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By Gregory Hale
Wireless is helping shepherd a new aspect of safety.

“Non essential personnel in hazardous areas turns out to be a pretty critical situation,” said Jason Urso, vice president of technology at Honeywell Process Solutions during his technology overview keynote Monday during the Honeywell User Group meeting in Phoenix, AZ. “Seventy percent of survey respondents said they operated process critical start ups and shut downs with non essential personnel in a hazardous areas.” The reason they were in those locations was “they simply didn’t know. They didn’t have the technology.”

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That is where wireless comes into play as Honeywell introduced a mobile device that can detect a hazardous gas and can also track the person’s location and send that information wirelessly back to the Experion platform.

“It allows you to plan operations around the real-time location of people so you might be able to build in an interlock into a start up or shut down control strategy preventing access if you have a non essential personnel in a hazardous area.

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“It also allows you to act fast in the event of an emergency situation to ensure your people are moving in a safe direction,” Urso said. “In the event someone has been injured, it allows you to know the precise location of that person and the presence of any toxic gas in the area to help protect the first responders.”

The single gas detector will be available before the end of this year, Urso said.

“Quite simply,” Urso said, “plants with the best process control have fewer slowdowns and shutdowns.”

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