Keep Your Distance: System Alerts Workers When They’re Too Close
Triax Technologies has developed Proximity Trace, which emits an alert with escalating volume to remind industrial and construction employees about social distancing protocols. Affixed to a wearable device, it also maintains a reliable record for contact tracing if a worker contracts COVID-19.
Posted: April 21, 2020
To provide worker protection during the COVID-19 pandemic, Triax Technologies, Inc. (Norwalk, CT) developed Proximity Trace, a new IoT system that offers proximity distancing alerts and contact tracing through a wearable device for workers across many industries, including construction, heavy industrial, energy and manufacturing.
Not yet on the market, it will be a layer of protection for essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and can help companies get workers back to work safely, while addressing recommended social distancing practices. The product is undergoing field testing, and key feedback from early customers will be incorporated into production for commercial availability.
“In talking with our customers, we recognized a critical industry need to keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure on the worksite, so we quickly got to work developing a solution,” said Robert Costantini, Triax Technologies CEO. “We leveraged our experience in IoT technology and workforce safety monitoring to address companies’ urgent needs for workers to maintain appropriate distances, to perform historical contact tracing for any employee testing positive for the virus, and to assist companies in getting their workforce back on the job as they implement new safety protocols. Our solution is designed to ease the burden on workers to maintain appropriate distances as part of new safety practices that very well could become the next normal.”
Affixed to a hard hat or worn on the body with a lanyard, he Proximity Trace devices emit a progressively louder alarm to alert workers when they are too close to each other – so they can focus on their work rather than worrying about their proximity to another worker or potential exposure to the virus. The alarm can also serve to change behaviors by reminding workers to practice safe social distancing.
In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 onsite, an employer can conduct contact tracing using historical data captured passively by the worker’s device to identify who may have been exposed. Traditional methods of contact tracing rely on workers’ memories and whether they can identify by name other workers they were in contact with during a given time period. With more reliable information, companies can decide who needs to be in mandatory or precautionary quarantine, per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, and whether the site can continue to operate safely without the need to shut down the entire operation.
“Worker safety is our top priority, so we were thrilled to hear that our technology partner Triax developed a solution to address the social distancing and contact tracing problems the industry is facing during COVID-19,” said Jason Pelkey, senior vice president, Chief Information Officer, Gilbane Building Company. “We’re rolling this out at our active sites and we’re excited about the role it could play in keeping workers safer at those sites as well as non-essential sites as we begin returning those to full operational status in the months to come.”
Proximity Trace doesn’t use Triax’s proprietary mesh network, but rather communicates separately to a cloud dashboard specifically designed for contact tracing.
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