Using RFID to Enhance Worker Safety

By Doug

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Track inspections are one of the most hazardous jobs in the rail industry, because the integrity of the rail and track conditions plays a significant role in ensuring that trains are able to move people safely. Inspections of the rail and track area are often conducted at all hours of the day and night, due to the frequency of required inspections, and the job presents hazards as track inspectors often walk along tracks while trains are in revenue service. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has partnered with Bombardier Transportation to utilize RFID to improve safety for railway workers and track-side workers. MARTA is using passive high-frequency (HF) RFID tags embedded in wristbands worn by employees, as well as readers installed along the tracks and motion sensors to detect oncoming trains to alert workers about those trains. Learn how the system is being used to enable the automated setup of safety zones for workers, and to provide timely alerts for train operators, thereby reducing the risk of accidents.