity Alert System is comprised of 3 components:
- An Alert Device attached-to or located-in the cabin or in ‘no-go’ zones;
- A tag/beacon that is either attached to hard hats or worn by workers.
- Network setting that is connecting all tags and alert devices.
Works only where infrastructure is available.
May offer slightly better detection accuracy & management notifications, however, they require investment in infrastructure and are limited to these areas.
Initial implementation costs usually are very high.
One of the efficient and effective proximity alert system is the stand-alone solution. The standalone Proximity Alert System is comprised of 2 components:
- A sensor/alarm/visual unit attached-to or located-in the machinery or in the hazardous area;
- A personal tag that is either attached to hard hats or worn by workers.
The tags are small, low-power wireless devices that transmit data to other devices nearby. They work by emitting a signal that can be picked up by a sensor/device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and used to trigger an action or display information.
The benefits of using a proximity alert system are numerous. Firstly, it can help to prevent accidents and injuries. Operators of the machinery can be alerted to the presence of workers, allowing them to take appropriate action to avoid a potential accident.
One of the key benefits of proximity alert systems is that they can be customised to meet the specific needs of each workplace. For example, the system can be programmed to identify specific hazards or dangerous areas and alert workers accordingly. It can also be integrated with other safety technologies, such as emergency stop buttons or automatic shut-off systems, to provide an additional layer of protection.
Proximity alert systems can also help to reduce costs associated with accidents and injuries. Workplace accidents can be expensive, resulting in lost time, increased insurance premiums, and potential legal action. By investing in a proximity alert system, employers can help to prevent accidents and injuries, reducing the costs associated with these incidents.
The main benefit of a standalone proximity alert system is the cost and the easy set up. A stand-alone proximity alert solution does not require any infrastructure installation and it can be set up pretty quickly in any workplace.
Proximity alert solutions can also help to improve the overall safety culture of a workplace. By demonstrating a commitment to worker safety, employers can create a positive workplace environment that encourages employees to take safety seriously. This can lead to a reduction in the number of accidents and injuries, as well as improved productivity and job satisfaction.
The use of proximity alert solutions is an effective way to keep workers safe in industrial settings. By separating people and plant and providing real-time alerts when workers approach hazardous areas or equipment, employers can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. This technology can be configured to meet the specific needs of each workplace and can help to improve the overall safety culture of the organization. By investing in proximity alert solutions, employers can create a safer and more productive workplace for everyone.