For 99% of the time, consumers don’t really think about the water they use. But for lone workers in water utilities companies, water doesn’t just come out of the tap. And for these lone workers’ managers, it’s essential that they mitigate the various risks of working with water. Here at Lone Worker Solutions, we have a number of clients in the sector so we know the specific areas to focus on.
Lone worker safety in wastewater plant
Take a wastewater plant. For the lone worker inside that plant, there are a myriad of safety factors to consider. There could be the risk of incapacitation or injury through slips, trips or falls. If you’re a field engineer working alone for extended periods of time at such a facility, you’ll need a lifeline. Our reactive Worker Down feature is part of our smartphone Safe Hub app for just such a scenario. In-built motion sensor technology detects a sudden impact or a change in the handset’s orientation, or if it hasn’t moved for a while.
Water industry remote and travelling lone workers
How about driving between facilities, especially in rural or remote locations? Extreme weather conditions often mean emergency repairs. If you’re travelling solo on the road, it’s vital that you have the right back up. For instance, our Spot Gen3 satellite device provides access to emergency Red Alert support, wherever the lone worker may be. We’re the ones who can reach lone workers when others can’t.
Lone working near hazardous materials
In certain water plants, there may be chemicals or hazardous materials which need to be carefully stored and handled. If you’re working alone in such storage areas, you may need to be reminded that you should spend limited time there. With our Safe Beacon function, lone workers can receive dynamic risk notifications. For instance, managers can remind workers of the need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), or to follow certain procedures. And Safe Beacon will also automatically signal to managers when lone workers are in these restricted areas. As well as our Safe Hub app, this feature is enabled on our powerful ProtectMe device.
Dedicated devices and apps to protect lone workers
It’s worth mentioning in this context: all of our Safe Hub dedicated devices are waterproof. They’re also robust, lightweight and easy to use, so that they can rapidly become part of your lone workers’ everyday safety practice. We’ve already mentioned some of our devices. Additionally, the discreet and durable SOS Fob is ideally suited to customer-facing roles such as meter readers or collections agents.
Where possible, we also offer our smartphone Safe Hub App to water companies. This is because many workers already have smartphones – either issued by their employer, or owned privately. Rather than accessing Safe Hub on a second device, utilising smartphones tends to increase the take-up of our safety systems among lone workers. And our app provides the full range of lone worker safety features. Indeed, it’s this aspect which has been attractive to some of our clients among water utilities companies.
Case study: American Water
Don’t just take our word on this. In 2016 selected us to provide lone worker protection services, deploying the Safe Hub app on both Apple and Android smartphones. American Water is the largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company in the US, serving 15 million people. They employ 6,800 staff in a variety of roles, which often require them to work alone or out of earshot of colleagues.
American Water wanted a supplier to 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 Alert Manager on their network. This allowed American Water’s security team to monitor workers’ safety themselves. Says Nicholas Santillo Jr, Vice President and CSO of American Water:
“It was essential for us to find a partner with a proven track record in delivering an effective solution. The supplier had to be prepared to adapt their solution to fit our needs. It was a challenge Lone Worker Solutions responded to with enthusiasm and dedication.”
With American Water, fifteen million Americans are happy with their water supply. American Water are in turn happy with the level of protection which Safe Hub provides their lone workers in the field. Now that’s what we call making a splash.
Contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today
Post by George Stavrinidis
George is 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.