How many times have you had to shout across a noisy room, found yourself tripping over cords and cables for radios, or playing an impromptu game of charades as you try to get your point across?
Aside from the threat posed by loud levels of noise in the workplace – radios and hand signals aren’t exactly the most effective of ways to communicate.
Using a radio is pretty much impossible when you’ve got a load of noise around you. And signals? If you can’t see what they’re trying to do directly and clearly – you could end up misunderstanding. And in a workplace, misunderstandings are the last thing you want happening.
Enter wireless technology. Almost everything we do is wireless these days – from sending something to the printer, to using the internet. So why shouldn’t our workplace safety get wireless too?
Before you equip everyone with a nifty new wireless headset though, here are some of the things you should think about:
Is it really wireless?
Not all so-called wireless communication systems are actually wireless.
Some of them still need a cable from a headset to a radio – which kind of defeats the point. If you’re still fiddling around with cords, it really is just a glorified radio set.
Is there enough coverage?
Check out the coverage range before you splash out on kit. Some systems will also be less susceptible to interference, for example, than those operating with Bluetooth.
To boost security as well as safety, you should opt for a system that allows digital encryption, to make sure all sensitive communications remain private.
Are you still radio compatible?
You may still need to interface with radio users, so a flexible system that allows you to work with the maximum number of interfaces is the best option.
Is it a scalable system?
Once you’ve got a system in place, you’ll need to think about how to grow it. And as your needs develop, you’ll eventually want to have a larger wireless system in place.
Rather than re-hauling everything later on with a brand new system, plan ahead now. A scalable system can grow with you – and you can add on new users whenever you need to.
Are all parts included?
This might seem like an obvious question – but not all systems come with everything you need. Accessories like extra charger packs or cables are sometimes not part of a basic package.
It’s worth going for a complete system that is ready to use immediately, and paying a little extra.
Is it easy to use?
After all that, there’s one really important question. Is it comfortable to wear and easy to use? If you’re using head sets, they should fit on snugly – and be compatible with wearing a hard hat, if necessary.
Controls should be quickly and easily accessible – with an intuitive interface. You really don’t want to be fiddling around!
Have you already switched to wireless communication systems?
How do you find using them?
Let us know your thoughts below.