Efficiently coordinated evacuation is a key for health and life of employees. While the best methods are still being looked for, RFID UHF is a common solution. It offers new approach for evacuating workers from endangered areas.
Every country has its own evacuation regulations. In general, they stress that evacuation method should be carefully selected in consideration to the number of people that need to be evacuated. But how can one coordinator in the moment of danger perfectly precisely and reliably assess the size of group? Especially if he has to count not only people leaving factory, but also the ones arriving at emergency assembly point. Leaving any worker in the area that is threatened with fire could have fatal consequences.
It would be absolutely helpful to have a possibility for real-time identification of people in terms of their job location assignment. Usually, evacuation is managed by coordinators who are responsible for specific areas (e.g. warehouse, assembly line). If in the moment of emergency, workers from one area are working somewhere else (e.g. they have been moved to second warehouse), then their coordinators will notice their absence. How could they find out that missing employees are safe and sound, but in the another emergency assembly point?
Today’s evacuation methods do not allow for acquiring such information. Hence coordination of such action is more difficult and carries an extra risk. Manual counting is very imprecise, time-consuming and it is easy to make serious mistake with it. The other popular evacuation way is identifying workers with their touchless cards. However, in the moment of general chaos and hurry one can just forget to take it. What’s more, if every employee wants to use his or her card in the same moment, then surely there would be some disarray. Precious time is lost.
RFID UHF to save your day
But according to all indications, it seems that there is an efficient method for safe evacuation: it is a wireless technology RFID UHF. It is interesting that despite RFID itself was developed during IIWW for identification of enemy airplanes, new way for its usage are still discovered. One of such fresh idea for RFID implementation has been just recently proposed by Smart Technology Group.
RFID characteristics makes it perfect for evacuation. Why? It can precisely identify simultaneously up to 300 tagged people or items – just in one second. There is no need for visual contact between RFID reader and tags. They do not need to be put to reader. Instead, they can be hidden under working clothes, in pocket or in bag. Tags themselves come in various size and shape. Shape modification does not change tags functionality.
One of the firs companies that introduced Smart Technology Group solution for evacuation was Dendro Poland. In carefully selected spots in Dendro’s warehouses antennas have been assembled. They are used for identification of workers who enter and leave area. Identification is possible due to tags that are… light and comfortable lanyards. The third part of RFID evacuation system are readers. They collect data and send it to safety manager who always knows how many workers are in any given warehouse or at assembly line. Plus, he has current data on who is entering or leaving place. When emergency occurs, just few seconds are needed to realize how many people need to be evacuated – and who these people are.
At emergency assembly point there are antennas and readers working, as well. All employees arriving at spot are instantly recognized: coordinator has complete knowledge how many workers are at point and from which areas the come: warehouse, assembly line etc. If any of them should be at another emergency assembly point, coordinator can immediately inform the proper coordinator.
With RFID, the list of people at emergency assembly point is compared with the list of people from area that was evacuated. As a result, coordinator knows that there was no one left behind. Fatal consequences are eliminated.
Why RFID technology is the perfect one for evacuation?
- simultaneous identification of up to 300 people in 1 second;
- employees do not need to do anything to be identified – it is enough just to have tag-lanyard;
- no visual contact between tag-lanyard and RFID UHF reader;
- comfortable and light tag-lanyard may be used for precise identification;
- individual RFID system, answering all company’s specific needs may be easily designed;
- easy to use.
It is logical to say that RFID UHF answers all evacuation challenges. It offers solutions that eliminate today’s disadvantages in evacuation coordination. It is interesting and valuable alternative for the most popular methods. And what’s more, it is perfectly matched with law regulations. It is becoming more common to demand from employers that they use technological solutions which make precise and instant identification possible. RFID UHF suits such requirements perfectly.
By Przemyslaw Zielinski