Ensuring interrupted operations has for long been central to risk management in factories, hospitals, production sites and various critical corporate functions such as logistics hubs. Covid-19 underlines that epidemics containment must be a part of the risk management toolkit.
An epidemic can develop and spread quickly, producing wave after wave of outbreaks of various scales. For businesses this implies great uncertainties in predicting and managing the impact on their own personnel and the disruption of their supply chain.
How could companies take control of limiting the spread of the epidemic and securing the continuity of their business? Should one simply wait for a medical solution to achieve significant coverage? How about when some other, yet unknown epidemic starts to spread in the future – should a process be prepared for this very likely scenario?
Preventing epidemics and inhibiting transmission chains can be thought of as risk management processes just like information security, hardening systems for cyber-attacks and securing premises and sensitive documents. In the future, having a mechanism in place to protect employees can become a standard part of a security audit.
Technology offers a variety of options for contract tracing and maintaining a safe social distance. A particularly effortless and maintenance free solution is to use smart personnel badges that utilize indoor positioning. Should employees wearing the badges stay in too close contact for too long, the badges will sound a notification and the event is recorded. In case an employee or visitor is later diagnosed with an infection, exposures can easily be traced from the cloud service and categorized by the likelihood of passing on the infection. This way the company itself can effectively end the transmission chain and secure continuity of their business.
Contact tracing will also serve to reduce fears of infection in cases where the risk can be determined to be minimal. Both the employer and employee will benefit from a safer workplace and the ability to continue normal operations with minimal training and maintenance.
The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health is an expert of occupational well-being which researches, serves and trains.
Innovative COVID-19 technology developed by the Finnish hi-tech company Noccela Oy is now undergoing research and testing. The technical features of the system are unique. It enables real-time monitoring and information concerning contact between people, and thus the tracing of chains of contagion in an effortless manner. The system also allows suitable social distancing between workers to be maintained. The research results are intended to be introduced at workplaces.
Testing is carried out at the Helsinki office of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The purpose of the solution is to find a way of adapting to possibly permanent changes in work life and to ensure safety at workplaces to the extent possible.
Noccela’s COVID-19 solution works in the following ways:
- Workers carry a smart badge around their necks which issues an audio signal when the specified distance to another worker is exceeded.
- Each encounter, in which the distance has been less than the permitted threshold, is stored in the cloud-based system.
- The solution also offers a tool which can be used to monitor the contact history of a person who has fallen ill.
- The solution does not require any separate infrastructure and it is effortless to be quickly introduced.
- Noccela’s beacon, which is installed to the ceiling, allows the collection of contact history from the encounters stored on the smart badges, while transferring the data automatically to the cloud-based system when the smart badge is in the vicinity of the beacon’s signal.
- One badge can store 1.536 contact events per day on its Flash memory. It is a wireless, rechargeable product which is effortless to use and wear. The badge has the readiness for other additional services such as an SOS button.
- By adding a sensor network to the system, uniquely accurate indoor positioning for both products and people can be provided to the customer. Noccela’s technology allows for an indoor positioning accuracy of approximately 10 cm.
– “We are always very interested in working with other national operators in favor of a better and healthier work community. The testing of this new innovative solution is very interesting, particularly in view of its current topicality. Initially, we contacted Noccela about their accurate indoor positioning technology for the purpose of another research”, explains FIOH’s Medical Physicist Jussi Virkkala.
− “It’s great to collaborate with an entity that develops Finnish occupational well-being and to be involved in the creation of innovations for these modern-day challenges, which we have unfortunately faced when COVID arrived in Finland during the spring. In principle, this product is of course intended for the international market, for countries in which companies and organizations are fighting the COVID pandemic at an entirely different level than what we have experienced here in Finland”, states Noccela Oy’s Managing DirectorTuukka Tarkiainen.