Physical distancing at work: how can smart wearables help?

Currently, we are all being asked to keep 1.5 to 2 meters apart to protect ourselves and others. Sounds simple enough. But in a busy workplace, it can be a challenge: you can become so distracted by the markings that your focus on work can suffer. Or if there is a lack of markings, you can easily misjudge distances. Fortunately, start-ups and intralogistics experts are developing smart wearables that provide an answer.

There is an array of intelligent solutions available that all have the same aim: they monitor compliance with the new physical distancing rules, issue warnings, and can even highlight patterns of infection. But they work in differing ways. Here are three examples:

Anonymous safety: SAFEDI – SAFE DISTANCE Control

SAFEDI from Austrian company SAFEDI Distance Control, a subsidiary of Heron Innovations Factory, is an affordable warning system that uses Bluetooth to monitor distancing. It issues a visual alert when two people approach each another. If they subsequently violate the minimum distance, SAFEDI sounds a further acoustic alarm. The small clip-on device can be attached to clothing or worn on a chain. An anonymous close-contact journal allows infection tracking and tracing.

Triple alert: ELEKSEN Safer Space

The new ELEKSEN Safer Space module complements the existing Eleksen™ Connected Worker platform from Wearable Technologies Limited (WTL), and also utilizes Bluetooth. As soon as one user encroaches into someone else’s safe space, the wearable gives off a triple alert – light, sound and vibration. Companies can choose between two versions: smart and connected. The latter solution includes a warning vest with LEDs and enables a reporting and analytics function, e.g. to generate a list of the most at-risk workers.

Reliable, safe, versatile: Linde Secure Distance Vest and Linde Distance Beeper

For its intelligent warning system, Linde Material Handling harnesses highly dependable and precise ultra-broadband technology that is able to penetrate racking and walls. The manufacturer of industrial trucks and intralogistics safety solutions offers two user-friendly and highly effective wearables that provide alerts via flashes, sounds and vibrations: the compact Linde Distance Beeper and the new Linde Secure Distance Vest. The portable unit, the Linde Distance Beeper, is simply attached to clothing, a belt or an armband. It uses ultra-broadband to measure distances to other beepers. The Secure Distance Vest is based on the Linde safety vest: the sensor and switching station are directly integrated. The vests are easy to wear, and can be seamlessly incorporated into normal working practices. With both gadgets, the minimum distance can be defined in line with specific requirements, and there is an optional tracking-and-tracing function. A further advantage is that there is no need for additional technical infrastructure. The two solutions can also be converted to the existing functions of the established assistance system Linde Safety Guard. So they can continue to make a useful contribution to workplace health and safety after the pandemic.

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