COVID-19: Oerlikon protects employees with innovative distance-warning technology

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020Description :
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swiss technology company Oerlikon is relying on an innovative technical solution to protect its employees from infections during operations. At Oerlikon’s plants in Switzerland and Germany, the company has piloted the sensor-based technology SafeZone from Munich-based start-up Kinexon. Deployment is planned for the global Oerlikon network. SafeZone is a technology that allows the distance between employees to be measured with centimeter accuracy. Employees wear a sensor either on their wrist or as a tag. If two sensors fall below the defined minimum distance of, for example, 1.5 meters for a certain period of time, a warning tone sounds. By wearing a SafeZone sensor, employees can dispense with face masks for activities that do not require close cooperation if they are not required by occupational safety law. In the event of an infection, software enables contact chains to be tracked precisely. Thus, the affected employees can be informed quickly, and appropriate measures such as quarantine can be initiated for the contact persons. The advantage: in this way, operations can be maintained in unaffected units or teams. Compliance with data protection regulations is ensured by separating the data for the numbers of the sensors from the names of the sensor carriers. A small, predetermined group of people would be permitted to combine both data sets in order to trace the chain of infection only in situations where it is necessary. ?For us, the SafeZone system offers three major advantages,? says CEO Dr. Roland Fischer. ?First, we protect our employees; second, they can partially dispense with use of face masks during work, which increases both comfort and work safety; and finally, third, in the event of an infection, we can narrow down the affected units and do not have to shut down the entire operation."

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