Wireless for Safety

Wireless systems may be useful to enhancing the safety profile within a factory operation. These systems can be used to prevent injury through improved communication and enhanced situational awareness within the factory. Wireless safety systems are used in many applications including those designed to prevent chemical handling mishaps, avoid heavy equipment accidents such as “struck-by, and back-over” incidents, prevent falls through active position monitoring and safety interconnects, provide situational awareness within confined spaces, and improve safety for non-employees.

Along with adaption of wireless sensor networks for industrial automation, there are more applications of wireless technology created by users after they are more familiar and comfortable with the wireless technology. Also because of the strong benefits of wireless applications that can save project execution time and cost, more and more wireless has been used for secondary or backup systems for time-critical application such as safety or control applications. Based on this movement, ISA-84 working group (WG) 8 developed a technical report on wireless for safety systems other than those of a safety integrated system (SIS), i.e., those systems with a system integrity level (SIL) rating below ten. The technical report describes the additional elements needed to be addressed when wireless technology is used in an Independent Protection Layer (IPL). Refer to the ISA technical report TR84.00.08-2017 Guidance for Application of Wireless Sensor Technology to Non-SIS Independent Protection Layers for more information.

Reprinted from "Guide to Industrial Wireless Systems Deployments" by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Get your copy here.