Remember that one time when, with nothing more than a little nudge, someone prevented you from stepping into a puddle? Or that other time you almost got hit by a bus? Quite possibly, you can recall several of these occasions. As well as the more than one time you did the same for someone else.  

It may be ‘just’ a small gesture. But it being a ‘mere’ instinctive or automatic reflex … is probably why the sometimes disproportionate consequences so often get downplayed. Unjustly so. Especially when that nudge saved you or someone else from serious injury or worse. 

Still, those seemingly effortless nudges make for an extremely efficient (and extremely economically sound) safety method. 

Proximity monitoring in general (and more specifically applied to collision avoidance), works very similar to that simple nudge-principle. It also offers similar, potentially crucial and often interestingly disproportionate benefits.

Proximity monitoring is a game changer

Let’s take, for example, the use case where proximity monitoring is integrated in a worksite safety system that aims to prevent collisions between vehicles and on foot workers. 

A relevant exercise, since ‘caught-between’ and ‘struck-by’ incidents count as two of OSHA’s ‘Fatal Four’ leading causes of workplace injuries and fatalities. 

In a way, proximity monitoring works the same way as that vigilant friend. It alerts workers to dangers in their immediate environment they themselves might not have noticed. 

An important distinction is that the alertness of proximity monitoring can be relied upon 24/7. Additionally, it is not susceptible to fatigue, distraction and noise hindrance. It is not hampered by unfamiliarity with a change in rules, work processes, materials, tools, etc. 

Also: that watchful friend is limited to the risks and dangers he can physically observe. Proximity monitoring goes far beyond these human limitations. Pointing out a forklift coming down an isle is one thing. Getting a nudge from your collision avoidance system that tells you a forklift will come around the corner in a few seconds, is a definite game changer.

Elegant and efficient in its simplicity

Just as relevant is the nudge that tells an on foot worker he – possibly inadvertently – wandered in a no-go or vehicle-only zone. Same goes for the vehicle drivers who – maybe literally – did not get the latest memo. Or those that are operating in an unfamiliar/new/changed work floor-setting.

Getting that little nudge, the second you’re presenting a danger to yourself or others, can make all the difference. 

These nudges can work as an immediate counter to risk, incidents and accidents, while also serving as a tool for safety awareness, a motivator for safe behavior and support for the overall work safety setup. 

Proximity monitoring translates this seemingly simple but efficient way of preventing accidents, injuries and fatalities into a smart, modular and non-invasive technology. A technology a growing number of companies are incorporating in their worker/site safety infrastructure. 

One Comment

Leave a Reply