How Does RFID Monitor Employees?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsHow Does RFID Monitor Employees?
RFID Journal Staff asked 9 years ago

In a recent answer on this forum, you wrote that RFID can monitor workers. What do you mean by "monitor"?

—Name withheld


By "monitor," I mean essentially two things. One is keeping tabs on workers for their safety. The essential idea is that if you know where people are in the event that an emergency occurs, you can get them to safety more quickly. I have posted below some links to articles that we've published about companies using RFID in this way.

A second way to monitor workers is to track productivity. Australian tomato grower d'Vineripe deployed RFID technology to manage staff productivity as contract laborers proceed through eight tasks to raise and ultimately pick the tomatoes in four greenhouses the size of a football field. Between 50 and 120 employees typically work on the plants each day, performing a variety of tasks, including pruning, pollinating, deleafing, pest and disease control, and picking. The laborers are often immigrants with limited or no English-language skills. d'Vineripe's managers previously tracked tasks completed manually, using a clipboard, paper and pencil. Now, the company utilizes RFID (see RFID Helps Improve Agricultural Worker Productivity).

Argentine fruit producer Argenti Lemon S.A. employs a similar RFID system to track the productivity of its workers in the field as they pick lemons. The firm is also using the solution to manage its payroll, and to track its inventory as it is processed and shipped (see Lemon Grower Tracks Worker Productivity). And tomato and cucumber producer Eurofresh Farms increased its productivity by between 200 and 250 percent thanks to an RFID-based solution that helps the company track the exact amount of work performed by each staff member, and then compensate that individual accordingly (see Arizona Greenhouse Employs RFID to Track Workers' Tasks).

Another way to monitor workers is to track time and attendance. This has been done with punch cards for years, and some companies have switched to RFID because it is automated and doesn't require workers to wait in line. I don't think of this as monitoring, however; it is more of an efficiency improvement.

Stories about companies using RFID to monitor employee safety:

RFID System Measures Employee Productivity One Task at a Time
A passive, 125 kHz RFID system being offered by newcomer Zeitgroup enables companies to track and monitor when employees arrive and leave, as well as measure their job performance.

Indian Mine Monitors Workers and Toxic Gases
PervCom's active 2.4 GHz RFID tags, attached to cap lamps, track miners' locations and contain sensors for measuring temperature, humidity and air quality.

At Former Landfill, RFID Monitors Workers and Waste
As contaminated soil and hazardous refuse are removed from the site, a location-tracking system ensures that workers can be rapidly evacuated during emergencies, and that containers of waste are properly routed.

At Construction Sites, RFID Tracks Arrivals, Departures
ADR Software's Workforce Monitor system uses EPC tags to identify workers, enabling general contractors to track who enters or leaves a site.

Aker Yards Uses RFID to Ramp Up Worker Safety
At its shipyard in Turku, Finland, the company installs interrogators alongside gangplanks so administrators can determine who is on board a vessel and in danger in the event of a fire or other risk.

BP Refinery Uses RFID for Evacuation System
At its Cherry Point facility, the oil giant has deployed an ultra-wideband tracking system to keep tabs on personnel in the event of a fire or explosion.

Canadian Oil and Gas Company to Monitor Evacuations via RFID
At a construction site in Newfoundland, the firm will be able to automatically identify the locations of thousands of workers during emergencies, by means of active RFID tags attached to hardhats.

Malaysian Oil Rig Deploys RFID for Man-Down Monitoring
Axcess International developed the system, which features personnel badges containing active RFID tags and motion sensors to detect if a worker stops moving.

Posco Steel Mill Improves Safety, Energy Conservation
The South Korean company has deployed an RFID-based system from Ubisense and IBM that tracks the locations of personnel, thus enabling managers to reduce the potential for accidents, as well as automatically control lighting.

Protecting Employees
During an emergency, RFID personnel safety solutions can help you locate workers in real time.

At Glass Factory, RFID Boosts Worker Safety and Productivity
AGC Flat Glass Europe is using EPC tags and readers to help automate the packaging of large sheets of glass, and to ensure forklift drivers are beyond the reach of robot-operated cranes.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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