Worker safety and workplace safety are the most important things in the factory. Using the Internet of Things (IoT), you can detect unsafe operating conditions and intervene early. With the Industrial Internet of Things, you can install a panic button to alert internal and external officials about an impending danger. Besides, such industrial IoT devices as smart lights can help identify safe zones within a building under an accident prevention program. What is more, in order to increase employee safety when people responsible for hazardous environments are not around, you can activate smart alarms to warn people of potential hazards. These are only a small part of a wide range of industrial IoT applications ensuring worker safety.
What is Industrial IoT?
Industrial Internet of Things is a term that encompasses a variety of IoT applications, with a focus on the industrial use case. We can even say that the fourth industrial revolution started because of IoT. IoT technology can record data, trigger real-time alerts, identify safety risks, and solve the most disruptive business problems. Industrial IoT platforms enable manufacturers to increase efficiency by automating workflows, tracking inventory, and analyzing data. This technology can also improve worker safety by detecting potential problems before they start to affect production. For example, with industrial automation software, devices can send notifications to workers to ensure that they are not exposed to dangerous working environments. Industrial IoT services also improve worker safety as they can monitor workplace equipment remotely and trigger predictive maintenance safety protocols.
How Does Industrial IoT Technology Work?
Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) devices are connected to local networks and collect data about their physical surroundings. They then transmit this information to cloud servers using an established data-transmission protocol. Because industrial IoT solutions can access cloud-stored information, they eliminate the need for an additional worker, who keep the data storage in order, on business premises.
Creating a smart system of connected devices has a wide range of applications, from connecting safety equipment to improving the overall business practices. Cloud-based IoT applications make processes in manufacturing facilities much more efficient, from supply chains to human resources. For example, if a factory is in need of new materials, the supplier can be alerted automatically. By using IoT, manufacturers can also monitor the quality of products and detect defects in the supply chain to follow the legal compliance for food products. Such computer vision makes manufacturing workplaces comfortable and safe.
How to Improve Workplace Safety with IoT?
With the help of smart technologies that record data, analyze it, and give valuable insights, it becomes possible to do remote maintenance without requiring the physical presence of technicians. The IoT can enable businesses to remotely monitor assets and develop comprehensive strategies to address failings and reduce risk of fall accidents. By developing a maintenance schedule for these assets, a company will be able to ensure uptime, raise awareness, maintain asset longevity, and minimize downtime.
Establish a Regular Maintenance Schedule
Using IoT technology, manufacturers can predict machine failures and schedule maintenance tasks before they become urgent. These notifications can save time and money because the machinery is not idle, but is running at its optimal level. Besides, it can help avoid legal or business issues related to the unsafe behavior of the company. A regular maintenance schedule will also improve workers’ safety since many manufacturing facilities face the problem of job-related injuries only because the equipment falls in an unpleasant moment. Predictive maintenance can also lower the total cost of ownership and operational expenditures.
Using IoT to improve safety can help prevent fall accidents by identifying factors that may lead to them. The concept of active leading indicators relates to the utilization of an active system to identify and evaluate salient behaviors. This method of research is primarily geared toward IoT-enabled active leading indicators. It also takes the process of leading indicator identification and evaluation to the next level.
Detect Unsafe Operating Conditions with Connected Devices
IoT is a technology that brings together “smart” devices and the Internet to share and exchange data rapid pace. For environment, health, and safety (EHS), IoT innovations include the convergence of common technologies such as automation, real-time data analytics, sensor technology applications, and other smart solutions. The technologies for industrial environment monitoring help improve operations and compliance, which reduce job-related injuries as a result.
IoT solutions can improve safety by allowing workers to monitor environmental conditions such as air quality, water quality, and other factors, which can negatively influence the working environment. By integrating IoT sensors into the manufacturing process, manufacturers can increase the visibility of operational movements and improve the safety of their field workforce. IoT devices also have the capacity to detect abnormal behaviors. They can send notifications via mobile applications to alert a safety consultant when an unsafe condition arises. Using IoT technology, business advisors can gain a greater understanding of their working conditions and take corrective action.
Use Wearable Technology
With wearable devices, a company can resolve specific safety issues, identify incidents instantly, and track employee location if there is an urgent need for help. Wearing safety equipment, which is connected to the computer vision system, a person responsible for employee safety can detect worker falls in manufacturing workplaces fast enough to avoid unpleasant consequences.
Wearable technology reduces the possibility of safety risks occurrence and most disruptive business problems for a number of reasons:
you have notifications on any equipment failures right to your wearable device;
machine-learning software can determine whether a worker is already tired and needs to take a break;
wearable devices can synchronize with the other sensors in a smart ecosystem and, for example, restrict entrance to certain dangerous areas.
As you see, for industrial IoT companies, wearable devices are a must since they clearly show where employees are, whether they are in hazardous environments, and if they need any help.
Apply Artificial Intelligence Software
With the emergence of advanced big data analysis systems, streaming data, and real-time analytics associated with edge-computing networks, the IoT is poised to revolutionize manufacturing and other industries. AI-based systems can enhance manufacturing processes, send early alerts and contribute to quality control and preventive maintenance, as well as create entirely new products aimed at preventing the possibility of business interruption. For instance, an AI-based sensor system can detect abnormalities and determine if a machine is running too hot, sending a detailed report on how it can affect business practice, and business operations, and whether it poses any threat to workers’ wellbeing.
Using AI-based systems will extend the life of assets, improve overall maintenance practices, and help companies meet increasingly complex health, safety, and environmental regulations. Workers’ compensation insurance claims will not be a problem as well, as connected devices together with AI software give valuable insights on how to organize manufacturing business locations in such a way, that it will be safe for the employees.
Establish Safety Culture
To establish a positive safety culture, a company must adopt advanced planning, engineering, and the latest safety components. Additionally, a company must have a commitment to establishing this culture. Fortunately, IoT devices offer an ideal platform for this endeavor since they allow for computer vision, and reduce risk of any unexpected emergency.
Employees who feel that their work is safe are more likely to follow safety procedures, thereby reducing accident rates, insurance costs, and fines. Safety is also important to a company’s ability to retain and attract high-quality employees since when people know that their work will be safe they are more likely to apply there. Investing in advanced technologies to promote an environment of trust will help boost employee retention. Once employees feel that their work is safe, they are more likely to stick around and contribute to its success.
What Can TEKTELIC Offer for Safety Increase in a Factory?
TEKTELIC manufactures different sensors and solutions for many industries. Considering that the manufacturing industry is fastly developing we doing everything to keep up with the pace and satisfy market demands. TEKTELIC helps create safe workplaces even in robust conditions.
For example, TEKTELIC has FINCH, which can instantly send panic alert notifications. It is a small and compact device, which can literally save the life of a lone worker. The Wireless BLE panic button is a wearable technology that transmits an emergency signal from any location and a receiver at the very moment when the message is delivered know, where the help is needed. 5 years of battery life, in turn, makes FINCH a great investment, which will pay hundred times in the closest future.
Speaking about safety in the workplace, it is important to note that it is not only about reducing the possibility of workplace traumas. Quite important to pay attention to such things as air quality and accidental water events as well. TEKTELIC has a reliable and easy solution, called BREEZE-D. This device includes the sensor and an E-ink display, which allow you without any difficulties to check CO2 levels, temperature, humidity, and light in real-time. The E-ink display can be mounted to the wall or ceiling, or placed on a table so workers will be always updated on the quality of air. It will allow them to adjust it if necessary and avoid problems with the respiratory system, which are usually caused by poor air quality.
Things to Remember
The increased visibility of facilities and equipment is a huge benefit IoT can bring to the factory. Organizations can remotely monitor processes and detect abnormalities that lead to downtime. By taking action, manufacturers can prevent unplanned and costly failures that can impact production and employees’ well-being.
Industrial workplaces have the highest incidence rate of accidents. With the help of IoT technology, companies can increase productivity and energy efficiency by monitoring safety events. It helps them take corrective actions based on historical and real-time data patterns. This data can even help companies improve employee behavior, as smart monitoring allows employees to make more informed decisions regarding their safety.
TEKTELIC is highly involved in ensuring safety in workplaces of different kinds, from a warehousing business located in the city center to a factory on the outskirts of the city. So, we will be more than happy to help you with ensuring safety in the factory. For more details and possibilities of our partnership, please contact our sales team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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