Honeywell Safety Watch Monitors Staff to Maximize Safety
Honeywell Safety Watch is a real-time location solution (RTLS) for industrial applications designed to provide companies with information about their workers and assets, while also enhancing employee safety.
“Knowing where employees are not only prevents delay in projects, but can help locate employees in real time in case of an emergency,” said Veronica Turner of Honeywell Process Solutions’ plant and personal safety division. “We see the trend of digitalization and the need to remotely monitor the wellbeing of employees. RTLS is a smart, digital way to manage the workforce, to know who is on the job, what they’re doing, and that they’re doing it in a safe way.”
How Safety Watch Works
Launched in May 2022, Safety Watch is a customizable turnkey solution that relies on employees wearing a wireless tag about the size of a deck of cards. “Safety Watch is similar to the access cards many of us use at work, but with an RFID chip that connects to the Safety Watch receivers on site,” Turner said, adding that these active wireless tags can be integrated into existing employee badges.
The RFID devices wirelessly connect to one or more receivers set up around the plant to send location data to Safety Watch’s onsite servers and, ultimately, to the customer’s Safety Watch administrator via the Safety Watch Dashboard.
With one receiver on-site, that receiver can determine how many active devices are within a radius of 492 feet (150 meters). Two receivers are required to track separate entry and exit points. With three receivers, Safety Watch can be used to triangulate wearers’ locations, accurate to within 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters).
The customer’s Safety Watch administrator(s) can also set certain parameters of who gets notified when an event has occurred. For example, if an employee is late, has entered a location they’re not supposed to be, or is suspected to have fallen.
“We work with our customers to create those rules, of who in their organization receives alerts for different types of events,” she said. “That’s the advantage of a turnkey solution like Safety Watch.” It’s also possible to set up multiple geofences within the plant or site with limited access based on rules set for each employee’s Safety Watch.
Although Safety Watch relies on WiFi and therefore works best at static locations, Turner said Honeywell plans to make the system LTE-compatible in the future so it can be used on moving job sites like the paving train.
The Safety Features of Safety Watch
Safety Watch’s RFID devices for employees have a number of features to enhance safety at the plant. This includes an SOS button employees can push in the event of an incident. The device can also automatically identify if the wearer has fallen.
“If [Safety Watch] sees that an employee has experienced an impact followed by no movement, it will trigger an alarm,” Turner said. Those whom the company’s Safety Watch administrator has set up to receive these alerts will automatically be notified.
The device can also help monitor worker fatigue, by identifying hazardous area movements or by monitoring minimum break requirements, for example.
Safety Watch also has a last known location feature. “In the event of an earthquake, explosion, fire, etc., where employees must evacuate quickly, Safety Watch can help identify where that employee was the last time their device was pinged,” Turner said. This feature can also assist in rescue efforts in the event of such emergencies.
Turner said Safety Watch can also be used to reconcile safety incidents, for example, if an employee was in an area they were allowed to be when the incident happened, if they followed pedestrian paths through the plant, or if they were running.
Safety Watch can also be used for automatic sign in/out, monitoring restricted area access and calculating time on-site. “The solution offers customizable data reports for the user,” Turner said. “Simply input the data requirements and the solution will create the report. For example, time in/out reports derived from the solution can be shared to a payroll department as a data source.”
Turner discussed how employees’ sign in/out procedures are often manual and therefore aren’t easily shared across the various departments that need that data.
“Instead of taking hours to know where employees are, having to do manual headcounts, or forcing people to swipe in and out, managers can more easily account for people with Safety Watch,” Turner said. “It’s a huge jump from what is often a complex manual process to a digital, user-friendly solution that can be used to manage an entire enterprise.”
“Safety Watch ensures the workforce is going where they’re supposed to go and doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” Turner said, adding that it can be used to identify employees’ effective working time versus present time. “For example, if I sign in but it takes me half an hour to get to my post because I’ve been visiting with my buddies, that can be accounted for.”
Although workers may not appreciate that level of monitoring, Turner said Safety Watch’s safety features should be a selling point for employees. “Knowing the company is making an extraordinary effort to enhance safety is something they shouldn’t be hesitant about,” she said. “They can feel more secure, knowing that the company is doing what it can to provide them a safety net.”