It’s easy to take certain elements of our working environment for granted. This includes the air around us which, for most workers, isn’t itself going to cause them problems. But for workers operating in hazardous areas such as gaseous environments, this simply isn’t the case. Even the use of a standard mobile device risks a spark igniting the air around them. For lone workers who may need to summon help in an emergency, this is a particular problem. But Safe Hub has even these lone workers covered. Our range of three intrinsically safe devices – Twig Protector Ex, Twig Protector Pro Ex and Ecom Smart Ex® 01 – support all our standard Safe Hub safety features without the risk of a spark.
Minimising risk of a spark in gaseous environments
Intrinsic safety is a technique designed to limit energy, electrical and thermal outputs in electrical equipment and wiring. According to international Atmospheres Explosibles (ATEX) standards: ‘Intrinsically safe equipment and wiring shall not be capable of releasing sufficient electrical or thermal energy under normal or abnormal conditions to cause ignition of a flammable or combustible atmospheric mixture in its most easily ignitable concentration.’ Intrinsic safety is therefore life-saving in hazardous locations, or where hazardous or flammable materials are used.
The ATEX guidelines are owned by the Director General of the EU Commission Enterprise and Industry, in cooperation with the member states and standardisation organisations. The directive covers two areas: explosion protection guidelines 2014/34/EU for devices, and 1999/92/EG for operations. Other international agencies that provide compliance standards include the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Factory Mutual Research Corporation (FM) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Equipment is certified by independent third-party agencies under these agencies’ supervision.
Powerful lone worker safety devices that keep workers genuinely safe
Our recommended intrinsically safe devices are ideal for lone workers operating in hazardous areas or extreme conditions. All three of the devices are certified by independent agencies as featuring ATEX-compliant technology which limits electrical and thermal outputs. Additionally, they’re top-of-the-range mobile phones, deploying GPS/GSM technology, and they provide excellent reception and coverage.
Our devices support the full range of Safe Hub features. In the event of an accident or dangerous situation, the lone worker can manually press the emergency button to trigger a Red Alert at the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). They can leave a Yellow Alert voice memo at the ARC if they’re about to enter a hazardous environment. For reactive response, the in-built 3D sensors will raise a Worker Down alarm at the ARC in the event of a slip, trip or fall, or sudden loss of consciousness. Meanwhile, the device’s screen allows the user to set intervals for our proactive Safe Check feature, as they can easily respond to automated welfare check prompts. And finally, users can access Group Alert messages and enjoy Safe Beacon virtual barrier protection.
Real world intrinsic safety at Calor Gas
We’ve deployed our intrinsically safe devices at Calor Gas, for lone-working engineers working with liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Within Calor’s engineering division, there are three teams who are now using Safe Hub on Twig devices. Fulfilment engineers are responsible for such areas as gas tank installation, maintenance, and emergency repairs. Mains and services engineers deal with small fixed-site gas networks such as at caravan sites, where underground pipework supplies individual properties. And crane engineers supply and deliver new and replacement tanks to customers, transferring them onto and off vehicles and transferring gas between tanks if necessary.
As part of their safe working practices, engineers must always leave mobile devices in their vehicles when working outside. Without our devices, these three teams would therefore be at particular risk of being unable to summon support in an emergency. 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.
Andy Watson, Customer Engineering Manager (Fulfilment) at Calor Gas, 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.”
To find out more about supporting lone workers in gaseous environments with our range of dedicated intrinsically safe devices, contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today
Post by Henry Robinson
As an Account Manager at Lone Worker Solutions (LWS), Henry introduces new clients to Safe Hub, our award-winning system to protect and monitor lone workers. Safe Hub is a package of buddy, proactive, reactive, broadcast and virtual barrier protection for lone workers.