Protecting Workers and Ensuring Compliance in Manufacturing

Juan Martinez
August 11, 2016
Topic: Manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced a ground-breaking final ruling to improve working conditions for employees exposed to silica dust, a harmful substance used in manufacturing that has been linked to lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in manufacturing workers. The ruling limits exposure to the material and involves training, tracking and monitoring of employees who come in contact with silica dust. Employers are now tasked with monitoring exposure of employees to the material, and are looking for ways to utilize existing equipment to aid in compliance.

Turning to RFID Solutions to Track Exposure

RFID solutions are not just for login applications anymore. As this manufacturing video indicates, advanced RFID technology now works with existing employee badges to verify access, track time and in this example, limit exposure. Without an RFID solution, manual time cards will need to be tallied at the end of a day to ensure each employee did not exceed his or her exposure time to a harmful chemical over a given day, week or month. These records would then be transferred into a database, where human error inevitably plagues the data. Using a simplified RFID solution, records are automated, time is saved and human errors are eliminated. Employees don't have to keep track of their hours of exposure, and instead know their exposure is being monitored for them.

Recognizing the savings

The benefits to an RFID compliance-aiding solutions are seemingly endless. From a time-saving perspective, data entry tasks are eliminated as the manual time tracking system is automated. As this recent Rockwell Automation blog indicates, smart devices that automate processes in manufacturing not only save time, but also limit errors. Employees dedicate more focus to their jobs, knowing that their health is being monitored for them. Additionally, companies stay compliant with OSHA regulations, with hard metrics to prove that employees' exposure to harmful chemicals is limited. With OSHA violations ranging from $5,000 to $70,000 per violations, use of RFID tracking solutions not only protects workers and is the right thing to do, but it also directly supports the bottom line.

RF IDeas offers an assortment of RFID readers that support compliance in a manufacturing environment. Beyond tracking for hazardous material exposures, our RFID authentication solutions aid accurate time management, single sign-on solutions, inventory management and workstation security. For more information about our product offerings, visit our Knowledge Center or contact your Regional Sales Manager