The primary asset in any industry and the most valuable part of all organizations is their human capital. Hence, it is no surprise that worker safety is a core concern across industries, especially in the manufacturing ecosystem. Protecting workers’ security, tracking them remotely, and ensuring the best working conditions for them is a constant challenge for any business. This is especially true for manufacturing where worksites are prone to accidents, mishaps, and other fatal, as well as non-fatal, occupational hazards. Workplaces in the manufacturing sector are susceptible to many risks – heavy moving equipment, chemicals, overhead cranes, toxic gas, heat exposure, falls, fire to name a few. IoT technology has the perfect solution that allays such concerns.
How do IoT-enabled security solutions solve worker safety concerns?
Yes, IoT applications and related technology are indeed great news for manufacturers seeking solutions that ensure their workers’ safety. These IoT-based security solutions have given rise to the connected worker, where the worker always remains visible, cognizant, and connected at all times. IoT in conjunction with advanced technologies like wearables, IoT devices, IoT sensors, and data analytics connects the workers, including those working in remote locations, to a centralized system. Such an IoT-enabled solution keeps employees safe and raises the monitoring capabilities to the next level that make workplaces efficient and productive.
Security-related applications of IoT connected platforms
IoT connected platforms supporting human assets lead to the following benefits.
Reduction in unexpected accidents
Managers can monitor the noise level, the presence of radiation, toxic gas level, and other physical attributes in real-time. They can also receive real-time alerts if the level of any of these entities crosses its threshold limit.
Remotely tracking workers
This technology helps in tracking workers’ location even when they are at a remote location and triggering warning signals if a worker crosses into secured areas or places requiring unique safety requirements.
Improved rescue and evacuations
Managers and workers can use the indoor navigation to search for the shortest path to reach a particular location. This can be extremely useful in rescue operations and during the evacuation.
Ensuring worker safety
Smart IoT applications are capable of monitoring and analyzing workers’ physicals and vitals in real-time. This is especially useful to improve their safety in the hazardous and dangerous work environment.
Taking predictive/proactive action
Using IoT solutions, you can analyze data to detect patterns that can predict potential equipment failure that may create unsafe conditions, before they impact workers
Improving worker performance
As an added benefit IoT security solutions can easily ensure a better working environment. Additionally, it can also increase employee productivity with a connected worker solution. These solutions can determine the location of employees and the overall production time during their working hours. They can also track the workers’ deliverable quality and yield, without any manual intervention.
Constant monitoring helps in reducing insurance costs for liability and improving compliance throughout the workforce. You can monitor worker compliance and demonstrate your adherence to health and safety regulations.
Delivering worker confidence and security through IoT technology
An IoT-driven connected and safe working environment leads to improved employee morale and operational confidence. Such an IoT-based connected worker solution is thus essential for almost every manufacturing industry including mining, manufacturing, oil and gas, agriculture, fire and safety, real estate and construction, and many more. Wearable technology along with IoT has started to transform the way we work today.
For example, in glass or metal industry workers are exposed to extreme heat conditions, a combination of skin temperature, raised heart rate, and no movement patterns from embedded sensors can point to heat stress. Analytics of these parameters instantly alert instances where a worker’s physical well-being is compromised. The same platform is used in mining to prevent excessive exposure of individual miners to toxic gases like sulfur dioxide. Features like smart helmet and wristbands allow companies to see miners’ exact locations. It also helps detect a worker’s fatigue levels and to send help in an emergency.
Connected solutions not only lead to a safer workspace, but also to a motivated workforce and increased productivity. Integrating and presenting information from a wide variety of sensors create well-informed workers taking smarter decisions. Today, real-time information can be turned into potentially life-saving actions. It is, therefore, critical that manufacturing companies invest in IoT technologies to ensure worker safety.