According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a staggering 4764 individuals lost their lives in 2020 due to fatal occupational injuries.

While making an industrial environment risk-free is impossible, using Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) ensures workers are safer and employers have a better emergency response plan.

Below, we take a look at how location-tracking technology facilitates industrial worker safety.

worker safety location tracking

Industrial Emergency Response Management

In June 2020, a fire gutted an online sales warehouse in California. Thankfully, there were no injuries or deaths in this particular incident. Unfortunately, the same year, seventy-one people lost their lives due to industrial fires and explosions.

Fire, hurricanes, tornadoes, cybersecurity breaches, and hazardous materials spills are potential emergencies that industrial facilities must be prepared to face.

Let’s explore two usage scenarios to understand how location tracking can enhance emergency response management in an industrial setting.


In emergency response mustering, location tracking is critical in keeping people safe and accounted for during potentially chaotic or dangerous situations.

By locating personnel in real time, emergency responders can quickly assess the safety of their team and adjust preparations accordingly. Location tracking also allows responders to identify and address potential areas of risk speedily and efficiently.

Emergency Response

Location tracking can quickly guide emergency responders, such as firefighters and hazardous materials teams, to the scene.

Real-time location tracking systems can also individualise the best evacuation route and avoid hazardous areas. Integrating asset tracking into an energy response system will ensure that everyone has the right tools.

Taking it one step further, RTLS can collect data from emergency drills. This data can be used to improve emergency response procedures, emergency contact lists, and emergency alert systems.

Lone Worker Safety

In simplest terms, lone workers are employees who work alone, with no nearby or direct supervision. Not only are lone workers at a higher risk of workplace incidents, but they are also at risk of assault.

Location tracking technologies are an effective tool that can help organisations improve lone worker safety. Real-time location tracking tags can not only keep track of the location of a lone worker, but they can also monitor anomalies.

Here are some ways location tracking can enhance lone worker safety:

  • Location tracking apps enable better visibility into lone workers’ locations and movements, providing organisations with an easy way to monitor lone workers in real-time.
  • If a lone worker goes outside their designated area for too long or fails to report within the specified time frame, this can be flagged as an emergency.
  • When a lone worker cannot communicate, a Real-Time Location System can provide precise coordinates; thus allowing assistance to be dispatched promptly and accurately.
  • Location tracking systems can create geofences and trigger an alarm if the employee enters a hazardous or forbidden area.
  • Monitoring lone workers in high-risk environments to instantly detect accidents or risky situations such as falls, collisions or prolonged inactivity.
  • Automatically detect slips, falls, car crashes, or prolonged periods of idleness.

Human Error Avoidance

According to statistics, 70-80% of significant accidents in high-risk industries are human-related. As a result, the significance of human error in achieving system safety cannot be overstated.

Location-tracking technologies are effective at reducing both action errors and thinking errors. Here are some ways location tracking can improve industrial safety.

  • By monitoring the locations of people and machines in real-time, operators can immediately detect when they move too close to each other, significantly reducing injury risks.
  • Location tracking and geofencing help keep workers out of predefined, hazardous areas. Dynamic geofencing allows for real-time adjustment with the movements of machines or processes.
  • Another benefit of location tracking is tool monitoring. This prevents mistakes and helps ensure tools are in good condition for their next use. Modern RTLS providers like Ubisense offer computer vision to ensure tools are being used in the correct sequence or that tools are not being taken out of designated areas.
  • Location-tracking technologies can be used to enforce safe operating procedures and protocols. For example, by ensuring workers take enough breaks, location-tracking technology can reduce the potential for repetitive motion injuries due to prolonged work sessions.

While it may be impossible to eliminate human error, location-tracking technologies can reduce the likelihood of mistakes, helping to ensure a safer workplace.

Safety & Security Compliance

While it may be convenient to assume that workers will abide by safety regulations without prompting, the reality is often different. Without proper training and oversight, many employees unknowingly take shortcuts that compromise their safety to complete tasks faster with minimal effort. This kind of negligence puts everybody at risk for serious injury or illness due to preventable accidents.

Solutions like Ubisense Dimension4™ can help improve compliance across industries. Here are some ways Ubisense is assisting industries to become more compliant.

  • Real-time location tracking can quickly identify personnel who may be out of compliance with safety rules.
  • RTLS can be used to enforce controls to protect workers during non-routine operations and emergencies. For example, a geofence can alert personnel if machine guarding has been removed during maintenance.
  • Asset tracking can track and log the usage of personal protective equipment.
  • IIoT has made predictive and preventive maintenance of machines practical. Preemptive maintenance helps prevent incidents due to equipment failure.
  • Asset tracking enables faster access to equipment and people needed to control emergency-related hazards.
  • Location tracking technology provides valuable insights into employee behaviour, allowing businesses to identify potential compliance issues quickly.
  • Accurate tracking of hazardous materials throughout the facility.

Location tracking not only helps enforce safety and compliance but also helps develop a culture of safety. Ubisense’s solutions can help identify problem areas and proactively mitigate risks before they turn into dangerous incidents.

Process Safety

Process safety management (PSM) is necessary for all businesses. However, it is indispensable in hazardous environments such as the chemical and petroleum industries. RTLS and digital twin technology provide tools for improving PSM.

Let’s look at some location tracking uses in process safety management.

  • RTLS can track chemical containers and link them to important safety and regulatory information.
  • The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has determined hot work as one of the leading sources of employee fatalities. IIoT sensors & RTLS can make hot work environments safer. IIoT can conduct effective gas monitoring, while RTLS can detect the presence of flammable inventory.
  • Location tracking technology can monitor hazardous waste containers and ensure that they are moved in compliance with rules and regulations. Not only can this help to reduce spills, but it also ensures that companies comply with environmental regulations.
  • Digital twins can simulate the operation of a facility and potential hazards before they occur.

Data-Driven Decisions

High-quality data generated by location tracking technologies and IIoT can be used to make informed safety, security, and compliance decisions.

A data-driven organisation documents incidents, accidents, and injuries in an organised manner, including their number, frequency, and type, as well as any corrective and preventive actions to be taken.

Here is how companies are using data to improve safety and compliance:

  • Smart wearables collect data on worker behaviour and environmental conditions to provide real-time feedback and use this data to identify areas of safety concern. This information can then be used to reduce risk and improve safety.
  • Data analytics can identify trends in safety incidents and suggest measures to prevent them. By leveraging data from RTLS, organisations can measure their progress on safety and compliance initiatives. Data-driven decisions help ensure that the most effective solutions are implemented to address specific risks. This kind of data can also be used to prevent incidents and injuries caused by human error. By understanding the behaviour of individuals and teams, organisations can create prevention plans that address common mistakes or bad habits.

In conclusion, location-tracking technology provides organisations with the tools to achieve improved safety and compliance. Ubisense’s solutions are ideally suited for industrial operations, providing a comprehensive and cost-effective means to improve safety in hazardous working environments. If you would like to know more about Ubisense and our market-leading technology, you can learn more here.