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The Impact of RTLS on Workplace Safety and Security

Nikita Liu
Nikita Liu

Nowadays, people in the workplace are experiencing significant changes than ever before, it remains a considerable issue to ensure workplace safety and security.

Workplace safety and security refers to measures taken to protect staff and assets from physical threats, and digital assets, such as confidential information from digital threats.

In late 2023, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that nearly three million workers die every year from work-related accidents and diseases. Non-fatal work injuries are also assessed to have been sustained by 395 million workers worldwide.

While enterprises and organizations invest more in workplace safety and security as high technology advances, it is challenging to maintain workplace safety in a few specific industries, both for workers and for expensive instruments. Knowing precisely where workers, equipment, and assets are at all times is critical to safeguarding the well-being of employees and assets in each of these verticals. With real-time location systems (RTLS), this information can be collected and used to improve the monitoring and working conditions in each area.

What are the significant impacts?

1. Ensures Safety

RTLS plays a crucial role in preventing accidents and injuries within the workplace. Organizations can proactively address safety concerns before they escalate into serious incidents by monitoring employee movements and identifying potential hazards or unsafe behaviours. For example, if an employee enters a restricted area without proper authorization or approaches dangerous machinery too closely, an alert can be triggered to remind them of safety protocols or even automatically shut down equipment to prevent accidents.

In addition to enhancing physical safety measures, RTLS contributes significantly to improving overall workplace security. By implementing geofencing techniques with RTLS technology, organizations can establish virtual boundaries that trigger alerts whenever an individual enters or exits these designated zones without proper authorization. This proactive approach helps deter potential security breaches and ensures that sensitive areas remain secure. In addition to physical security measures, RTLS also contributes to enhancing occupational health and safety practices within workplaces. The technology enables organizations to track employee movements throughout their workday, identifying potential hazards or ergonomic issues that may lead to accidents or injuries. With this information, employers can implement preventive measures promptly and create safer working environments for their staff. Moreover, by analyzing data collected from RTLS systems over time, organizations gain valuable insights into patterns related to workplace safety incidents. These insights allow them to identify recurring risks or trends that require attention and take appropriate corrective actions accordingly. Such proactive risk management strategies help reduce accidents.

  1. Reduces Loss

Integrated with RTLS technology, access control systems enable organizations to monitor entry points effectively and restrict unauthorized access. This ensures that only authorized personnel are granted access to sensitive areas such as server rooms or research laboratories where valuable assets are stored, which can achieve anti-lost of valuable assets.

Moreover, by tracking assets using RTLS tags attached to equipment or inventory items, organizations can minimize thefts and losses while optimizing resource allocation. The ability to locate misplaced items quickly saves time and reduces operational costs associated with replacing lost assets.

Personnel location information can also help enterprises to optimize resources and control costs. By analyzing the activities of employees in different areas, enterprises can reasonably plan the layout of office space, equipment configuration and material supply so as to avoid resource waste and excessive investment.

What types of technologies are available?

Only some of the technologies can be applied effectively in RTLS, especially in indoor scenarios.

RTLS is a technology that tracks and monitors assets or people in real-time. It utilizes various technologies to provide accurate and up-to-date location information. Several types of technology are available for RTLS, each with unique features and applications.

One commonly used technology for RTLS is RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). RFID tags are attached to objects or worn by individuals, allowing them to be identified and tracked using radio waves. This technology is widely adopted in industries such as logistics, healthcare, and retail for inventory management, asset tracking, and personnel monitoring.

Another popular technology used in RTLS is Wi-Fi-based positioning systems. By leveraging existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, these systems can determine the location of devices within a designated area. They rely on signal strength measurements from nearby access points to triangulate the position accurately. Wi-Fi-based RTLS finds applications in indoor navigation systems, security monitoring, and workforce optimization.

Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) beacons are also utilized for RTLS purposes. These small wireless devices transmit signals that can be detected by smartphones or other receivers equipped with BLE capabilities. By measuring the signal strength from multiple beacons, an accurate position estimation can be achieved within a proximity range. BLE-based RTLS has gained popularity in retail environments for personalized marketing campaigns and customer analytics.

Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology offers high-precision localization capabilities suitable for demanding applications like industrial automation or healthcare settings where centimeter-level accuracy is required. UWB-enabled tags emit short-duration pulses at very low power levels, which allow precise distance measurement between tags and anchors installed throughout the environment.

In addition, it is relatively easy to integrate and deploy people’s location information using RTLS technology. Modern RTLS systems usually use wireless sensor networks or Bluetooth technology for data collection and transmission, which is relatively easy to install and flexible to adjust. At the same time, the relevant software platforms are gradually improved and popularized so enterprises can quickly access and use these systems to monitor and manage personnel location information.

In short, in today’s competitive business environment, an accurate grasp of personnel location information is one of the critical factors necessary for the successful operation of an organization. The integration and deployment of RTLS technology will be important in ensuring workplace safety, improving productivity, optimizing resource utilization, and bringing greater competitive advantage to enterprises.

Overall, the impact of RTLS on workplace safety and security cannot be overstated. It provides organizations with invaluable tools for emergency preparedness/response planning while promoting proactive measures for accident prevention. Additionally, it enhances overall security by controlling access points effectively and minimizing asset loss through efficient tracking capabilities.

About the author

Nikita Liu, the overseas PR manager of Blueiot (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd., is now responsible for content marketing and digital marketing. Blueiot is a world-leading RTLS (Real-time Location System) provider committed to developing high-precision locating products and solutions for indoor applications.

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