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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

QTS uses social distancing tech as site hazard alarm

A gadget developed for social distancing in the first wave of covid has been developed into a tool to keep workers safe from other hazards.

Ben Sturgess, chief technology officer at Pathfindr, said: “While all sites have health and safety measures and policies in place to protect workers, they rely on human accuracy to identify hazards in fast-moving environments – and we’re all fallible.

“Zonr has been designed to keep people and machines apart, so that workers can focus on doing their jobs efficiently, knowing they’ll be alerted to a hazard. No technology will eliminate the need for continual vigilance, but Zonr reduces the risk of a serious incident and helps site operators manage their liability for the safety of site workers.”

The system combines GPS tracking and ultra-wideband technology to locate workers and hazards, and create a virtual barrier – or exclusion zone – around those hazards.

The exclusion zone is created through signals sent between a control unit and sensors placed anywhere within a site. The control unit alerts the system operator to any incursion, and also lets workers themselves know when they have entered an unsafe zone through a sounded alarm on a wearable device.

Exclusion zones can be reconfigured just by moving the sensors. All setup is completed through a mobile app, and incursion data is viewed via a web-based portal.

QTS managing director Alan McLeish said: “Our live sites are dynamic, and no two scenarios are ever identical, which means that ensuring health and safety is an ongoing challenge. We’ve combined our in-depth understanding of the complex ways that railway sites operate with Pathfindr’s smart tech expertise to create a solution which has the potential to have a major impact on the way site safety risk is managed.”

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