As businesses and organisations around the world resume operations, new requirements for creating a safe workplace are driving the need to automate the management of employee social distancing and contact tracing. To help with these procedures, HID Global has announced additions to its HID Location Services IoT ecosystem which help to simplify and streamline managing such protocols, and drive compliance requirements implemented to reduce the risk of workplace exposure to COVID-19.
HID Location Services for Workplace Safety physical distancing application leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) HID BEEKS Aware fobs. These alert employees when they are closer than two metres for a specified period of time. The contact tracing application uses the same HID BEEKS Aware fob or a BEEKS badge or badge holder that is easily added to existing ID cards. This provides a full digital record of an employee’s whereabouts and historical interactions while at work, making it possible to respond to issues and introduce isolation procedures if needed.
The physical distancing application is currently being piloted and adopted by major healthcare institutions and enterprise organisations, including at HID’s North American headquarters and manufacturing facility in Texas.
‘Digitally managing social distancing is critical to encouraging the necessary behavioural shifts that will create a safer and more secure environment to which employees feel comfortable returning to work,’ stated Mark Robinton, Vice President of IoT Services, Identification Technologies with HID Global. ‘Our goal with HID Location Services for Workplace Safety is to use our established IoT ecosystem to help organisations restore productivity with confidence by making it easier for everyone to adjust to workplace physical distancing and taking the manual leg-work out of contact tracing.’
Employers define distancing policies and alert parameters, and zones can be created with geofences around high-traffic areas (canteens, hallways, lobbies, etc.) to minimise bottlenecks. HID BEEKS Aware BLE fobs are issued to employees, visitors and contractors to carry while at work. Using peer-to-peer capabilities, the fob will flash and sound a brief audible alert when employees are within two metres for more than two minutes (or as configured by the user). With a single button click, detailed reporting enables contact tracing using historical data on movement and interactions, in order to trigger safety protocols. For standalone contact tracing, employers can couple the functionality with existing employee ID badges.
The HID BEEKS devices use secure HID Bluzone Cloud Software, and HID BluFi or other gateways. Fast to configure, the devices offer immediate access to real-time analytics that include location data such as interaction type and contact duration (including start and end times). The solution uses existing enterprise networks or Bluetooth over Wi-Fi network connectivity and cloud services to simplify implementation. No additional infrastructure, hardware or network wiring is needed.
HID Location Services is already in broad use for managing building occupancy, optimising office and facility space, asset tracking and monitoring the health of equipment. The latest workplace safety additions underscore the IoT ecosystem’s ability to quickly scale and adapt to the dynamic requirements of today’s businesses and organisations, delivering real-time time monitoring and analytics capabilities to help ensure compliance to a number of other safety requirements, such as hand hygiene policies and other regulations introduced as part of the New Normal.
Users are able to leverage their investment beyond the pandemic, as HID Location Services lays the foundation to add more IoT applications, all of which can be centrally managed on a single platform.