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Anglo-American ID cards flash red when staff get too close

Miner Anglo American employees were given security passes that flash red when they are too close to each other

Employees of platinum and diamond giant Anglo American have been issued security passes that flash red when they are too close to each other.

The FTSE 100 miner, which employs 90,000 people on six continents, has staff at its offices and mines equipped with the technology to prevent them from accidentally breaking social distance rules.

Staff at Anglo’s global headquarters at London’s Trafalgar Square, which is also home to De Beers’ diamond division, have been asked to wear security badges with ‘traffic lights’ around their necks.

Warning signs: Anglo global headquarters staff have been asked to wear security passes with 'traffic lights' around their necks

Warning signs: Anglo global headquarters staff have been asked to wear security passes with ‘traffic lights’ around their necks

The strides turn orange when the staff is between 5 feet and 3 meters apart, flashing red and beeping when the distance is less than 5 feet.

Anglo – the world’s largest platinum miner – has also provided 3,000 employees at a site in South Africa with Samsung Galaxy Active2 smartwatches, which use Bluetooth technology and vibrate when close together.

The watches are especially useful for people who work underground in the area. Anglo said data from the wearable technology is being used to track contacts, but was not available to management – only to medical personnel, allowing them to identify potential Covid outbreaks within the workforce.

The company plans to roll out the technology to 50,000 miners early next year and to its offices around the world.

Rohan Davidson, Chief Information Officer at Anglo American, told The Mail on Sunday: “The wearables are reminding people to keep their distance. Humans are social animals and we can remind them of them as much as we want.

But the observed behavior is that people like to be close, and when we have positive cases, we want to go back to understand exactly who is at risk – and by extension, who is not at risk – from those interactions. ‘

The security pass technology was originally designed for the financial services industry to prevent employees from ‘piggybacking’ through office security gates. Obviously, a major bank in London is about to use the same distance system as Anglo.

Founded in 1917 in South Africa, the miner has also built a network of 43 Covid testing laboratories, including one in the UK, to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on operations.

Regular testing is seen as the key to the City of London’s reopening. A survey by The Mail on Sunday found that few companies in the Square Mile have entered regular testing, but companies, including British Land and Legal & General, are considering this.

Oil giant Shell has been testing workers before visiting oil rigs in the North Sea and London-listed miner Antofagasta has been testing workers at its mines in Chile.

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