When it comes to worker safety in industrial environments, the COVID-19 pandemic has captured nearly all the headlines for much of 2020. However, complying with other environmental health and safety (EHS) requirements remain a regulatory challenge for industrial companies of all types. One benefit of the pandemic is the concentrated focus on EHS factors it has brought to industry’s technology suppliers.
An example of this is a new partnership between Honeywell and Wolters Kluwer, which addresses industry’s new EHS operating realities by connecting Honeywell’s Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connected devices and safety software with risk and EHS software from Enablon, a Wolters Kluwer business focused on software products that assist in managing safety and environmental performance, ensuring compliance, and minimizing risk.
In particular, the partnership is aimed at easing the difficult process of safely bringing workers back into plants amid the stringent social distancing requirements created by COVID-19.
“With companies concerned about making a safe return to their facilities, we are offering a solution that aims to provide peace of mind to management in terms of both safety and compliance to keep up with ever-changing health and environmental regulations,” said John Rudolph, president of Honeywell Process Solutions. “Our new reality requires innovative solutions that enable both business continuity and helps protect the health of their employees.”
After Honeywell’s Digitized Workforce Management software is deployed, the process of monitoring employee health begins before workers even enter a plant. The software sends personnel an electronic questionnaire, which provides them with an access code and notes their time of arrival. From there, intelligent connected devices at the facility’s entry perform a non-invasive scan for elevated body temperature, as well as ascertaining whether or not individuals are wearing the proper personal protective equipment required by safety regulations. Once all of this data has been gathered, it is piped directly to Enablon’s EHS software, where management can monitor it in real-time to ensure compliance with safety and health regulations.
Beyond helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, the partnership can also assist companies in navigating ever-changing and increasingly complex environmental regulations. With some environmental permits containing hundreds of specific requirements, businesses need all the help they can get. To ease this burden, Honeywell’s software can be configured by operators to correspond directly to the local environmental and regulatory permitting conditions of specific jurisdictions.
According to Chirag Shah, senior director of product management at Enablon, by allowing data streamed directly from equipment and other assets to be integrated with data provided by workers and field contractors in real-time, Industry 4.0 becomes the driving force enabling companies to navigate this challenging landscape.