New health work safety protocols are forcing companies around the world to activate their imaginations. The redistribution of spaces and the installation of partitions help to ensure the safety of workers who occupy a fixed position, but those who move constantly during their activity are often still unprotected. So this anti-virus vest is succeeding in Germany. It is a reflective vest that lights up, beeps and vibrates if two workers approach within less than a meter and a half of safety distance established by the German authorities. Warned by the vest, the worker himself is in charge of moving away from his partner.
One of the first companies to test them has been Austrian freight vehicle manufacturer Schwarzmüller, whose CEO, Roland Hartwig, explains that “as the de-escalation progressed, the government has been very clear in insisting that the safety distance is now the main tool to keep infections at bay and we were exposing ourselves that, if there are positives among our workers, we would be forced to stop the activity. That is why we have focused our strategy on these vests”, which the workers have accepted with satisfaction.
Schwarzmüller is based in Freinberg bei Schärding, but the vests are made a long way from this idyllic region of Austria. The German company Linde Material Handling, also affiliates in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Italy, is the one that has had the idea of supplying its customers with this product designed specifically for the Covid-19 crisis. The vests weigh about 300 grams and their battery holds up to a full work shift of about eight hours. Peter Markschläger, the spokesman for Linde Austria, explains that this technology comes from a system applied in transport vehicles in logistics centers or in large construction sites, which serves to avoid collisions, by warning both the driver and the pedestrian that they are approaching. each other. “Through a 4 gigahertz ultra-broadband signal we ensure that the vests always stay connected without interference with other systems”, he says, convinced that this system is much more practical and efficient than connections via wireless internet or bluethooth since they are less stable and exact in an industrial environment.
Markschläger does not dare to predict if we will soon wear private pedestrian vests like these, to avoid unwanted approaches in supermarket aisles or zebra crossings, but there is no doubt that it is a truly anonymous device, which preserves our privacy and our freedom to a much greater extent than the mobile applications that Google and Apple are already starting to take advantage of in terms of big data.