As state stay-at-home orders lift, industries are radically reconsidering workplace safety. Whether reopening, or increasing capacity after remaining open as an essential service during COVID-19, all companies are navigating the new safety concerns brought about by the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control still recommends that everyone, including workers, maintain a distance of six feet apart. Workplaces should also have a plan for if/when employees become sick. Contact tracing—finding which employees a sick worker has come into contact with—is an important component of this plan.
In response to these new difficulties, tech companies are developing several potential solutions for the enforcement of social distancing, as well as contact tracing for sick employees.
Here are just a few examples of the tech solutions from developers to meet the new safety requirements of the jobsite and/or factory floor:
The company has adapted its safety-focused software solutions to account for social distancing on the jobsite. Its artificial intelligence platform, “Vinnie,” is designed to act as a “virtual safety manager,” and can detect risk factors, including lack of PPE, and now, the proximity of workers. Vinnie reviews and analyzes photo and video recordings to identify these hazards.
On its website, this developer identifies potential risk factors in the factory, including the exchange of paper records and face-to-face communication during shift huddles. Weever creates software that is accessible on tablets or mobile devices, which can then be placed strategically along the manufacturing line, say officials, connecting workers through devices that can be sanitized, unlike paper. The company’s software also offers messaging, workflow management and video calls that facilitate socially distanced organization and collaboration.
This construction-focused software solution is designed to help companies navigate both social distancing and contact tracing on the construction jobsite. The process relies on smartphone-based applications installed on worker phones and IoT sensors that allow companies to create a real-time location system for employees. Other features include a daily personal symptom assessment and location documentation, facilitating contact tracing.
A tech company offering construction camera services, OxBlue also expanded the use of its technology to provide AI-enabled social distancing capabilities. The technology provides proximity warnings for employees on the jobsite when they come within six feet of each other. Its camera services include time-lapse still images of the jobsite or video streaming.
The platform is offered by Triax, which creates IoT solutions for construction and industrial sectors. Social distancing and contact tracing is accomplished through wearable tech called a TraceTag that can be affixed to hard hats or worn on the body. It will emit alerts in real-time if workers become too close. The tag also passively collects information on worker interaction to allow for contact tracing.