Wearable technology for on-site health and safety

Wearable technology

If you haven’t been living under a rock for a few years, you will most likely have heard about the recent obsession with wearable technology. You’ll see many people boasting their smart watch as they walk around town, or others jogging past wearing a fitness band. The world of health and safety is also getting in on the craze, by integrating wearable technology into site safety procedures.

One example is the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which uses small electronic chips to transfer information from a transponder to a receptor. On a dangerous building site, the wearable RFID chips from SiteZone, are helping to save lives. It works by simply warning both pedestrians and the machinery drivers of each other’s presence. It is essential, though not always easy or even possible, to segregate moving vehicles and heavy plant from workers and pedestrians.

The ‘don’t burst the bubble’ analogy

A useful analogy for how this system works is imagining a bubble around a vehicle or section of heavy plant. With the bubble representing the danger zone around the machinery, that pedestrians should do their best to avoid in order to prevent accidental collisions. The pedestrian wears a small RFID transponder on either their hard hat or their sleeve, and a small unit is fitted to the vehicle.

When a pedestrian enters the ‘bubble’ around the vehicle, both the driver and the pedestrian receive a warning. Which is delivered through vibrations, visual, and audio alerts. It is important to have a two way alarm, as it isn’t only the responsibility of the pedestrian, but the driver’s also, to avoid a collision. If a pedestrian does breach a safety zone, the proximity warning system will automatically log the incident.

OnGrade have also launched OverSite, which transfers all of the logged data to a website so managers can identify any repeat offenders, and offer targets and safety training.

There are multiple uses

OnGrade’s SiteZone Proximity Warning System, has proven to be very popular with some of the biggest construction, waste management and civil engineering companies. For example, Carillion uses the system in a large number of its sites in the UK. Powerday, who own and operate the most effective and largest recycling facility in Southern England, are also using the system.

Providing instant protection

SiteZone can ‘see around corners’, through dust and smoke, and in the dark, unlike basic cameras. A few of the latest features are especially valuable for busy sites; SiteZone instant for instance, can easily be fitted to any vehicle that arrives on site. And is ideal for temporarily hired, delivery and waste vehicles arriving at landfill.

There is also an optional telemetry add-on, which makes key performance indicators for health and safety more tangible. Managers can see opportunities they have to motivate their workforce in order to not ‘burst the bubble’.

It is adaptable

OnGrade has spent time working closely with some of their biggest clients, in order to refine and develop the system. Making it more practical as a form of self-defence for pedestrians and drivers.

By using the Zone Selector, users are able to switch between two ranges, which are pre-set. This is ideal for variable tasks or environments. In addition BucketZone creates a separate detection zone around working equipment of machines, which is useful for shovels and excavators.