Connected safety is becoming a popular phrase in health and safety settings generally, and gas detection in particular. That’s a good thing – because it’s no overstatement to describe connected safety as an evolutionary step in gas monitoring and protection, and it’s a field that is developing all the time.
In this post we’ll establish exactly what connected safety means for anyone monitoring gas hazards, and find out why it pays to take note of developments in this area.
What is Connected Safety?
In gas monitoring terms, connected safety refers to using the internet of things (IoT) to connect gas detection devices (for example, portable gas monitors) to software that pulls the gas exposure information and other data stored on the detector (the identity of the user for any given session, the extent to which the device was used correctly, etc.), analyses it and presents it in useful forms.
By wirelessly connecting each gas monitor – and the data it collects during each work session – to a specialist software package, you can spot patterns of gas exposure, patterns of use and misuse of detectors and automatically store all of the information you need to quickly prove regulatory and legal compliance.
When this information is scaled up across entire device fleets, naturally the data it produces also scales up and can be aggregated. And if that data is acted upon, it can improve safety across your business and drive better, more informed decisions.
That is, in a nutshell, how our Crowcon Connect solution works.
How does Crowcon Connect work for Connected Safety?
Crowcon Connect is Crowcon’s own software, which works with all current (manufactured from 2004 onwards) and future Crowcon portable gas detectors. Because we own and develop the software, we are constantly upgrading it in light of customer feedback and can make customised versions where required (although it’s also really easy for users to configure the standard dashboard to suit their own needs).
Quick User Assignment easily links devices, events and people
For each work session, anyone who needs a portable detector simply scans in their ID (for example, their work ID badge) and is allocated a device. If they don’t like that device (for example, if it’s not suitable for the job in hand) they can simply re-scan their badge to be assigned another detector.
When the user returns the detector to its dock at the end of the work session, the dock transfers the data to the Crowcon Connect portal while simultaneously un-allocating the device, ready for the next user.
The data transferred to the portal includes details of the user and the device, exposure and alarm information and a full range of gas data. Once that data reaches the portal, Crowcon Connect can crunch the numbers and work its magic.
Connected Safety streamlines processes, improves outcomes
The Crowcon Connect user interface is very intuitive and easy to customise, which means every user can see precisely the information that matters to them, whenever and wherever they need it.
For example, it becomes very straightforward to prove regulatory compliance when real-time data is available, and easy to spot potentially dangerous areas when alarm data begins to cluster. Mundane tasks – such as flagging those detectors that are due for calibration and/or maintenance – can be automated, which saves time and reduces the risk of human error.
Of course you can also aggregate fleet-wide, site-wide and/or team-wide data, which lets you to spot patterns (for example, of exposure events or device losses) and make relevant changes. This helps you to improve your site and workforce safety, and you can always locate detectors (and any workers attached to them) in real time.
Is Connected Safety the way of the future?
In a word, yes. We live in a data-driven world and the use of information is driving improvements in all sectors, gas detection included. Our increasing (and increasingly widespread) reliance on technology is only going to amplify that.
After all, data can do much to offset the shortcomings of human management. Data is objective, not driven by assumptions or bias, and gives an honest reflection of what is actually happening in the field, rather than what is intended to happen. If you’ve ever worn a fitness tracker for a while, you’ll get this idea!
However, data analytics are only useful if they are based on top quality, current information – and that’s where connected safety comes in. Connected safety applications collect information accurately and in real time. If you manage gas monitoring, with data straight from the device you will be operating on the basis of objective, trustworthy information. What is more, you can use that information to make people safer – and even save lives.
We’ll be sharing some more posts about connected safety in the coming weeks, so please come back to this page for those. In the meantime, why not have a look at our white paper on connected safety for more detailed information, or check out our Crowcon Connect pages?