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Safe working in high-risk and isolated areas

05 October 2017

The safety of employees has an important place in the daily work of industrial enterprises. ecom offers personal emergency response devices with intrinsically safe, up to zone 1/21 or Division 1 certified 4G/LTE Android smartphones, tablets and ex-mobile phones. With these mobile solutions, Lone Worker Protection concepts can be implemented cost-effectively and efficiently. 

Alone, but not "left alone" – for lone workers, in other words employees who work beyond earshot and the range of other people’s sight, companies must ensure the safety and protection of their employees or contractors. This is particularly challenging in industries with extensive terrain or hazardous areas. Employees are exposed to higher risks and rely on fast assistance in case of emergency. With increased risk, the use of a personal emergency response system is recommended or even mandatory in case of critical hazard. In the case of deficiencies relating to workplace safety, injuries, accidents and subsequent damage to people or plants may occur.

ecom combines state-of-the-art communications solutions with personal emergency response devices with its own intrinsically safe, up to zone 1/21 or Division 1 certified 4G/LTE Android smartphones, tablets and ex-mobile phones. Together with professional partner applications, the specialist for industrial communication and explosion protection offers an easy to use and safe mobile solution. Not only does this make single workplaces more attractive to employees; where two employees have been necessary in the past for safety reasons, one person will now be sufficient.

The rescue chain must always be guaranteed

For people working in hazardous areas or extensive terrains, companies must ensure that the rescue chain is always guaranteed. It must also be triggered if the injured person is incapacitated without anyone noticing the accident. ecom smartphones and featurephones are components of a tested and according to BGR-139 certified Lone-Worker-Protection-Solution or person-emergency-response system from Swissphone. They are equipped with dedicated side buttons for one-touch access to PTT services such as the yellow PTT button and the red emergency button.

Together with fully developed Lone-Worker-Protection-Applications from well-known vendors on the market, these mobile solutions reliably protect the user and document the process. Smartphone or tablet send an emergency signal to the control center in case of emergency by pushing the button (will-dependent emergency call) as well as by triggering the position or impact sensor (automatic emergency call). In case of a triggered alarm, an automatic call setup is the standard procedures for checking the constitution of the employee.

Thereby ensuring that an accident is reported directly, rescue forces can quickly find the injured employee and initiate auxiliary measures. Since tracking by GPS inside buildings is difficult due to obstruction of the required satellite signal, an alternative technology is necessary for indoor localization. With Loc-Ex® 01 BLE-Beacons from ecom for hazardous areas ATEX / IECEx Zone 1, employees can also be located indoors or be warned of possible hazards in advance.

Bluetooth beacons have an interior range of approximately 10 to 30 meters. Thus, it is rapidly and easily possible to determine the specific location of a person. The number of beacons required for this depends on the area in question and the desired accuracy of the location to be reached.  Even three-dimensional positioning is possible with Bluetooth beacons. That is to say, it is also possible to specify the floor on which a person or object is located and can be forwarded to the central navigation system of the control center. Thus, the combination of such solutions and the triggered rescue chain ensure a comprehensive emergency protection system for all employees and provide rescue workers with crucial information on navigation and positioning.

What happens if a lone worker is injured?

It is important to equip employees with mobile devices and fitting lone worker protection applications. In case of an emergency, programmable 3D motion sensors trigger a selected alarm mode like tilt alarm, impact alarm, escape alarm, and man down alarm. The smartphone Smart-Ex® 01, Tablet Tab-Ex® 01 or Ex-mobile with LWP automatically send an emergency call. The emergency call can have up to five different recipients on any type of phone. Simultaneously, an audio connection is established with a defined emergency call receiver phone. This enables the recipient to determine whether the injured employee is still responsive and/or what injuries he/she has suffered. An SMS also contains the GPS coordinates so that the recipient can set the chain of rescue in motion and coordinate additional measures.

A comprehensive lone worker protection system consists of Personal Alarm Signal Terminals PAST (mobile phone, wireless device), Personal Alarm Signal System PASS (software on server) and connection between the PASS and PAST (telephone or wireless network). For larger scale lone worker protection solutions it is essential, that mobile devices can be easily integrated into cloud server systems. In addition to the basic function of a call to a control station, the so-called System Mode – the combination of a terminal device and server-based software – provides a number of additional functions that can be activated via a server: From safeguarding the rescue chain, displaying the active sensors in the event of an alarm, to Geo-zones and an overview of registered personnel and the pairing with Push-to-Talk systems. The user is given access to a cloud system, which is accessible from a PC workstation.

Smartphone, Tablet or Featurephone automatically send an alarm to an internal control center or to an external security service. In addition to transferring the coordinates, the site of the accident is also visualized on a separate map. This immediately reveals the employee’s location. In addition to the coordinate transfer, the accident location is visible on a separate terrain map. This makes it immediately apparent where the employee is located. The processing (organization and coordination) of the emergency call is safeguarded and documented in the System Mode.

Safely saving costs

Industrial enterprises are under constant pressure to increase operational efficiency and productivity of employees, without sacrificing safety. Mobile communication solutions as components of a personal emergency response system also meet business requirements: Many tasks can be carried out by oneself, since another person for safety reasons is no longer necessary. This enables high cost savings and an ROI in just a few months.
 
To equip employees in the field with mobile devices has many more advantages: Staff members as well as employers know that they can rely on a secure protection solution tailored to the requirements of the industry and fast rescue is ensured in any case. The documentation of the entire rescue chain makes the process evaluable, thus providing an effective basis for the optimization of the alarm procedures as well as legal certainty.

Besides the obvious advantage of having a constant means of communication with workers in the field – it also enables them to exchange information and data at any time while moving around a plant or work site. This means that, for example, warnings and tasks can be distributed straight to employees who are working remotely. Users also benefit from all the components of mobile solutions, including cameras, bar code scanners, and major integrated software solutions for greater efficiency and productivity. The ecom App Library provides a large selection of beneficial professional apps tested by application engineers for industrial use.

Lone Worker Protection Features:
•  Lone worker protection and mobile phone in one
•  Programmable 3D motion sensor for: Inclination alarm, impact alarm, escape alarm, lack of movement
•  Programmable dead man's switch
•  Alarm button for deliberately triggered alarms
•  Technical alarms: E2E check, battery status, connection to GSM or 3G/4G network
•  Connection to renowned security centers also possible
•  Alert for incoming messages with subsequent read receipt sent to the alarm control unit
•  Visualization of the alarm modes in the display
•  Loud audible alarm
•  Programmable geo zones
•  Communication via latest technology like 4G/LTE while SMS/GPRS is still available as a backup


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