Not just a load of old gas: protecting lone workers in the Utility sector

protecting lone workers in the Utility sector

2018 will be remembered for being a tinderbox of a summer. England’s green and pleasant lands have turned into a scorched yellow. With little sign of rain on the way, we’ve seen wildlife fires break out across the UK. Farmers crops have been dried up and decimated. Hosepipe bans are still in place. The heatwave might bring obvious pleasures, but it can have a detrimental – and dangerous – effect on humans, animals and the wider environment.

Standard mobiles can’t be used in a gaseous environment

Those in the Utilities sector are already used to working with some seriously combustible materials. Take gas for example. Just one small, unexpected spark could provide the mother of all explosions. Standard mobile phones and other electronic devices can’t be used in a gaseous environment in case they do spark and cause an explosion. Engineers have to follow a strict protocol and leave their devices in their vehicles at all time. However, this, in turn, throws up another safety dilemma, as lone workers are entering potentially dangerous environments with no backup or lifeline if something does go wrong.

Calor Gas chose Safe Hub to protect their lone working engineers

Luckily the industry has started to wake up to this potential safety blind spot. Calor Gas is the UK’s leading supplier of liquid petroleum gas (LPG). This year they selected Lone Worker Solutions (LWS) Safe Hub platform to protect their lone working engineers, who make up half of Calor’s 1500 strong workforce. The obvious choice was our Ecom and Twig devices, which are robust, non-reactive and specially designed to reduce the risk of a spark.

Intrinsically safe

So what’s so unique about them? Both devices have a specially developed and designed technique to limit energy and electrical and thermal outputs. Our ‘intrinsic safety’ approach is applied to electrical equipment and wiring used in hazardous locations, or where hazardous or flammable materials are used. After a successful trial earlier this year, there are now three teams within Calor’s Engineering Devices using Safe Hub Twig devices. First, the fulfilment engineers who often deal with out of hour gas leaks and other emergencies. Next, mains and Services engineers who supply underground pipework. And finally, Crane engineers who supply and deliver new tanks to customers, transferring gas between tanks if needed.

A valued new member of the team

Our Ecom and Twig devices aren’t just saving lives; they’re also extremely easy to use. Designed to be clipped onto a worker’s belt, it means that a new level of safety become a seamless addition to daily routines. In particular, our Safe Hub Yellow Alert provides buddy back-up to engineers and Calor managers can sleep easy at night knowing their workers are always protected.With a proven success story like this, we’ll ‘hazard’ a guess that plenty more in the industry will follow in Calor’s footsteps.

Contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today.

Post by George Stavrinidis

George is the Chief Executive Officer of Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). He believes passionately that everyone should be protected and supported at work. George supports LWS clients to make sure they enjoy the most effective relationship with the team and maximise the effectiveness of their deployment of Safe Hub.

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 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 BS8484:2016 Gold Certified devices, including Android, Apple and Windows smartphones, BlackBerrys, standard mobiles, PCs, intrinsically safe devices, specialist personal safety devices and satellite phones.