Ensuring lone working engineers in utilities stay safe on the job

Ensuring lone working engineers in utilities stay safe on the job

What kinds of questions are normally asked on the first day of a new job? What’s the workload like? Where are the toilets or the canteen? Does anyone fancy a cup of tea? Or how about: what are the health risks associated with metalworking fluids and what can I do to reduce them?

Admittedly, it might not be the slickest icebreaker. But the latter is one of the most frequently asked questions on the industry regulator’s Health and Safety Executive website for people working in engineering. Thankfully, Lone Worker Solutions is here to ensure that lone working engineers in utilities stay safe on the job.

Dealing with a danger zone

The job role of a lone working engineer in utilities can take them any place any time. There are a vast number of safety factors to consider. Handling machinery, manually or otherwise, brings a whole host of dangers. Electrical testing is the same. It’s not just the heavy-duty equipment you have to watch out for. More than half of accidents reported to the HSE involve lifting and moving goods or slips, trips and falls. Ensuring engineers stay safe on the job in the utilities sector can be a headache for employers. Not to mention extremely costly if industry safety standards aren’t met.

Skin- and respiratory-related diseases are also an issue. One infamous industry case was the outbreak of respiratory asthma at the (now defunct) car parts manufacturer Powertrain Ltd in Birmingham. Significant steps have since been taken to comply with the law on dealing with health risks from metalworking fluids. But what about the hundreds of other risks? Engineers have got enough to think about without having to constantly second-guess whether something is a potential danger. Luckily there are solutions on hand to instantly guarantee lone worker safety.

Helping lone workers to understand locational risks

Are you an engineer working with potentially dangerous chemicals and materials? Our Safe Beacon is a safe bet when it comes to operating safely in extensive premises and potentially hazardous environments. It works like this: an alert is communicated between the Safe Hub management platform and discreet Bluetooth-enabled beacons in buildings and locations. As soon as a worker approaches or enters that location, an alert is sent to the worker and their manager. Both sides can send customable messages to each other.

For example, proactive safety warnings or dynamic risk notifications (such as exposure to an area being time limited). This means the worker is also well-versed in Health and Safety policies. Managers can remind them when to wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) or to follow certain procedures regarding hazardous materials. For lone working engineers in utilities such knowledge is power - and safety.

Support for lone working engineers in utilities

What if you suffer an injury while operating equipment or slip on an oily floor? Our Worker Down and Safe Check are lifelines for those lone workers in need. Worker Down has in-built sensors in mobile handsets and specialist devices to monitor a worker’s movement. This reactive function will prompt an alert as soon as the device fails to move for a certain length of time, or registers an impact. The worker can even alter the sensitivity of the sensors.

Safe Check is our renowned periodic welfare ‘check-in’ system. A worker sets a series of automatic prompts on their device when entering a premise or going on a job. If a lone worker doesn’t respond or appears to be immobile, the issue flagged at the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). A highly skilled operative will then set the appropriate escalation process into action. What if there’s a sudden emergency? Our Red Alert option immediately opens up a two-way call with an ARC operative. They will bypass 999 to send emergency services to the stricken engineer, saving vital time.

Engineering safety all year round

The ARC operates 24/7 365 days a year which means help is always a handset away. Our features work across smartphones, laptops and specialist devices. So you know lone working engineers in utilities can always access help at the tap of a screen or the push of a button. Safe Hub: we’re here to ‘engineer’ safety in the workplace. Trust us to do our job properly so you can do yours.

For more information on health and safety for lone working engineers in utilities and how to manage risks visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/engineering/index.htm

Contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today

Post by George Stavrinidis

About George

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 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.