The Layers of Safety Monitoring

The demand for occupational safety has been growing over the last half century and with it the products, processes and methodologies that have been introduced and evolved to meet that demand. With recent explosive growth in cellular and GPS usage, new and innovative ways for us to work and play have been at the forefront of technological innovation. This revolution has changed the occupational health & safety sector in profound ways and with it, the entire structure of safety monitoring.

Previous methods of safety monitoring were dramatically lacking in their ability to provide prompt, accurate information without wasting both time and money. Safety monitoring as it exists today is markedly different from its predecessors with greater scalability, stronger underlying philosophies, and more concrete monitoring tools.

Worker-worn Safety Monitoring Devices

One such type of tool are worker-worn safety monitoring devices that allow employers to receive instant alerts and the location data of employees injured on-the-job. Devices such as these play an important role in a greater over-arching system that routes the communications through a secure server and directly to monitoring personnel through web, text message, email, and optionally via central monitoring station.

The Five Layers of Safety

Blackline GPS defines the critical requisite components of safety monitoring as five distinctive layers:

Administration

New methods of safety monitoring require an administrative structure first and foremost. It is the role of administration to ensure that all communications are properly received by monitoring personnel are interpreted and passed through the correct channels, allowing an expedient safety response. Administration provides the link between employees and the responders whose role it is to help them should an emergency occur.

Employee Adoption

Employee adoption and usage of the system is the second layer within safety monitoring. No safety system, regardless of functionality, accessibility, or reach will function if the employees fail to properly use of it. As such, safety monitoring systems require conscientious usage by all employees in an organization to order to function reliably. Many solutions reduce adoption barriers by allowing employees to operate seamlessly as if they were not even being monitored while at the same time, providing an unprecedented level of safety monitoring capability to the employer.

Wireless Communications

Wireless communications have formed the basis of worker safety monitoring for a generation. These communication methods form the third level of the safety monitoring framework. With a wide array of cellular networks found worldwide, wireless data has become a highly effective way to transmit safety information including location and worker status, resulting in never-before-seen safety capabilities such as real-time, automated reporting. The freedom that this provides to employees allows them to operate autonomously without sacrificing safety.

The technologies that have been implemented to meet the need for instant alerting are now being leveraged to provide instant, automated worker check-ins. Using this new form of employee safety verification, workers that are isolated from others are now able continue working without interruption while still being monitored with the highest standards of care.

Location Tracking

The newest generation of safety monitoring truly distinguishes itself from its predecessors through the combination of wireless communications, Cell ID, cellular triangulation, and GPS location tracking. The fusion of these technologies provides safety monitoring personnel with an instant, clear picture of what has occurred, as well as to whom and where the event took place. Real-time tracking and communication of location data ensures that no employee is ever alone at work.

Alerting and Check-in

The final layer is made up of alerting and check-in functionalities. Once communication has been established and timely location data can be sent to the appropriate responders, a worker has only to trigger an alert should he or she find him or herself in distress. The newest automated emergency detection solutions provide up to five modes of alerting including both automated and manual alerting.

Automated alerting ensures that any fallen or incapacitated employee wearing a device will trigger an alert immediately:
A Missed check-in alert is triggered if an employee misses a check-in on a pre-determined schedule
Fall detection distinguishes between a fall and other types of activity, alerting monitoring personnel immediately in the case of a slip, trip, or fall
No-motion alerting determines when an employee has lost consciousness and immediately pushes an alert to monitoring personnel

Manual emergency alerting ensures that an employee can trigger an emergency alert at any time in order to request an immediate response:
An emergency button or latch can be activated quickly and easy to indicate duress
Silent alerting allows a worker to signal an emergency without creating any noise or activating emergency lighting in the area

Conclusions

As a society, we have come to terms with the intricacies and complexities of developing, implementing, and maintaining a safe workplace. While safety has greatly improved over the last several decades, incidents still occur. Gaining instant knowledge that a situation has occurred could make the difference and improve an employee’s outcome greatly. With competitiveness in all areas of business becoming more important than ever, it is important to remember that there are new best practices in existence when it comes to monitoring the safety of your employees.

The demand for occupational safety has been growing over the last half century and with it the products, processes and methodologies that have aimed to meet that need have also grown. The past five years have seen an explosion in cellular and GPS usage, resulting in new and innovative ways for us to work and play. This technological explosion has changed the occupational safety sector in profound ways, and with it, the entire structure of safety monitoring.

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