Enhancing analysis of 'hazard intelligence' in real-time

28th September 2021
Joe Bush

PLINX has introduced the benefits of 5G to its Hazard Intelligence safety system, anticipating a step change in the system’s capability to measure risk and protect construction workers. From October 2021, 5G connectivity will be enabling the PLINX safety system to share more data in real time, greatly increasing the sophistication and scope of the risk measurement.

Use of the PLINX system aids compliance with health and safety guidelines, by alerting workers when they are approaching a potentially hazardous environment. It has also been used during the COVID pandemic to encourage staff to maintain social distancing. The collected data is analysed to improve worker safety and reduce the potential of a COVID outbreak.

The PLINX safety system makes use of proximity tags and wireless technology to protect workers in the construction industry from on-site hazards. Currently powered by its own proprietary wireless technology, the system alerts workers to nearby hazards and logs hazardous events through a purpose-built platform.

The high bandwidths and ultra-fast speeds inherent in 5G will enable the PLINX system to share data reliably in real time, allowing it to consider the working environment as a whole, rather than only as individual zones. The system will be able to consider how external factors influence the safety on-site, and respond immediately to changing circumstances, making automatic adjustments due to additional factors such as poor visibility.

Working with technical distribution partner Solid State Supplies, PLINX will incorporate radio modules from market leader Quectel Wireless Solutions into the system’s machine mountable MachineTAGs, which combine data from other nearby tags and provide audible and visual feedback to machine operators and pedestrian site workers to reduce the likelihood of a collision.

Solid State Supplies has provided engineering design support to PLINX and loaned the company development kit to accelerate their evaluation and testing of the Quectel modules. Both companies are participating in the UK5G Innovation Network, a national network dedicated to the promotion of research, collaboration and the industrial application of 5G in the UK.

“5G is allowing us to create products that solve more complex problems for our clients, offering a greater insight into health and safety issues and therefore providing a greater industry impact. 5G will, if used correctly, represent a step-change in safety technology,” commented Tommy Williams, Plinx.

“Our engineering team was keen to support PLINX on what represents one of the first applications of private 5G networks in the real world. The potential of 5G to add speed and reliability to real time data transfer is clear/well known; to be involved as this potential becomes reality is very exciting,” said John Fitzpatrick, Solid State Supplies.

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