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January 11, 2016

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Honeywell’s ‘connected vision’ for safety – part 3

HSP00556 - Sean ClayIn the final part of the series, Sean Clay, vice president/general manager at Honeywell Industrial Safety EMEA, wraps up its connected safety solutions approach.

I previously mentioned that Honeywell Safety Suite is a fine example of our connected vision. But how does this new service work? It works by using the internet to create a centralised command centre for managing safety data. This cloud-based service connects multiple devices, systems and data sources – from the RFID tags on PPE to the information in human resources databases – to streamline data collection and give safety managers an integrated view of safety and compliance, all in one place that’s accessible from a web browser.

One global mining company, for example, was using ad-hoc, paper-based systems to manage workers’ safety training and access to hazardous areas, which took tremendous time and posed a significant risk to safety and compliance. HIS integrated the suite with software from Honeywell Building Solutions to form a connected solution, which meant that workers can only enter certain areas of the mine if they have the proper safety training and certification. Another part of the suite unlocks intelligence on hazard exposure, so companies can make better decisions about worker safety and productivity – in the moment.

For example, is it safe for a worker to spend another hour in a high-noise environment? The Honeywell Safety Suite, when integrated with Honeywell’s Quietpro system for hearing protection, displays minute-by-minute data about area sound levels and workers’ exposure. With this real-time visibility, safety managers can determine exactly how long a worker can stay on task while remaining safe.

The suite is suitable for businesses of all sizes. The 1.0 release launched is very much aimed at easing the pain of those smaller companies that might not actually have a dedicated safety officer (rather one person who wears safety among other hats). The multi-site version of the system will be available in 2016 and it will evolve from there.

The connected vision also begins to generate some hugely exciting possibilities of where this might go in the future and the impact it could have on businesses and the wider safety world.

For instance, hypothetically speaking, it could be that when first responders attend a potential HAZMAT incident using the suite all the agencies begin to share data automatically (via Bluetooth) using one system. This would obviously save time and would ensure decisions are made using the latest real-time information. For firefighters and first responders, for example, HIS is developing wearable sensors that will connect to a self-contained breathing apparatus and send vital data about those workers – such as their oxygen level and location – to a remote centre for real-time monitoring.

What’s more, HIS is working with another global technology company to develop solutions that can leverage data from multiple sources to provide valuable insights on the overall safety of the worker. By combining Honeywell’s expertise in safety with this company’s expertise in digital signal processing, we’re creating a new level of intelligent safety.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of our vision for connected safety solutions is how close it is to becoming a reality. The Honeywell Safety Suite is already being used in challenging environments and the benefits to the companies that have it are highly tangible.

It really does seem that the time to ‘get connected’ is upon us.




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