Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

First Aid for First-Aid Kits

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory developed a smart first-aid storage cabinet that secures the supplies placed inside with a mechanical lock linked to an RFID reader.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jun 01, 2008—When you're at work and need a bandage from the first-aid kit to treat a cut, the last thing you think about is reporting the item to your company. It's a common occurrence that results in a lot of understocked first-aid kits in workplaces.

"Most employers have rules about reporting injuries or using first-aid supplies, but those rules are not always followed," says Peter Lichty, occupational medical director at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Laboratory for science and engineering research, managed by the University of California.

Back in the mid-1990s, the first-aid kits located throughout the lab were often pillaged, making them insufficient for supplies in an emergency. In reaction, the lab's management decided to do away with the kits altogether. The facility operates an on-site clinic, so it established a new policy: You get injured, you go to the clinic. But that left employees who often work well past office hours without access to first aid during those times.

To address the problem, Lichty and some of his colleagues invented a smart first-aid storage cabinet. It secures the supplies placed inside with a mechanical lock linked to an RFID reader. To access the supplies after normal business hours, an employee must hold his or her RFID-based ID badge up to the RFID reader mounted on the cabinet. The reader captures the ID encoded to the tag and sends it to a back-end database. If the database shows that the ID is issued to a current employee, software controlling the reader triggers the cabinet to unlock.

The software also sends an e-mail message to Lichty that includes the name of the employee, the location of the cabinet and the time of day it was opened. "This e-mail lets me do two important things," Lichty says. "It allows me to contact the person who opened the cabinet to ask how he or she is feeling, and to dispatch someone to quickly restock the first-aid kit that was opened."

Berkeley Lab is hoping to license the patent-pending design of the first-aid storage cabinet to manufacturers interested in offering the RFID-based system to other workplaces. While the lab uses an access-control system provided by GE Security, the patent it filed doesn't specify a make, model or frequency of the RFID tags and readers that could be used.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 391 words and 1 page. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco