Equipment Type

"Personal Telematics" and a Safety Net

What if a construction worker is alone in a remote area, falls, and is immobilized? How will they be located without the ability to place a call?
August 18, 2016

The MD-S mobile emergency pendant in its charging cradle. The wearable device weighs just over two ounces.

Raczon’s writing career spans nearly 25 years, including magazine publishing and public relations work with some of the industry’s major equipment manufacturers. He has won numerous awards in his career, including nods from the Construction Writers Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and BtoB magazine. He is responsible for the magazine's Buying Files.

Much has been made of recent advances in personal safety devices, but in emergencies, workers still may have to rely on cell phones to call for help.

What if a construction worker is alone in a remote area, falls, and is immobilized? How will they be located without the ability to place a call?

Scary, but “Can you hear me now?” could become “Can you find my body later?”

An interesting solution comes from SecuraTrac, a Hermosa Beach, Calif., company that concentrates on “suites of mobile safety solutions for employee health and safety through location-based technology and cloud-based platforms.”

A lot of words there, but to simplify the concept, visualize an elderly woman falling on the floor, helpless to get up, and replace the blue hair with a hardhat.

The product is called MobileDefender model S (MD-S); it’s a mobile emergency pendant and it also has a bit of a personal telematics flavor that managers might like. It relays information about employee locations as well as providing workers with an instant connection to help in the event of an emergency.

There’s also something built in called Fall Advisory. The MD-S can detect horizontal and vertical movement, so if an employee falls on the job or is knocked over by something, he or she does not have to initiate the call for help—it’s triggered automatically.

“Not only can companies rest assured that they know where their human assets are at in the field at all times, companies and employees can feel empowered about safety,” says Chris Holbert, the company’s CEO. “Even if an accident occurs, the MD-S can be relied on to create an alert that help may be needed without any action taken by the employee. It could be life saving.”

The Fall Advisory settings can be adjusted to tailor to different situations, and an integrated Bluetooth lets the device integrate with wireless health-monitoring systems, according to SecuraTrac. It’s integration intensive for those human assets.

The unit does depend on battery life, but to improve battery lifespan, it has been designed with a Wake-on SOS feature. Wake-on SOS enables the device to last over 30 days on a single charge, because the device is off until the SOS button is activated. This preserves the battery while enabling the device to turn-on, locate, transmit its location, and make the emergency call after the SOS is activated.

Pretty cool stuff.

And if all that is not enough, the MD-S has garnered the William Shatner Moving America Forward Award, which offers winners a television appearance with the scene-shredding Shatner and our old friend, the supremely coiffed Doug Llewelyn.

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