Man-Down Monitoring

Posted by Ken Lynch on Wed, Nov 03, 2010 @ 11:19 AM

Tags: Worker Safety, RFID, GPS, Disaster Management

RFID Provides a Safety Net for Workers in Hazardous Conditions

Utility WorkerFrom remote construction sites to prisons, oil rigs, war zones and hospital psychiatric wards, those working in dangerous environments often rely on innovative technology and extraordinary processes to ensure their safety.  In some cases, providing worker safety may require the use of a dedicated system to detect “non-movement” as an indicator that a worker may be incapacitated due to a fall or other life threatening situation.

Man-Down and Lone Worker monitoring systems often contain a combination of locating and sensing technologies to sense non-movement and the position of an individual (standing or prone), and wirelessly broadcast an alarm or alert to a monitoring station if their status indicates a potentially dangerous condition.  Most monitoring devices also include a panic button and some even incorporate GPS tracking and voice recording, allowing for a wider variety of conditional data.

One such monitoring solution is offered by Axcess International Inc. and is being deployed on an oil-drilling platform in Malaysia to track when workers become inactive, indicating a possible injury.  As explored in an RFID Journal article, Axcess International is positioning their Man-Down Monitoring and Locating solution to oil companies, the mining industry and other markets where hazardous work conditions exist.

The Axcess solution includes 315 MHz or 433 MHz battery powered RFID tags that are activated by strategically placed exciters (readers).  Back end system software translates the tag data – including worker ID numbers and motion sensor information – and provides real-time actionable records to help determine whether a worker’s status requires an immediate response.

In addition to providing a safety net for workers in dangerous environments, applications like this can be expanded on and integrated into a wide variety of safety and productivity enhancing solutions for disaster management, border and port security, hazardous waste chain of custody and others. 

If I was working day in and day out in dangerous and sometime life threatening situations, I’d want to work with a net – an RFID safety net.  How about you?

[Image: By Dori [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-us], from Wikimedia Commons]

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