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RFID Shows Promise as Work Site Gate Security Technology

January 2, 2013, Austin, TX - Monitoring and controlling increasingly large workforces, particularly in international locations, is becoming more time-consuming. Security of the site, processing time for ID checks, and choking points at check-in gates are all concerns. A new report by Fiatech looks at new technologies that may provide accurate and reliable personnel counts at the gate with an enhanced security aspect as well.

Fiatech has released its report entitled “RFID for Access Control in Construction Sites.” Fiatech member, Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), led the effort in the international case study. Academic leadership came from researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

The study is part of a series of technology demonstration projects that Fiatech initiated in 2009. The purpose of the RFID project was to help define high-level needs and benefits of implementing an access control solution for construction sites.

Barcoding, a traditional method of checking workers’ IDs, is proving inadequate for the large work forces assigned to many of today’s projects since the technology itself has limitations on distances, hardware, and training. Thus, CCC and UT Austin researchers pursued the validity of using RFID tags to circumvent problems with current technologies.

Several types of RFID readers were piloted in the study. The RFID readers hold the promise of streamlining the process of site personnel entering and exiting work sites, particularly in large numbers. The technology also has shown the ability to provide live updates of the current personnel totals on site per location. Overall, the RFID readers give company human resources departments a reliable, accurate tool to validate attendance at the work sites. Some risks are involved, and researchers are suggesting further studies of each type of RFID reader involved in this initial research phase.

The full report is available here.