Zonr assists hearing-impaired worker safety

Zonr proximity warning solution was recently trialled at a large warehouse where workers and multiple forklifts operate together in close quarters. When discussing the control measures and uses for Zonr with the customer, a new challenge was raised. Two of their workers are hearing impaired and cannot work in the areas where forklifts operate due to this disability as current control measures do not offer the right level of protection.  

The customer explained that due to the workers being unable to hear the electric forklifts zipping around, they were not allowed to work in the warehouse, but now thanks to Zonr’s intuitive proximity warning system, they were able to work in the warehouse with their colleagues once again.  

It is extremely easy to overlook hearing loss as a disability that can lead to inadvertent seclusion and segregation in the workplace, but it is more common than you would think. 

On average, 12 in every 100 people in the United Kingdom workforce suffering from some level of hearing loss or deafness (data from RNID), so statistically speaking due to the sheer number of workers in the construction and manufacturing industries, the number of hearing-impaired workers would be high.

This is where Zonr can help not only with workplace safety, but also with the inclusion of hearing-impaired employees.

3-way alert system

Zonr is not just an audible warning alert system, but also offers haptic and visual feedback/warning as well. For those workers wearing the tag on their arms, a burst of strong vibration on the tag wearers’ arm will be felt if they incur into the exclusion zone and a smaller, shorter burst is felt when they turn the device on/off. For the plant operators, not only is there the loud audible warning, but there is also a bright visual warning that someone is in their zones. 

Now while there can be arguments raised for the number of deaf or hearing-impaired workers being deployed in those environments, Zonr is also extremely effective for those who work in extremely noisy surroundings or must wear ear defender PPE when working. 

Loud construction, heavy machinery in recycling plants and enclosed construction spaces can render audible safety warnings redundant when in full operation. This means that any control measure relying solely on a worker’s ability to hear a risk, is likely to be less safe than one offering hearing AND physical haptic feedback.  

According to the HSE, 123 workers were killed in work-related accidents between 2021-22 in the UK with over 565,000 injured in work related accidents. This is estimated to cost businesses 36.8 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.  

56 of those deaths were because of workers being struck by moving vehicles, objects, or machinery. This can be reduced using a proximity warning solution being introduced to sites and plants as a standard additional control measure.  

hearing-impaired worker safety

How Zonr can help increase control measures

One way to that you can increase your safety measures is to implement a plant proximity solution.  A proximity
solution provides dynamic virtual barriers intended to warn workers and plant operators of any incursion into defined safety exclusion zones and help avoid worker/vehicle/machinery related deaths and injuries.

One of the best on the market is the Zonr Plant Proximity
Solution. Zonr creates virtual safety exclusion zones that warn your workers when they’re getting too close to dangerous or moving equipment. The Zonr system creates a virtual barrier around anything you attach a sensor to, using

UWB technology (the same technology found in an Apple Tag). This allows workers and plant operators to have an extra layer of safety protection while on site.


Digger showing Zonr radius

If a worker enters the designated exclusion zone, they are alerted via a vibrating tag on their arm as well as an audible alarm, while at the same time the machine/vehicle operator is also alerted by an audible alarm and a flashing red light from the base unit.

Zonr can be installed and set up in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea and, thanks to its wireless design and easily configurable exclusion zones, can be moved between machines/vehicles as and when needed. 

So why wait until it is too late, book a meeting with us today below and find out how we can increase your control measures quickly.

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. They prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.