How one company was able to protect its road workers and dramatically improve its lone worker productivity
Proactive protection for workers in high-risk occupations
This company has contracts in place to maintain the roads and margins at a number of sites, as well as working with the emergency services to respond to accidents and close roads, set up diversions, provide tow trucks, clear any debris and prepare roads for reopening. The company did not have a lone worker solution in place. They technically did not have lone workers, since their staff worked in crews or at least in pairs, but they weren’t comfortable with this arrangement. In noisy road traffic environments the workers wear ear protectors and are therefore not in continuous communication. It was always possible that one worker could get into difficulties in what is a high-risk occupation, with a colleague or colleagues unaware of the situation.
The company decided to be proactive and contacted Isle Systems to protect its road crews. The requirement was for about 70 users and a centralised system to manage monitoring, alerting and communications across distributed sites and depots. Since the company also provided 24-hour accident response services, the system needed to be configurable so that each alert was routed to the correct depot. Finally, because of the nature of the business, the company was looking for instantaneous alerting to responders rather than via call centre relays because each elapsed minute could be critical.
Instantaneous alerting and response
Isle Systems provided the company with an affordable solution, using a centralised software system for the main depot and mobile phone technology for the workers. The company opted for ‘ruggedised’ Android smartphones, each complete with an SOS button, ‘man down’ functionality, GPS positioning and CAD mapping. Even with GPS positioning, new road information is often not on the commonly available map applications right away, so Isle Systems imported the company’s CAD drawings onto the centralised system, and the system uses these maps to plot the workers’ positions.
With the Isle Systems solution, speed of delivery is the key. Line managers get alerted immediately, which is a big advantage for the company. A responder could be at the site itself, and receives an instant alert. The responder who’s dealing with the alert then informs the system who’s managing the alert, which keeps all the responders updated automatically. Minutes can make all the difference, and so the system is configured so that each emergency or accident alert goes to the specific 24-hour responders and the correct depot.
Major lone worker productivity improvements
Because the Isle Systems solutions use mobile phone technology and bypass the need for more traditional and more expensive call centre alternatives, they’re more affordable. We were able to provide the customer with more coverage for their budget at a reduced cost per user.
Crucially, the solution has also enabled the customer to make major productivity gains. The company needs to respond to all call-out requests, such as reports about motorway or road debris, but many result in no or minor impact. It also operates regular scheduled checks of the roads. This means that the customer can now send out one genuine lone worker – rather than a whole crew – with full system protection and under full compliance. It is this ability to provide protected, compliant lone worker operations that drives the productivity gains.
The company is now looking to add Push-to-Talk capability on the mobile phones to improve communications between workers on site.
Get in touch to discuss your dispersed lone worker protection and truly instantaneous alerting.