As the Internet of Things continues to develop, so does the technology that works with it, including EHS software and the various devices that work with this software. Among these are beacons and sensors, devices that are becoming important in EHS programs due to the way they facilitate risk detection, handling, and prevention.
Use of this effective newer technology in environmental health applications is growing in leaps and bounds today, as EHS services find more ways to utilize it.
What Are Beacons and Sensors?
Beacons and sensors are electronic devices that work together to identify physical locations in a designated area. The beacon, which is installed in specific locations, transmits a continuous radio signal that is detected by the sensor, which then reports on the position of the beacon.
Beacon technology is a relatively new process that was introduced only as recently as 2014. Since then, its use has exploded, partly due to the incorporation of Bluetooth technology. Since the addition of Bluetooth capabilities, beacon technology has been increasingly incorporated into EHS software since it offers many benefits for effective environmental observation and control.
How Does Beacon Technology Work?
Although beacon technology is newer and continually developing, it has already proved to be very useful in an EHS program. It provides an ever-present solution for effective facility observation, enabling faster hazard detection and resolution among other things.
In addition to location, beacons can now transmit other specific data to a receiving sensor, providing you as a user with some important capabilities such as:
- Indoor Hazard Monitoring - One of the most important benefits that beacons and sensors offer a user is the ability to monitor large areas from indoors, which GPS-based devices cannot do. Additionally, beacons are more cost-effective than indoor wi-fi monitoring systems, which detect location based on signal strength and require the addition of more access points to improve function. Beacons offer you greater coverage by enhancing existing wi-fi systems in a cost-effective way.
- Location and Proximity Monitoring - Not only can fixed beacons detect specific locations and any activity in these locations, they can also be mounted on moving equipment to detect proximity. This can help prevent accidents by warning employees about programmed safety zones and programming equipment to stop functioning when safety zones are invaded.
- Asset and Employee Tracking - Another way that EHS services are using beacons and sensors is in tracking material and people. Beacons the size of small coil cell batteries can be implanted onto badges and personal protective equipment, providing an effective way to monitor employee location during emergencies. Beacons used on PPEs also offer your company a way to monitor whether the gear is actually being used when it should be.
Beacon and sensor technology is improving rapidly, with many industries finding new ways to use it. As capabilities expand, it is becoming an important asset for EHS services in hazard detection and facility monitoring. With more companies like yours taking advantage of beacon technology and incorporating it into their EHS programs, the expectation is the development of more EHS software products that will utilize its many benefits!