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Health and Safety

H2S DETECTOR — WHAT BLACKLINE’S NEW G7 DELIVERS

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H2S DETECTOR — WHAT BLACKLINE’S NEW G7 DELIVERS

H2S EXPOSURE

As we talked about in Part One of our H2S Series, hydrogen sulfide is a fast acting poison, impacting many systems within the body. Wearable gas sensors are necessary for early detection and alerting, as the body’s senses are not reliable indicators. Exposure to low levels of H2S gas within a short period of time will not usually produce adverse effects in a healthy person, though long-term exposure or exposure to high levels of the gas may result in immediate, lasting effects. To keep your team safe, an H2S detector with a fast response time and sturdy construction are important for use in the environments where H2S gas may occur.

THE G7 DIFFERENCE

Traditional gas detectors function similarly to smoke alarms, alerting only the wearer and those in earshot of potentially hazardous surroundings. For gas detectors to deliver maximum value to users, wireless connectivity and live monitoring are crucial enhancements over traditional gas detection equipment. Blackline’s new G7 solution provides encompassing, connected safety monitoring to supplement gas detection, for dangerous environments where H2S may incapacitate or render workers unconscious in no time.

G7 connects employees to Blackline’s live 24/7 monitoring teams, who react instantly when an alert is communicated, providing immediate emergency response when required — should an employee call for help using G7’s SOS latch, a fall be detected, or a gas alert triggered. With connectivity, worker confidence increases in hazardous environments, knowing they are connected and being monitored by real people.

H2S SENSORS

Blackline Safety utilises the industry-standard electrochemical sensor for its H2S detector products, plus carbon monoxide and ammonia. In electrochemical sensors, the target gas undergoes a chemical reaction producing a current inside the sensor that is proportional to the concentration of gas present. A sensing electrode and counter electrode are in contact with and separated by an electrolyte. Gas enters the sensor and interacts with the working electrode where it is either oxidised, accepting oxygen and/or releasing electrons, or reduced, releasing oxygen and/or accepting electrons. The current produced is a direct result of how much of the target gas is oxidised or reduced at the working electrode. Blackline’s electrochemical sensor has a lower detection limit for H2S of 0.5 ppm.

H2S DETECTOR — THE BENEFITS OF LIVE MONITORING

H2S is a gas capable of rendering workers unconscious within just a few breaths at high levels — yet even when a worker can no longer self-rescue, it is not too late. Traditional gas detectors function similarly to smoke alarms, alerting only the wearer and those in earshot of potentially hazardous situations. In addition to a t90 response time providing a gas reading for H2S in 20 seconds, G7 also communicates any H2S detector readings above pre-set thresholds in real-time to live monitoring personnel. Employees who face an incident experience extreme stress. Even when they can’t respond, monitoring personnel can be in constant contact with the affected worker via industrial two-way speakerphone.

REAL-TIME EMERGENCY RESPONSE MANAGEMENT

Following an incident, every second counts. In life-threatening situations, how an emergency response is managed could mean the difference between an optimised rescue and a recovery. When an alarm is triggered, should it be an H2S detector reading or a fallen employee, Blackline’s live monitoring personnel spring into action.

  • 00m 01s: G7 sends a high H2S alarm to the Blackline Live network
  • 00m 02s: Blackline’s live monitoring team receives the H2S detector reading and worker’s location
  • 00m 31s: Voice call is established with the worker
  • 00m 40s: Team member receives voice alert, mustering them to a safe area OR nearest responders are notified and directed to the worker’s location

With G7, rescues are optimised so more lives can be saved.

GAS DETECTION COMPLIANCE AND REPORTING

With G7, all incident and gas detection data is communicated in real-time to the Blackline Safety Network for storage and reporting. Though H2S does not usually create lasting health effects after minor exposure to low levels, continued or prolonged exposure may result in chronic ailments. With G7 incident reporting, areas with persistent leaks can be identified so appropriate safety precautions can be taken.

An H2S detector or personal safety monitor cannot warn of a threatening event if they are not properly used. G7 is an all-in-one solution, cutting down the number of devices a worker needs to carry with them, and constantly tracks usage for reporting. Should an employee neglect to wear their device or use it appropriately, safety managers have the data to follow up with them accordingly.

Though H2S electrochemical sensors are very reliable, it is best-practice to ensure the sensor is regularly bump tested and calibrated to ensure accurate readings. G7 manages all calibration and bump test reminders over-the-air, alerting the using of upcoming due dates so compliance can be maintained. Data is then stored for reporting, communicated to Blackline’s servers. With G7, the tools to manage your fleet and ensure compliance is available in real-time, at your fingertips.

 POSTED BY JAIME SEAMAN

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BLACKLINE SAFETY EXPANDS EVACUATION TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITIES

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BLACKLINE SAFETY EXPANDS EVACUATION TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITIES

LONER® SAFETY MONITORING TECHNOLOGY TO INCLUDE REAL-TIME EVACUATION MANAGEMENT OF COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES

“Launching in July, Blackline’s evacuation capability will operate completely independent of a site’s power and communications infrastructure — including indoor location technology,” says Gavin Boorman, Managing Director of Blackline Safety Europe. “Supporting our new employee-worn Loner M6 device, this evacuation system is the first of its kind to blend 3G communications, voice calling, two-way text messaging and real-time employee tracking throughout a facility.”

All customers can take advantage of this new evacuation management functionality — including those who self-monitor or are monitored by Blackline’s Safety Operation Center (SOC) and Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) partners.

“From natural disasters to security threats and process failures — emergency situations can happen anytime and affect anyone at any given location,” says Sean Stinson, VP Sales & Product Management of Blackline Safety. “In order to efficiently manage the situation, it’s crucial for an employer to quickly notify all affected personnel, initiate their evacuation and actively manage the process to ensure that everyone is accounted for at muster points or other safe locations.”

Creation of Blackline’s evacuation technology was inspired by customer requirements. The Canadian subsidiary of Cermaq Group AS deployed Blackline’s Loner Bridge System across their salmon farms on the West Coast of Canada. “We looked at several solutions that would let us instantly notify our workers about tsunamis and other potentially life-threatening situations, and allow them to quickly evacuate to a safe location,” says Dave Samson, Cermaq Canada’s occupational health and safety officer.

Blackline’s SOC and ARC partners initiate evacuations for clients and monitor employees’ progress in reaching muster points and designated safe areas. Employee-worn Loner M6 devices initiate a TeamAlert™ that includes an audible and visual alarm plus a voice recording that provides critical evacuation instructions. Similarly, employee-worn Loner 900 devices initiate a TeamAlert where a yellow indicator light instructs employees to return to their Loner Bridge device for important evacuation instructions via two-way text messaging.

Loner M6 and Loner 900 include GPS location technology for use outdoors and are compatible with Blackline’s indoor location beacon technology. Every employee’s location is updated in real-time on an interactive Google™ map within Blackline’s Live monitoring account. Custom floor and site plans can be imported into Blackline Live and provide valuable situational awareness — evacuation routes, muster points and safe areas can be highlighted on top of the Google Map. Blackline’s Live monitoring account pin-points employee locations every step of the way during the evacuation — including any personnel who may otherwise be left behind. With real-time situational knowledge, a rescue can be proactively managed, bringing everyone out to safe locations.

Blackline is demonstrating its safety monitoring solutions at the Safety & Health Expo, located at stand M1915 at the ExCeL London. Blackline’s broad portfolio of safety monitoring solutions empowers organisations in all industries and geographic locations with real-time incident awareness and management capability.

POSTED BY KELLY MEYERS | JUNE 22, 2016 

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LONE WORKER SAFETY — THE PROFITABLE THING TO DO

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LONE WORKER SAFETY — THE PROFITABLE THING TO DO

INVESTING IN YOUR EMPLOYEES

Over the last few decades, developed countries have been part of a concrete legislative and social push toward improving lone worker safety standards for employees in the workplace. Employers are responsible for providing safe and secure workplaces for their personnel.

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) under the U.S. Department of Labor, “Establishing a safety and health program to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses is not only the right thing to do, it’s the profitable thing to do. Studies have shown a $4 to $6 return for every dollar invested in safety and health.”

OSHA also indicates “only about 30 percent of businesses have established safety and health programs. About half of the 95 million workers who would be covered under an OSHA safety and health program standard don’t have that protection today.”

Understanding that every dollar spent offers a return of up to six times the original cost supports the importance of investing in safety.

When safety becomes the top priority, traditional safety programs are maximised and safety monitoring technology is implemented, industry will have done the best it can to ensure that every employee returns home safely each day. Every organisation has the power to make that happen.

Find out how your organisation can reduce costs, save money and learn more about the ROI from investing in lone worker safety monitoring solutionsDownload the infographic today.

POSTED BY KELLY MEYERS | JUNE 21, 2016 | BLACKLINE WORKPLACE SAFETY

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First home detention sentencing for health and safety prosecution

 

This article by Duncan Cotterill is a timely reminder to companies that they need to get serious about Health and Safety.  It is not long now till the Government will implement major changes to health and safety legislation, with much harsher penalties available than Mr Britton received.

For the first time, a health and safety prosecution in New Zealand has resulted in a sentence of home detention for the company director.

Mr Britton, the company director for Britton House Movers Ltd, was the foreman on the job on the day of the incident. A house was being moved, and came into contact with a power line. The live power line snapped, and fell on to the roof of the house. An employee used a wooden stick to move the power line into a ditch, out of sight.  They then went on to continue with the house delivery, without notifying authorities of the downed power line.

At the same time, a local farmer was moving his sheep out of a nearby paddock.  Some of the sheep walked into the ditch and were electrocuted, as were two of the farmer’s dogs. The farmer himself narrowly avoided being electrocuted, being pulled back by his assistant when he was reaching out to one of the dead sheep. They then chased down the house-moving convoy, and called the authorities.

The full sentence was four months’ home detention for Mr Britton and a fine of $60,000 for his company. It was noted that this fine was reduced significantly, because of the financial situation of the company. 

With the upcoming changes to health and safety legislation, which provide for much higher penalties than are currently available, this sentence could mark the beginning of more severe sentences generally.

Disclaimer: the content of this article is general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.

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Lone worker solutions don't have to be expensive and they save lives.

Work Safe NZ recently highlighted a situation in the Hawkes Bay where a company has been fined for not taking all practicable steps to ensure their workers safety.  The waterproofing company were fortunate the outcome was not worst, with the worker luckily escaping any serious or long-term health effects. 

Had the worker been wearing one of Direct Safety's Man down units, an effective emergency response would have been staged within minutes of him collapsing.

Don’t be blasé about toxic fumes and confined spaces

16 February 2015

Waterproofing company Gunac Hawke’s Bay Limited has been fined $33,750 and ordered to pay reparation of $2,500 after one of its employees was overcome by toxic fumes.

The worker was applying a bitumen-based product called Novaglass rapid primer to the inside of a grain silo at an egg farm near Hastings at the time of the incident in April 2014. He was wearing a respirator, but did not have a solvent filter available and so used a dust filter. That meant he was exposed to the toxic solvent fumes.

The worker spent more than six hours working by himself on the silo, and was found unconscious and unresponsive on the bottom of the silo near the end of the work day. He was taken to Hawke’s Bay Hospital where he was diagnosed as suffering from the toxic effect of carbon monoxide and “other gases, fumes and vapours”. He was discharged later that same day.

Gunac Hawke’s Bay pleaded guilty in the Hastings District Court for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that its employee was not exposed to the hazard of working with solvents in a confined space. The company was charged under sections 6 and 50 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

WorkSafe New Zealand’s Chief Inspector Keith Stewart says working with toxic chemicals in a confined space is inherently risky.

“Gunac Hawke’s Bay had not trained its employees in working in confined spaces and did not have an operating procedure for such work.

“The company’s director admitted that maybe he had “got blasé about the health and safety” because he had experienced staff and Gunac had a good health and safety record. Well, you can’t afford to get blasé when it comes to working with hazardous chemicals – especially in a confined space.

“In this instance the worker in question escaped without serious, long-term health effects – but that was more a matter of good luck than good management,” says Keith Stewart.

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