Occupational Health & Safety magazine honors the outstanding product development achievements of companies that create products which are considered particularly noteworthy in their ability to improve workplace safety. This year, they have awarded the Accenture Life Safety Solution, a wireless-enabled multi-gas detection system that helps protect workers in potentially hazardous environments, as industrial hygiene product of the year.
Developed by a partnership between Cisco, Accenture, Industrial Scientific, and AeroScout, the Accenture Life Safety Solution links wireless infrastructure and location-based technologies to gas detectors. These detectors are classified as multi-gas, meaning each device can detect hydrogen sulphide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and oxygen. With the innovative product, enterprises can now lookout for the safety of their employees on their company grounds by being able to monitor incidents and to locate workers in hazardous locations. Manufacturing and industrial industries are known to be particularly difficult to deploy reliable wireless due to steel infrastructure or harsh interference environments, but the solution is designed specifically for enterprises in these situations.
The Accenture Life Safety Solution was originally developed to meet the needs of a large oil and gas company. The client was already deploying Wi-Fi and wanted to leverage it in the solution, so Accenture reached out to Cisco. Because the solution concerned life safety, the entire project was governed by stringent requirements and the final product went under a rigorous certification process. The environment was especially challenging because there was a lot of outdoor coverage required.
As mentioned in our earlier MSE blog post, MSE is an appliance-based solution that supports a suite of software services. The Mobility Services Engine transforms the wireless LAN into a mobility network by abstracting the application layer from the network layer, effectively allowing for the delivery of mobile applications across wired and wireless networks.
In the Accenture Life Safety Solution, Accenture’s patent-pending design leverages Cisco Unified wireless infrastructure by integrating it with Industrial Scientific’s Ventis LS multi-gas detector and Gas Detection as a Service solution iNet®. MSE is a key element of the solution, layering into the wireless infrastructure and delivering location analytics and location history of employees by tracking AeroScout Wi-Fi tags.
For example, if one area of the company began to accumulate unsafe levels of toxic gases, the solution can identify exactly who is in that hazardous area and quickly send emergency alerts to those employees with directions to leave the premises at once. The solution, powered by MSE’s strong location services, allows a company to know who is on the ground at all times and gives them an effective means to keep their employees safe.