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Windshield and Mirror Company Gains Evacuation Visibility With RFID

Ficomirrors is using an RFID-based evacuation system from Smart Technology Group at its Polish facility to better manage the locations of its workers in the event of an emergency.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 13, 2017

Polish RFID technology company Smart Technology Group has developed what it calls the Safe and Sound Evacuation, which employs radio frequency identification technology to ensure personnel are accounted for at a work place in the event of an emergency. The system relies on passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID readers and lanyards worn by workers to identify when they pass specific locations.

Ficomirrors Polska (part of Ficosa International), in the Silesian area of Poland, was among the early adopters of this technology, and has been using the system since June 2017 to ensure the location and thus the safety of more than 1,000 workers. Ficomirrors makes automotive mirrors, windshields and other products used on vehicles worldwide. It sought an automated system for its facility that could better ensure that all workers could be accounted for in the event that an evacuation was necessary.

Ficomirrors Polska's Anna Zagala
Before the implementation of the Smart Technology Group's RFID solution, the verification of people at collection points "was based on paper attendance lists and reports," says Anna Zagala, Ficomirrors Polska's Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) manager. The team leader was responsible for the company's ongoing update. "At the time of the evacuation, they were used to verify the personal status at the collection point and to determine the number of missing persons."

This is a common method for evacuation management across most companies, according to Karolina Kozłowska, Smart Technology Group's president and CEO. Evacuation systems are typically coordinated manually, she explains, and can generate a great deal of confusion during an actual emergency. People either visually identify and count individuals—a process prone to errors—or ask that employees scan proximity cards to indicate their locations. The problem in an emergency, she explains, is that workers may not always remember their proximity cards as they evacuate, or have time to scan them.

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