Last month we gave you an overview of the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) for Facilities. We took a broad look at the ways that IoT could benefit facilities, including operations and management, utility management, improving user experience and SOW adaptability.
Now we are continuing to look closer at specific ways that IoT can provide more efficient processes within your facility. In this article, we’re going to take a deeper dive into how IoT can benefit safety and security in your workplace environment.
During the pandemic, manufacturing and industrial companies have been working hard to keep up with increasing consumer demands while also keeping their people healthy and safe. Other businesses have tried to reduce occupancy and require personal protective equipment (PPE), like masks, for all staff and visitors. However, despite all this, the National Safety Commission (NSC) has said, “COVID-19 continues to be the single most significant workplace safety challenge in a century.”
COVID-19 may be an extreme hazard to the health and wellbeing of employees and customers but even during unprecedented times, IoT solutions can help you define a strategy, apply communication layers and analyze your organization’s safety and security.
IoT for Safety and Security
As online technology increases worldwide, more businesses and organizations are taking advantage of IoT in managing their everyday business. We’re seeing innovative ways that businesses are integrating IoT into how they manage daily tasks, improve procedures, secure their facility and take safety to a new level in the workplace.
Consider IoT Solutions Initially
Considering IoT applications at the beginning of each change or install will help your organization have better coverage, a more technologically secure environment, safer working conditions and data that can support your ROI. As the world becomes more connected and mobile communications establish a more significant part in how we handle internal and external applications, businesses can begin taking advantage of the various systems available.
Video plays a significant role in the future of IoT for safety in the workplace. Video technology allows you to have real-time input throughout your workplace, or in a variety of different places, regardless of time or location. Video surveillance can be used to monitor when specific alarms and sensors are tripped, or even after an event to analyze what happened, why it happened, and what could be changed in the future to prevent it from happening again.
Video technology can also be used with fleet and driver monitoring to lower fleet costs, gain insight and visibility, get instant alerts to incidents and quickly resolve disputes by having video footage to back up your driver’s case. It can also monitor drivers for changes in their health, demeanor or behavior. The alerts and reports can give you the data you need to increase the safety of your fleet.
Staff/Visitor Tracking Technology
Always know where staff and/or visitors are within your facility with wearable tracking sensors. Track and manage employees, contractors, or visitors throughout the facility, manage employee tasks and keep up-to-the-minute knowledge of contractor whereabouts within your facility.
Beyond simple tracking, it can also be a great solution for staff working in environments where slips, trips and falls are a risk and in areas where there is a risk of physical attacks or exposure. The tracking technology can be used for monitoring lone workers or groups and can detect falls, impact, chemicals and radiation. Once a risk has been detected, it will alert the wearer and an external monitor to send immediate assistance.
Life safety systems, including fire management and control devices, can be programmed and monitored 24/7 from any location in the world. Messages or alerts can be instantly sent to as few or as many people that you want. People from different locations around the world can instantly know when something needs attention.
Entry & Exit Controls
The entrances and exits to any business are extremely important to both safety and security. Controlling who enters which areas means you can control access to sensitive areas, like clean rooms or human resources. You can also control entry to areas that could be dangerous for unauthorized personnel. IoT allows you to set access permissions on entry and access points, monitor who is in specific areas, and control who enters and exits. You’ll have real-time knowledge and documentation of whoever is inside your business from any location in the world.
During an emergency, you’ll be able to reach personnel quickly and easily via email, text or social media applications. When an emergency happens, reaching the right people as quickly as possible is essential.
When emergency supplies are located within the facility, like AEDs (automated external defibrillators), IoT can keep the equipment safe, only permit those allowed to open the case and alert the safety team when secure cabinets are opened, and emergency equipment is activated.
Sensors can be installed to not only monitor employees but also the environment around them. They can detect extreme temperatures, incoming inclement weather, radiation levels and more, and can alert workers to these hazards. Motion trackers can be placed near dangerous or unstable areas to alert employees to proceed with caution.
One of the best outcomes from using IoT in safety practices is the data. Safety managers can have real-time access to incidents and build cases for changes or improvements based on historical data. Data from body sensors can be used to assess body movement for ergonomics, and exposure of employees for industrial hygiene. It can also help identify trends, areas of risk, or common denominators that highlight risks for workers or within the facility. The data analysis can improve employee training, help change behavior and support additional PPE needs.
When using the Internet of Things (IoT), data can be transferred and collected over a wireless network without human intervention. It improves awareness, uniformity and response time, and may also help reduce costs. There are thousands of different ways that IoT can benefit your business; safety and security is only one, but its protection can benefit every asset, increase the safety for personnel and preserve the privacy of all other IoT devices.
Flagship Facility Services can help you implement IoT solutions to improve your facility's safety and give you a substantial safety advantage. We have experienced and professional teams ready to help your business with your IoT requirements and your integrated facilities management needs.
Flagship's customizable approach to your facility's needs will help you incorporate IoT solutions that will protect your occupants and assets now and into the future.