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IoT is the new sheriff in town


By Tim Wade : Sports Practice Senior Director: Architecture, Group

By Tim Wade : Sports Practice Senior Director: Architecture, Group

How the Internet of Things bullet-proofs the safety and security industry

It’s a scenario that any employer dreads: to send out a ‘Fatal Incident Notification’. When a life is lost, an employer not only has to help colleagues and the family deal with the emotional trauma of the death, there are serious ramifications and, in some instances, an investigation can close down a site or a team for months.

‘We are committed to the health and the safety of our employees.’ This statement is often visible on the walls of public agencies, as well as on corporate websites of companies in the mining, construction, and manufacturing industries.

Keeping employees safe is a top priority, and through IoT,connected devices can now be used as a preventative measure to reduce injury.

The real value of IoT-connected devices is that they can proactively capture data on which we are able to perform analytics. What this means is that, through the data captured from sensors or wearable technologies, we can look for trends and apply algorithms to predict hazardous events or accidents.

Keeping the public and police officers safe

It’s a fact that ‘unforeseen’ events do happen, and it’s then that the capabilities of public agencies are tested. Regardless of the event, whether it’s a natural or industrial disaster, a cyber- or terror attack, there must be a continuous process of effective risk management that proactively recognises new threats. This is where IoT-connected devices can assist.

Watch this video to see how we’ve used technology to improve crowd control at the Tour de Yorkshire races.

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GPS-tracking devices linked to cloud-enabled data analytic platforms and real-time web displays can be used in any industry. Think of any business that owns and manages a fleet of vehicles – from delivery vehicles to public transport. If it moves it can be tracked, and if it can be tracked it can be followed wherever it is and wherever it needs to go. Real-time analytics can make businesses with moving assets more streamlined and efficient.

Keeping employees safe in hazardous environments

IoT technologies can be used as visual preventative measures to track the health and location of an employee in hazardous environments, for example in oil refineries, mines or army shooting ranges. Connected Workers are fitted with smart clothing, ‘wearables’ or sensors, and personal monitoring systems to detect heart rates, blood sugar levels, stress levels, and health to prevent accidents.

Safety goggles which can provide a visual warning can collect data from a variety of sensors, analyse data locally, and provide high-level insights to remote operators as well as to workers themselves to ensure that the potential for workplace injuries is reduced.

Critical information about the activity and environment of the worker can be stored, analysed, and used for training purposes, or for continuous remote monitoring at a centralised command centre.

A typical scenario of where a Connected Worker could benefit from smart clothing is first responders in high-risk environments, such as firefighters retrieving a black box from an aeroplane.

Connected Workers wear smart clothing to proactively prevent incidents. (Click on image for an enlarged view.)

How to make IoT work in your ecosystem?

IoT-connected devices enable organisations to work proactively instead of reactively. So now you can track assets, the environment and monitor employees health in real-time, along with the capability to analyse statistics to foresee trends of failure rates or accidents. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to predict incidents before they occur, which could save the lives of people.

To fully enable the power of the IoT and the new data it brings, existing IT delivery and deployment models can sometimes become a challenge. Vast swathes of data and the nessecary compute and networks resources that are needed to transmit and analyse it effectively, are more suited to the more flexible hybrid IT architectures.

Learn more about how Dimension Data can help you to deploy a hybrid IT eco-system – a live digital platform, cloud analytics, and a collaboration platform – to reduce injury.