Why Big is Beautiful

Why does being part of Honeywell matter? It allows its units to be entrepreneurial and develop dramatically new products, and they can use technologies developed elsewhere in the company.

Awaiting AA 408's departure from San Diego, I thought about what made the National Safety Congress & Expo meaningful. The most exciting product news came from two units of our industry's new colossus, Honeywell Life Safety. While not the first to bring "intelligence" to PPE, the company may be the first with the means, expertise, vision, and desire to deliver it on a grand scale.

Dr. Patrick Hogan, Honeywell Analytics' vice president of marketing, discussed an enhanced gas monitor that not only will apprise safety managers and technicians in real time of the exact location of their remote workers at a site, but also will send back data on the environment where they are -- gas concentrations, temperature, etc. HLS President Mark Levy cited its usefulness after an event like the Kleen Energy explosion in Connecticut, where responders searched for hours to ensure all victims had been found and all employees accounted for. (Connecticut authorities said 144 worked on that Sunday, of whom six died and more than 30 were injured.)

"The accidents that we see out there are people who have gas detectors on. The whole genesis of this product came from a plant manager who said, 'I will never let our employee choose whether he is going to live or die,' " said Ken Schmidt, Honeywell Analytics Portables Americas marketing manager. "I remember talking with him, and he was so devastated that he had lost two employees who had stuck their screaming-in-alarm detectors in their pockets because they just didn't think it was really happening, or who knows what.

"How powerful is it if somebody else also knows what's going on," he continued. "And then, what if they also knew where that person was? How much faster, how much more intelligent could that response be? From the safety aspect, that's been the huge feedback we've had from literally every refinery. Every chemical plant is begging to be a beta site for us."

The full system will be available in late 2011. Schmidt said he knows other companies are working on this, too. Why does being part of Honeywell matter? It allows its units to be entrepreneurial and develop dramatically new products, and they can use technologies developed elsewhere in the company, Schmidt said. "A lot of things that we've incorporated into this product frankly were sitting on the shelves," he said.

Levy said the $1.4 billion Sperian acquisition is "the beginning of the process of investment." The Sperian division also offered "smart" PPE at the expo: Sync stereo ear muffs that automatically limit sound levels to 82 dBA and Enabled Safety Products, a system using RFID tags, 2D barcodes, and hand-held computers to track and manage data from PPE as it is used in a workplace.

This article originally appeared in the December 2010 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - March 2019

    March 2019


      Not Your Grandpa's Ear Muffs 
      Far Too Many Fatal Falls
      Marijuana in the Workplace
      Ladder Safety Tips
    View This Issue