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Smarter social distancing solution


Monitoring technology specialists Casella launch Orbi-Trace smart tag to support workplace social distancing

WORKERS and employers have never been more aware of the need for positive occupational hygiene culture than they are as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There has been an unprecedented effect on businesses – in the second quarter of 2020, more than 32,000,000 working days were lost as a result of COVID-19-related absences, translating into a cost of more than £4 billion to UK businesses.


The challenge industry now faces in reopening is balancing worker health, the concerns of employees, and legal and legislative responsibility around operating a ‘Covid-secure’ workplace.

A key means of protecting people against COVID-19 exposure, in workplaces and in the wider world, has been social distancing – remaining 2m apart or 1m with extra precautions in place, something that will prove challenging in workplaces where floor plans are designed for efficiency, not to keep workers as distanced as possible.

To this end, Casella, experts in smart monitoring technology, have developed an innovative, solution to simplify social distancing in the workplace with the launch of the Orbi-Trace smart tag – a flexible social distancing device that provides simple proximity alerts all the way up to full effective contact tracing.

The body-worn Orbi-Trace smart tag is simple to operate, with a stop/start input and single LED power alert. It gives the wearer fully configurable vibration and audible alerts whenever a 2m safe distance is breached, and can operate indoors and out, with a battery life of up to seven days.

The sophisticated ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity is accurate in detecting distances down to 10cm accuracy, making it 20 times more accurate than Bluetooth. Moreover, the connectivity will not cause interference with Wi-Fi or other RF technologies.

When combined with the wall-mounted anchor unit and proprietary, free-to-use Infection Insights software, the Orbi-Trace can be used to generate connection graphs and risk and contact assessments, should an employee test positive for COVID-19.

Adding additional anchor units to the system expands this to full real-time contract tracking, giving users access to heat-maps of areas where social distancing may be consistently challenging and a full contract tracing history, making enforcing controls much more straightforward. For those mediating employee privacy concerns, the Orbi-Trace system is also fully GDPR compliant.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone on a business and personal level, but where there are challenges, there are inevitable solutions,’ said Tim Turney, Casella’s global marketing manager.

‘Businesses have proved their resilience and adaptability in getting staff safely back to work through the pandemic, and now as those businesses look towards the future with a large-scale return to work, we are here to support them.’

‘The Orbi-Trace smart tag is a combined solution to the challenges employers and employees alike face in ensuring a Covid-secure, compliant workplace; maintaining social distancing, enforcing the correct control measures; contact tracing where needed; and, most importantly, giving workers and workplaces vital peace of mind that their safety is top priority.’


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