In Dangerous Environments
RFID prevents injuries at construction sites, in mines and chemical plants
Roland Timmelmann is helping to build a new skyscraper in Dubai. Every morning there’s no more punching the clock as in the old days. Roland gets his time card stamped via radio waves – thanks to RFID. Roland carries his RFID-enabled badge in his wallet and waves it in front of a reader at an access point. A light turns green and Roland enters the secure construction site.
Working with safe equipment
Now it’s time to gear up for work. Roland straps on a safety harness that will catch him if he loses his footing hundreds of metres above the ground. Regulations require that most safety equipment be inspected on a regular basis. Roland’s harness is tagged with RFID so that managers can track safety inspections and make sure it is in working order. A shift manager holds the harness up to a reader, which extracts information from the RFID tag sewn into the belt. The identification number on the harness is linked, in a database, to important safety information, such as inspection status and harness size.
Like his colleagues who work in tunnels and mines, Roland also wears a helmet that is fitted with RFID. This allows construction managers to know his exact location in the event of an accident or impending danger. Workers welcome the electronic systems because of the added safety they provide. In addition, RFID time clocks and inspection systems mean far fewer forms to fill!
RFID at the service of better working conditions
RFID is an important safety technology for workers in a wide variety of industries, including the chemicals industry. One company uses it to track dangerous chemicals as they are transported by rail. Wagons are tagged with RFID so that the company knows exactly when shipments arrive and depart from key locations. Other companies use RFID to protect workers who have access to areas in which they may be exposed to harmful radiation. With RFID, managers can calculate how much time a worker has spent in a given area and call him out if he risks overexposure.
Chemicals are transported around the world on trucks, ships and planes. They are moved in drums or cylinders, and companies struggle to keep track of thousands of these items. RFID can be used to manage the logistics and supply chain process more efficiently and to make sure that dangerous chemicals don’t fall into the wrong hands or spill. If an accident does happen or barrels go missing, the RFID system can be used to alert health and security officials speedily.
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