Calor Gas, the UK’s leading supplier of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), has selected Lone Worker Solution's Safe Hub platform to protect their lone working engineers.
Calor was formed in 1935 and is now part of SHV Energy, a global family of LPG companies. Around half of Calor’s 1,500 employees work at least some of their time in the field alone or out-of-sight of colleagues. These staff members work across the UK in three divisions: engineering, sales, and delivery. In contrast, Calor’s office-based staff rarely work alone, as out-of-hours services such as emergency phone-lines are outsourced to a third party.
Particular perils of hazardous environments
One key issue for the company is the safety of employees who handle LPG, which is a hazardous material. Standard mobile phones and other electronic devices cannot be used in a gaseous environment, as there is the risk that they will spark and cause an explosion. Engineers have strict instructions to leave all such devices in their vehicles at all times. For engineers working alone, out-of-hours, and in remote locations, they are therefore at particular risk of being unable to summon support in an emergency when outside their vehicles.
Calor already deployed a proactive safety check, as part of its job scheduling process. This triggers alerts if engineers fail to check in, or they spend longer than expected at a job or travelling between jobs. However, this is a tablet-based system, so also cannot be used when engineers are outside their vehicles in gaseous environments. During a regular feedback forum session with engineering staff, it was proposed that Calor’s management team should investigate intrinsically safe devices, which can stay with the user at all times and in any environment.
Given the limited number of suppliers of intrinsically safe devices in the UK, Lone Worker Solutions was one of three suppliers asked to tender for the contract. Calor was particularly impressed with the level of out-of-hours support offered by our Alarm Receiving Centre. Calor trialled the Safe Hub system on Twig intrinsically safe devices with two of its engineers. One is based in southern England in a busy area, while the other is in Scotland and often works in areas with weak mobile phone signal. Both trials came back successful; the engineers were impressed with the level of support offered, and the ability to stand down false alarms.
A national roll-out across Calor’s engineering division
Calor initially purchased Twig units to cover its entire engineering division. The company worked with LWS in terms of roll-out, supplying all the data needed to configure a Twig device for each user, for instance, to set individual escalation procedures. The management team responsible for the roll-out felt it was a really good and efficient deployment process. Andy Watson, Calor's Customer Engineering Manager, said “The team at Lone Worker Solutions have been excellent at communications and responding to our feedback. They’ve been an absolute pleasure to work with.”
Calor followed Lone Worker Solutions’ lead on training end-users. Having established that the devices were very easy to use, Calor issued a briefing note to familiarise the engineers with the devices and make it part of their everyday working routine. They also issued a holder along with the device, so that engineers could easily clip the device to their belt. Lone Worker Solutions then did a follow-up call with all users a couple of weeks after deployment, to check that they were all satisfied with the devices or needed further support.
Within Calor’s engineering division, there are three teams who are now using Safe Hub on Twig devices:
Fulfilment engineers. This team is responsible for such areas as gas tank installation, maintenance, and emergency repairs (dealing with gas escapes both in standard working hours or out-of-hours)
Mains and services engineers. This team deals with small fixed-site gas networks such as at caravan sites, where underground pipework supplies individual properties.
Crane engineers. This team supplies and delivers new and replacement tanks to customers, transferring them onto and off vehicles and transferring gas between tanks if necessary.
Since deployment, things have been running smoothly
Since Calor deployed Safe Hub, feedback from the engineering team has been entirely positive. In particular, the engineers value Yellow Alert as acting as their virtual buddy in certain situations where they might be at risk. To-date there have been no emergency call-outs with Safe Hub. But it’s providing the engineers, and their managers, with peace of mind that they are supported even in the most difficult of circumstances. Andy Watson said “I sleep better at night knowing that, if there is an emergency, our engineers are protected by Safe Hub even when they’re working out-of-hours in hazardous environments.”
Contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today
Post by Rob Gilbert
Rob is Chief Sales Officer at Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). He is responsible for introducing new clients to the benefits of Safe Hub, and ensuring their experience is straightforward, simple and truly effective. His consultative, customer-focused approach means our clients have full access to every possible resource to achieve lasting, best-of-breed solutions and service excellence.
About Lone Worker Solutions
At Lone Worker Solutions, it’s our business to protect employees, managers and shareholders from the risks associated with working alone. This includes the potential hazards faced by staff who work by themselves, remotely, or out-of-sight or earshot of colleagues. When it comes to safety we don't believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach; instead, we tailor our solution to each organisation's exact needs.
About Safe Hub
Safe Hub is an award-winning BS8484:2016 Gold Certified package of emergency, buddy, proactive, reactive, broadcast and virtual barrier protection for lone workers. Safe Hub supports lone and remote workers on the widest possible array of devices including Android, Apple and Windows smartphones, BlackBerrys, standard mobiles, PCs, intrinsically safe devices, specialist personal safety devices and satellite phones.