A Summerland company is working to get a wireless safety product into workplaces across North America.
Rick Shervey, director of Pro-Active Safety Systems Technologies Inc., said the wireless technology will help to prevent collisions with mobile equipment at work sites.
The device uses radio-frequency identification technologies to track the precise movements of equipment and workers.
When a worker is too close to mobile equipment, a specially designed safety helmet or safety vest emits a beep and a vibration to alert the worker.
Shervey said the technology can detect people in the vehicle blind spots and lets the workers know they are in danger.
“People I know have been killed or badly injured,” he said.
He added that there are many accidents across Canada and the United States each year which could have been prevented by his device.
“In the last 10 months, there were two deaths in the forest industry we could have prevented,” he said.
At present, Pro-Active has been awarded four patents for its product and 10 other patents are pending.
Developing the product has been a long process, the result of almost six years of work and $2.5 million. Grant funding has come in from the National Research Council.
Now that the design is done, Shervey wants to get into production before the end of this year.
He would like to have all parts of the product built in the Okanagan, with the final assembly and packaging to be done in Summerland.
He hopes to have around 30 people employed in a couple of years when the company is in full production.