Contact Tracing Technology: Personal Beepers Protect Mine Workers From Covid

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Contact Tracing Technology: Personal Beepers Protect Mine Workers From Covid

Nutrien Ltd., one the world’s largest fertilizer producers, has announced the expansion of its proximity monitoring and contact tracing technology, Proximity Trace, which was developed by Triax Technologies, which has emerged as an important tool to help track and combat the spread of COVID-19.

It involves a product called “TraceTag” that emits a beep and a flashing red dot when a person gets within two meters of a co-worker. If they remain too close, the beeping intensifies, not unlike a hospital heart monitor.
At the start of the pandemic, Nutrien was deemed an essential service in its core markets for its role in supporting the agriculture industry. To help mitigate the spread of the virus, Nutrien partnered with Triax to help its workers maintain a minimum of six feet of physical distancing and automatically capture data about their interactions with coworkers, as part of its COVID-19 protocols.
More than 8,000 employees are using the technology to date, with an additional 6,500 expected to be part of the expansion in the coming months, representing 65 percent of Nutrien’s global employee base.

Contact Tracing Technology

Nutrien produces fertilizers and related products for agriculture, industrial and feed companies, generating more than 25 million tonnes (27.6 million tons) of potash, nitrogen and phosphate products annually, according to Gary Peterson, Nutrien’s IT director for nitrogen and phosphates. The firm operates NPK sites across North America and Trinidad. At each site, Nutrien’s facilities take raw commodity, such as mined materials—phosphates, nitrogen or potash—and converts it into industrial fertilizers
During the pandemic, Nutrien faces the same challenges as other companies: namely, tracking workers’ contacts to prevent infection transmissions, as well as alerting personnel to any infection risks. Early into the outbreak, Peterson says, the company began tracking such information manually. Nutrien has not only prioritized worker health and safety, he explains, but it secondarily strives to ensure no spread events can cause temporary shutdowns.

We looked at a few technologies and landed on Triax,

Gary Peterson, Nutrien’s IT director recalls. Last July, the company piloted the technology in a pre-turnaround setting at two sites, located in Lina, Ohio, and Borger, Texas, in the hope of proving the solution’s efficacy. Approximately 200 workers participated at the Borger site, and the system has since been used in multiple turnarounds.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Triax

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