Emerson introduces workplace distancing, contact tracing technology to help manufacturers protect workers

Emerson has enhanced its Location Awareness technology to include social density management and contact tracing to protect employee health and help essential industries safely continue operations during challenging times, such as the current coronavirus pandemic.

Part of its Plantweb™ digital ecosystem, Emerson’s Location Awareness provides an easy-to-install, cost-effective and reliable solution in the most severe industrial environments for companies to better safeguard employee safety and help create new work processes and practices for operational continuity.

By utilizing WirelessHART® networks, a secure standard adopted in tens of thousands of industrial plants worldwide, along with battery-powered anchors and rechargeable personnel location tags, Location Awareness provides relevant-time, safety-focused monitoring of personnel, enabling enhanced geofencing and monitoring, improved safety mustering and more effective safety alerts.

It’s estimated that the system can help address more than 70% of common personnel-recordable incidents. It can also be installed in just days, compared to weeks for existing systems, and costs less than half of traditional alternatives.

The updated Location Awareness technology enables manufacturers to use the Plantweb Insight Location application to digitally design geofenced areas that limit the number of personnel in specific locations to promote social distancing, consistent with occupational safety guidelines and best practices recommended by OSHA guidance during this pandemic.

If the social density – number of people in a given area – exceeds the predetermined threshold, an alert is sent to the operator.

The technology also provides reports for contact tracing in the event an employee becomes ill, enabling employers to quickly identify and notify other employees who may have come in contact with the individual and to determine the physical environment areas requiring deep cleaning.

Plantweb Insight data will help identify high-risk scenarios and determine preferred manufacturing workflows for enhanced safety.

In addition, Location Awareness can be used for safety mustering for drills and emergencies as well as safety alerts initiated by personnel involved with or observing dangerous situations. The advanced technology can also be used for creating known hazardous zones and contractor work zones using geofencing.

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