Going Mobile With Field ID and RFID

Words: Dan Kamys

Fall Protection

The potential efficiencies in managing your company’s safety and inspection processes are colossal. That’s why it is important to give safety managers, inspectors (both internal and third-party), certifiers and executives the most efficient tools available to maximize safety and compliance; increase inspection and audit efficiency; increase productivity; and reduce liability. With embedded RFID tags and the Field ID Application, you instantly can scan and inspect your equipment, saving time and increasing safety.

What is RFID? Radio frequency identification (RFID) is used to describe a system that transmits the identity (in the form of a unique serial number) of an object wirelessly, using radio waves. At the click of a mouse, RFID technology can enable equipment tracking, equipment compliance and, most important, worker safety.

With all the benefits RFID provides, it’s no wonder most fall protection manufacturers are choosing to embed RFID tags in standard equipment and develop their own RFID safety systems. Once companies start using RFID systems for fall protection equipment, it’s hard to imagine going back.

How does RFID work? RFID technology, often referred to as automatic identification, uses radio waves to transmit data from identification tags on a piece of equipment to a handheld device for the purpose of automatic identification and tracking.

RFID System Going Mobile With Field ID and RFIDRFID systems facilitate a company’s ability to track of safety equipment, to manage inventory and to regulate safety inspection programs, including electronic inspection, thereby promoting the safety of workers who use the equipment.

An RFID system consists of three components: a tag (or multiple tags), a PDA reader or interrogator, and a web portal or the necessary supporting infrastructure (both hardware and software). Generally, an RFID tag or marker is attached to a piece of equipment, giving that item a unique identifier.

When tracking and recording safety equipment, RFID can standardize the process and significantly improve efficiency. Estimates have shown that companies utilizing RFID technology can improve effectiveness by nearly 50 percent – just in time saved – when using RFID instead of a hand-written recording system.

As it pertains to fall protection, an RFID system can enable the user to quickly pin point the location of personal protective equipment (PPE), in real time, and also can apprise you of the current working condition of said PPE, for example.

RFID-Specific Software Going Mobile With Field ID and RFIDThe most important component in an RFID system is the RFID-specific software that deciphers raw data from the tag and translates it into viable information about the products, pieces or orders that are represented by the tags. This information then can be fed into other databases and applications (e.g., inventory management) for further analysis.

What is Field ID? Field ID is the world’s leading safety compliance and inspection management system for the web and mobile devices operating on Google Android, Apple iOS and Windows Mobile. This no-nonsense app provides an automated solution designed to eliminate guesswork from safety compliance inspections and reporting. Field ID uses a combination of advanced identification (barcodes, RFID), mobile devices and the web.

The Field ID App advantage

  • A one-stop safety portal. Field ID gives you a window into every inspection or safety event in your system and the ability to produce customized reports instantly. On the web or in the field with smartphones and tablets, the Field ID App keeps your safety up to standard with 24/7 readiness.
  • Digitize and automate inspections. With the Field ID App for Android and iOS, inspections are fast and easy, and put an end to the “data-entry duty” that some inspectors face back at the office. Use RFID to identify equipment, follow the app through inspection criteria, and save your findings to the cloud.
  • Eliminate paperwork and filing cabinet nightmares. Field ID allows you to completely eliminate unmanageable paperwork. Your cloud-based data is secure, up to date, and instantly accessible for producing customized reports.
  • Save time and money. Conduct inspections faster and more efficiently than ever before, while completely eliminating costly back-end administration. Reduce time spent by up to 75 percent, and cut costs in the process.
  • Reduce human error and boost efficiency. Inspection and audit records are accurate, complete, and accessible anywhere, anytime. Efficiency gains enable greater productivity and business growth. Use automated notifications, so no inspection gets left behind.
  • Real-time compliance with the cloud. Know your safety compliance status at all times with 24/7, real-time access to the cloud. All inspections can be GPS-tracked and time-stamped, and the information synced with the cloud for access anytime, anywhere.

Going Mobile With Field ID and RFIDIn conclusion, fall protection equipment embedded with RFID technology and Field ID simply makes managing a safety program easier and more cost effective. Since many manufacturers have come to recognize the inherent value and advantages this technology can provide, companies such as MSA now are integrating RDIF and Field ID technology into their PPE product line as an added benefit for end-users.

MSA’s fall protection products such as the EVOTECH Full Body Harness, the Workman Self-Retracting Lanyard and the Workman Twin Leg Personal Fall Limiter come equipped with Field ID and RFID. With embedded RFID tags and the Field ID App, you instantly can scan and inspect your equipment, saving time and increasing safety.

So, when purchasing new fall protection equipment, it is to your benefit to determine whether the product offers RFID and Field ID to help you realize your potential efficiencies in managing your company’s safety and inspection processes.
Rob Senko is MSA Customer Development Manager, Fall Protection, and Trish Luedtke is Marketing Copy Writer, MSA. For more information, call 724-776-8740, or visit www.MSAsafety.com.
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