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Workplace perspectives on technology solutions

This page provides perspective on how Scottish companies responded to COVID-19 to protect their workforces, and highlights the technology solutions they employed.

If your organisation has used sensing, imaging or IoT technology to support safe work practices associated with COVID-19 and you would like to share your experiences, please get in touch with CENSIS.

View our full guide on technologies to support workplace safety and please ensure you are familiar with the Scottish Government Routemap and the current situation for Scotland.

Please note that these are the first-hand experiences of the company, and they should not be read as product recommendations by Scottish Enterprise or CENSIS.


Rautomead’s experience

Physical distancing technologies (Reactec SAFE-DISTANCE)

Scottish manufacturer Rautomead is using ‘SAFE-DISTANCE’ IoT technology developed by Edinburgh-based Reactec to support new physical distancing policies and procedures in its Dundee factory.

Worn on the wrist, SAFE-DISTANCE uses Bluetooth to measure the distance between devices, alerting the wearer when they have been ‘too close for too long’ to someone else. The device not only acts as a personal monitor, but the fully integrated GDPR-compliant system ensures data captured from all the devices is collected and can be accessed via a web portal by authorised staff. This allows Rautomead to map trends and activity over time to ensure physical distancing is being observed and – in the worst case scenario of someone contracting Covid-19 – help to track and trace people who have been in contact with that person.

At Rautomead, each employee uses their own wrist strap for the SAFE-DISTANCE device. A device is assigned a wearer at the start of their working day. At the end of a shift, devices are docked and thoroughly cleaned then quarantined before being ready to be picked up by another member of staff. The company’s Managing Director receives a daily activity report.

Rautomead is using SAFE-DISTANCE in addition to, rather than instead of, policies and procedures to keep staff safe such as signage and two metre distance markers. However, data from the new system has been used to create further refinements. After identifying areas where foot traffic was at its busiest and where there was a higher than expected concentration of workers, Rautomead was able to change the layout of parts of its factory, introducing one way systems and amending timings for people moving through particular areas.

The development of SAFE-DISTANCE

Established in 2001, Reactec have developed from a company specialising in personal sensors of the risk from exposure to vibration, to more broadly monitoring health risks within the workplace. Key to their approach is a flexible integrated ecosystem which automatically delivers information from personal sensors to GDPR compliant on-line analytics. IoT sensors with Bluetooth technology whether provided by Reactec or a third party are readily, integrated into what is widely referred to as a connected worker system.

In response to COVID-19 Reactec repurposed its wrist worn personal monitors to detect distance between devices by analysing IoT signal strength. Within two months of proving the concept almost 100 customers have deployed the technology to enhance their workplace distancing methods and gain assurance that their measures are effective. A second phase of capability is now being released which allows the identification of cohort workers and barriered safe zones expanding on the broad spectrum of technologies within the Reactec offering.

What to do next?

You may have a few questions once you’ve read through this section, or have some ideas you would like to talk through.  Why don’t we have an initial chat about how your organisation can use technology to reduce the risks of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Business Development team

Scottish Enterprise
Digital Transformation Specialists team.
Tel: 0300 013 3385