Medical giant Smith & Nephew trials smart bracelets to encourage staff back to office
WORKERS at hip replacement maker Smith & Nephew have been given vibrating bracelets to keep them away from colleagues in a bid to get back to the office.
Staff were issued with devices made by British robotics firm Tharsus to help them stay two metres apart and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Watford-headquartered firm held a three-week trial of Tharsus’s Bump system, which vibrates in what the manufacturer calls a “gentle, nonintimidating” way if two employees get too close.
Smith & Nephew has used the system in laboratories and warehouses, and on its manufacturing floor.
Tharsus says it does not track workers’ movements. However, its products do collect data which allows companies to monitor behaviour and identify potential hotspots where social distancing could prove difficult. Brian Palmer, chief executive, said: “Now that workplaces are opening up to employees, the onus will be on businesses to ensure they are calibrated in a way that reduces risk to staff.”
Ministers stepped up calls last week for workers across Britain to return to the office and prevent city centres from becoming “ghost towns”.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, has said that it is safe to go back to work in England, with offices introducing measures to become “Covid-secure”.