The implementation of a safe working environment

  • Zita Rüdiger
  • Machine operation

The working environments and workplaces in today’s industry are constantly changing. Risk assessments that were valid yesterday are already outdated tomorrow. Due to new machines, processes and regulations, employees are faced with new, unknown dangers – but work safety, fire safety and protection in potentially explosive areas, such as in adhesive production or very dusty rooms, must always be in place. And last but not least, new hazards such as the Covid-19 pandemic bring with them stricter requirements, not only legally, but also ethically and morally.

In order to ensure the full protection of employees, there are various points of reference that must be observed:

Active training of employees

In order to prevent accidents, it is of great importance that employees are always informed or trained about the latest changes. This refers to new process steps and procedures, concepts and much more. One possibility here would be to attach NFC tags to the machines, which the employee can scan with his Smartwatch and have the innovations or information directly available. This is also an aspect to ensure a higher security for the employees. A clear communication of the management level to the employees is indispensable. With the help of the aucobo platform such a process is easy to realize and standardize. Step-by-step instructions for the respective machine operation innovations can be uploaded and machine operators can view them individually as required. Updating and storing the data makes it very easy to share experiences and train new employees as quickly as possible. In this way, an uninterrupted production process is also possible, should the relevant employees not be available.

Accident Prevention

In order to prevent accidents in a targeted manner, employees can independently and quickly warn their colleagues of a hazardous situation that has occurred (for example, short-term storage of boxes at a confusing location in the factory). With the help of a Smartwatch, it is very easy to create short notes or take pictures directly with the integrated camera and send them to the affected employees. This way every employee is informed and accidents are easily prevented. At the same time, a message can be sent to the appropriate or responsible employee with the work instruction to remove the danger zone.

Several predetermined breaking points are integrated into the bracelet of the Smartwatch. If there is a rough movement on the wristband, it will break without hurting the employee. This function is important if the wristband gets caught in a machine for example. The predetermined breaking points only damage the wristband, the employee’s arm remains unharmed.

In addition, the Smartwatch has a protection for solo workers. For example, it can detect the vital functions of the employee and sound an alarm in case of discrepancies. In addition, messages can be sent to the respective employee at self-defined time intervals, which are confirmed by him/her at the push of a button and indicate that everything is in order.

Proper protective equipment for danger zones

Every factory knows them – the areas that can only be entered with appropriate protective equipment. Such regulations can present employees and employers with a wide range of problems. Often the employee is not 100% clear what exactly belongs to the protective equipment for a certain area in the factory or forgets to put on some parts of the equipment in the hectic rush. This can have considerable consequences for the employer in case of an accident. If the employer is not able to document exactly what he has done to inform or train his employees sufficiently, he can be held responsible for the damage.

With the help of a Smartwatch and the integrated NFC reader this process can be documented very quickly and easily. For example, the individual parts of the protective equipment can be provided with NFC tags. If the employee wants to enter the danger zone in the factory, he puts on the protective equipment and scans the individual pieces. If he is wearing all the protective equipment, he receives a message and can enter the area without worrying about forgetting any part of it. This data is stored in the system and is also used for documentation and insurance purposes for the employer. So the employer has everything well documented in case of an accident.

Hygiene measures

One of the most urgent issues in terms of occupational safety at the moment is hygiene measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A lot of creativity is required from most employers to both maintain the production process and protect the health of the employees.

One way to do this is to extend the breaks between shift changes so that employees on the respective shifts do not have to meet each other. After a shift, all machines, computers, etc. are disinfected before a new shift begins. With the help of industry smartwatches, the shift handover can then also be done digitally. Digital checklists and the data stored in the system for error messages and problems that have occurred on specific machines are used to keep the colleagues on the new shift precisely informed of the status. By avoiding personal contact between employees during shift handovers, new infections can be prevented. The production process is nevertheless maintained. During the shift, the Smartwatch also makes it possible to reach employees, communicate and exchange information with them without having to travel long distances and seek personal contact. In this way, every employee can maintain the appropriate safety distance and still coordinate intensively with his colleagues.

The possibilities for improving occupational safety are broad. If you are also interested in continuously improving the security of your employees, please contact us!