Location-based safety is the prevention of accidents in high-risk work environments through the use of portable personal emergency signal systems (PNA). In the case of so-called solo workers, i.e. persons who mainly carry out their activities on their own, helpers are out of sight or range of call in an emergency. For this reason, various PNAs were developed early on for their special requirements, which can request help in the event of inability to move or unconsciousness due to accidents, among other things, by means of dead man circuits.
Usually such portable PNAs function via radio (Bluetooth, WLAN, GSM, GPS) and establish direct contact with an alarm centre or emergency contacts. The demands on a PNA are high. After all, it is about the best possible occupational safety in high-risk environments. Depending on the working conditions, PNAs should have the following properties:
- easy to operate
- small design that does not obstruct work
- lightest possible weight
- stable signal transmission
- various alarm types: geofences (position alarm), time alarm, fall detector (shock or impact alarm), dead man’s switch (position or rest alarm), loss alarm / tear alarm, escape alarm, technical alarm– Connection to a reliable telecommunications network
- status check (battery and signal strength)
- location determination as precise as possible
- log-in and log-out function to protect privacy
- geofences can be set up
It is particularly helpful if people in a hurry to help know what medical characteristics (e.g. allergies and blood group) are present in the person calling for help even before they arrive at the scene of the accident. With modern emergency call systems, the PNAs can be personalized so that relevant information about the person who had the accident is immediately available in an emergency.
Another important function is the exact location. Every minute counts in an emergency. Helpers must therefore have the most accurate information possible on the scene of the accident. Where is the person in need and what are the conditions there? Today, satellite based location methods (e.g. GPS) are used almost everywhere in the field. But they don’t work indoors. WLAN makes it difficult to determine the position in a building.
Location-based Safety based on Bluetooth
Better here are cost-effective Bluetooth beacon infrastructures, which have already proven themselves as indoor positioning systems (IPS) in many environments. Location-based safety products are able to precisely detect their position using a beacon infrastructure and pass this information on to a service control centre when an emergency call is made. The incoming emergency call appears there clearly recognizable as a visual and acoustic warning in a so-called dashboard and provides all relevant information on both the person in need and the current location at a glance.