Modern security turnstiles provide not only physical barriers to entry but time and attendance data and more.
At high-traffic job sites where employees, contractors and visitors come and go throughout the day, managing entry can be challenging, yet it’s critical to ensuring the safety and security of employees and other personnel. Controlling site access is also essential to protecting the public from potential hazards and guarding against theft and vandalism. Smart Turnstiles are the modern-day answer to access management through the utilization of a variety of innovative technology offerings.
With the swipe and/or tap of a badge, key fob or other credential, smart turnstiles ensure that only people with proper authorization can pass through the entry gate. Compared with sign-in sheets, which can be bypassed even when a security guard is present, smart turnstiles are effective and efficient. Just as important, they provide real-time entry and exit data that can be quickly accessed and searched in the event of an emergency.
Smart turnstiles explained
Smart turnstiles typically integrate with perimeter fencing wherever there is an entry point for workers. When a person swipes and/or taps their ID badge, key fob or other credential provided by the company, a reader in the unit authenticates the person and unlocks the turnstile. These readers can leverage radio-frequency identification (RFID), near-frequency communication (NFC) or Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology.
Units are available with one to 10 lanes and can be scaled according to the physical characteristics of the job site and the number of people accessing it at critical periods, such as during shift changes. Many units come with guard offices included. With access management handled by the turnstiles, guards are free to focus on other security tasks, such as inspecting bags.
Smart turnstiles benefit a broad range of sites, from stadiums to commercial construction sites to data centers and refineries. Security cameras and facial recognition software can be added as part of a comprehensive site security infrastructure.
Customizable authentication data
Readers on smart turnstiles are compatible with a wide range of third-party access management solutions, which allow companies to choose and manage the data collected.
Basic authentication information might include a name, badge number, company, trade or craft, worker type (such as crew leader, project manager, safety coordinator), activity (entering or exiting) and time of entry and exit. If a person’s employment status or access privilege changes, access will immediately be allowed or denied accordingly once their user profile is updated.
Additional user profile attributes such as operator certification and training can be leveraged to help ensure worker safety as well as company compliance with relevant laws and codes.
Streamlining workforce management with time and attendance data
In addition to serving as physical barriers to unauthorized entry, smart turnstiles provide data that streamlines workforce management.
By automating the recording of entry and exit times, for example, turnstiles eliminate the need for manual record-keeping and provide attendance data for payroll and scheduling purposes. Attendance data is instantly accessible so supervisors and project managers can monitor workforce presence. Accurate records of worker hours, breaks and overtime can aid in compliance with labor regulations for legal and contractual purposes.
Other potential safety and workforce management benefits of smart turnstiles include:
- Controlled access to restricted areas: Within a job site, certain buildings or sensitive areas can be further managed for access management requirements.
- Emergency preparedness: With smart turnstiles, companies have accurate information about who is onsite in the event of an emergency such as a fire or hurricane. User profiles can be set up to include health and emergency contact information to help facilitate emergency responses.
- Accountability and compliance: Comprehensive audit trails and reports based on data collected at turnstiles provide information on the movement of personnel, contractors and visitors, which boosts accountability and assists with meeting compliance requirements.
Turnstiles as part of a connected worksite
Controlling access to large job sites as well as sensitive areas within them is essential. Gaining real-time visibility into the number of people onsite at any given time and their credentials takes site safety, security, and productivity to the next level.
Smart turnstiles are part of the digital revolution that is changing the way companies approach safety management. Once workers pass through the gate, other tools that contribute to a connected worksite, such as wearables that monitor worker location and detect falls, keypads that manage access to equipment and EvacTags that facilitate faster evacuations, are beginning to play vital roles in reducing safety incidents. From site entry to site exit and at every stage of work in between, digital tools provide the insights, data and control companies need to meet the goal of putting safety first.