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Lone working in the utilities and engineering industries

Keeping the lights on, the water running and the workers safe

 

From gas, electricity and water suppliers to integrated providers, the utilities sector is tightly regulated to ensure reliable supply. Meanwhile, health & safety legislation ensures utilities companies protect their lone workers. From Worker Down scenarios for engineers, to dealing directly with the public, Safe Hub is ideally placed to offer these workers the protection they need.

Slips, trips and falls


In the utilities sector, lone working teams often work alone for extended periods of time at wastewater treatment plants or up high on power lines. They primarily face the risk of incapacitation or injury, due to slips, trips or falls.

Safe Hub’s Worker Down feature uses in-built motion sensor technology to detect sudden impacts or changes in the handset’s orientation that may indicate an accident.

Facing the public


For utilities lone workers enacting termination-of-service-notices, there are also risks of potential aggression or violence from non-compliant customers at these properties.

A good choice for such workers is the SOS Fob; in an emergency, GPS Locate can pinpoint them and Red Alert can get them the help they need.

Office or remote


Even in the lowest-risk roles, employers need to look out for their lone workers.

We can support office and remote utilities lone workers with our proactive Safe Check feature on dedicated devices or the Safe Hub App for smartphones. Responding to automated prompts, workers can confirm they are OK at set time intervals that suit their working day.

Hazardous environments


Lone working utility engineers operating near combustible materials or in extreme conditions can use an intrinsically safe device. By limiting the use of electrical and thermal energy to a low level, they eliminate the risk of igniting hazardous atmospheric mixtures. At the same time, they’re top-of-the-range mobile phones, deploying GPS/GSM technology, and they provide excellent reception and coverage. Twig Protector Ex and Protector Ex Pro support the full range of Safe Hub features.

Working with a View

Poor phone signal

Even if they’re in an area where mobile phone coverage is patchy, we’ve got lone utilities workers covered. They can access Safe Hub using a satellite device such as SPOT Gen3 or the brand-new SPOT X with 2-way audio. These both provide emergency Red Alert protection wherever the worker may be – and robust buttons work even when used with safety gloves.

Deployment highlights:

  • Safe Hub deployed across 47 states.

  • Safe Hub App for both Android and Apple smartphones.

  • American Water is the largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company in the US, serving 15 million.

  • American Water employs 6,800 people in a wide range of roles, many of whom work alone or out of sight of colleagues.

Case Study: American Water

In 2016, we were selected to provide lone worker protection services for American Water. We deployed our proprietary platform, Safe Hub, via apps for both Android and Apple iOS smartphones. American Water wanted a supplier who would work closely with them to deliver a system that would meet their workers’ specific needs and improve safety. One key factor was that we were able to install our proprietary monitoring software on their network. This allows American Water’s Security Team to monitor workers’ safety themselves.

Life-changing accidents

As well as fatal accidents, non-fatal injuries can be devastating for those involved.

There are a range of specific safety concerns which may cause injury in the utilities and engineering sector. From extreme temperatures and chemical or biological hazards, to physical strain and overexertion, lone utilities workers can be at risk.

Safe Hub can mitigate the effects of all these causes of accidents, by targeting workers with emergency, reactive and proactive support as needed.

Useful guidelines and resources

In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has some useful resources on working in the sector.

These range from a guide for employers on working with sewage through to guidance on preventing falls from height.

 

In the USA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) similarly provides extensive guidance for employers and employees in the sector.

About Lone Worker Solutions

Safe Hub, from Lone Worker Solutions, is an award-winning locate-and-respond protection system for people who work alone or out of sight of colleagues. It offers a comprehensive package of features including GPS locate, emergency, buddy, reactive, proactive, broadcast and virtual barrier protection for all lone working scenarios.

 

Safe Hub supports the broadest possible array of devices including Android, Apple and Windows smartphones, BlackBerry, standard mobiles, PCs, intrinsically safe devices, specialist lone working safety devices and satellite phones.

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