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FOUR GAS MONITOR — GAS DETECTION FOR COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

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FOUR GAS MONITOR — GAS DETECTION FOR COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS

When facing unknown environmental hazards invisible to the body’s senses, a gas detector is the first line of defense for worker safety. Portable gas detectors are often part of personal protective equipment (PPE) mandated by businesses and designed to keep personnel safe. Personal four gas monitors or detectors continuously evaluate a worker’s environment for multiple gas hazards. A four gas monitor provides comprehensive gas detection coverage for complex working environments when there is a risk of injury, illness or death from potentially toxic or explosive ambient gases.

WHY A FOUR GAS MONITOR VERSUS A SINGLE GAS DETECTOR?

Hazards posed by gases can be classified into three categories: toxic, asphyxiating and combustible. Four gas monitors are typically configured with sensors to address each of these scenarios for a given worksite or scenario. For example, in the energy industry, sour gas presents a significant risk of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) exposure to workers. Many businesses supplement monitoring of H2S with combustible gases, oxygen and carbon monoxide. Combustible gas sensors are a smart addition to locations where natural gas is present with H2S, addressing the detection of a potentially explosive atmosphere. Everyone requires oxygen, which can be displaced by other gases, causing a deficiency. Further, incomplete combustion can generate carbon monoxide, an asphyxiating gas.

G7 IS A LEADING FOUR GAS MONITOR

A four gas monitor is often a smart investment for many industries and applications. Blackline Safety’s G7 connected gas detection system delivers an exclusive customizable, modular design, providing tailored comprehensive gas detection for every work scenario. Quad-gas cartridges turn G7 into a four gas monitor and are compatible with a selection of gas sensors.

G7 with a Quad-gas Cartridge is a highly configurable four gas monitor that is compatible with a range of gas sensors including combustible gases, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide and oxygen. Other sensors are currently under development to expand our line of available sensors.

Let us know about your gas sensor requirements.

UNSEEN HAZARDS

Oxygen sensors will alert for both oxygen-enriched and depleted environments. Oxygen enrichment (more than 23.5%) occurs when oxygen concentration exceeds that of fresh air, potentially increasing the risk of combustion of flammable gases. Oxygen deficient environments (less than 19.5% oxygen) present a suffocation hazard and can impact the body’s respiratory system in seconds. Other gases, toxic or not, can displace oxygen, creating a hazardous atmosphere that impairs worker respiration.

Combustible gases pose a risk of explosion. LEL sensors detect the concentration of flammable or explosive gases and alert the user if the level of gas surpasses the pre-configured concentration below the lower explosive limit (LEL), well before the potential for explosion occurs.

Toxic gases are often fast acting and, depending on the concentration, can impact systems within the body very quickly or can pose a longer-term health risk. Electrochemical gas sensors, such as for carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) alert well before toxic gas levels reach harmful concentrations.

G7 FOUR GAS MONITOR SENSORS

G7 supports three main gas detection sensor types that accommodate the monitoring of toxic, asphyxiating and combustible gases.

ELECTROCHEMICAL GAS SENSORS

  • Hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide and oxygen (pumped)
  • Monitor Short Term Exposure Limits (STELs) and Time Weighted Averages (TWAs)

CATALYTIC (PELLISTOR) GAS SENSORS

  • Detects combustible gases through controlled oxidation
  • Does not work well in an oxygen-depleted environment
  • Measures from 0-100% of the LEL
  • May not give a reading when above 100% LEL

INFRARED (IR) GAS SENSORS 

  • Detects combustible gases through IR absorption
  • Do not require oxygen to accurately function
  • Measures 0-100% LEL

INDUSTRIES WELL SERVED BY A FOUR GAS MONITOR

Hazardous gases vary from industry to industry, based on materials being handled and naturally-occurring environmental conditions. Comprehensive gas detection with a four gas monitor accommodates for diverse gas threats that employees can face in the line of work.

OIL AND GAS

  • Toxic hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas is present in sour natural gas
  • Carbon monoxide (CO), an asphyxiating gas that may be generated from incomplete combustion
  • A gas leak can displace oxygen, posing a risk to the worker
  • Hydrocarbon gas leaks, such as natural gas, can pose an explosion risk

WATER AND WASTEWATER

  • Methane gas can be generated by biological processes that break down wastes, posing an explosion risk
  • Toxic hydrogen sulfide can be generated by biological processes

 MINING

  • Like water and wastewater facilities, mining operations also pose the risk of methane and H2S exposure. Additionally, carbon monoxide may be present — a toxic gas capable of depleting oxygen levels. In these cases, both LEL and electrochemical sensors are required for comprehensive detection coverage of possible gas exposures.

 CONSTRUCTION

  • Heaters that operate during cold weather can generate carbon monoxide if propane or natural gas combustion is hindered

G7 devices with a Quad-gas cartridge provide safety monitoring and gas coverage for a variety of complex working environments. The quad-gas cartridge supports up to four gases, but can also be configured for two or three gas sensors.

MAINTAINING FOUR GAS MONITORS

Proper maintenance and calibration are necessary to ensure reliable four gas monitor performance and accuracy — improper maintenance can lead to inaccurate readings or failure to detect a sensor that is not working.

OSHA recommends developing standardized procedures to ensure calibrations and proper usage, including the documentation and verification of proper maintenance. Calibration refers to measuring an instrument’s accuracy relative to a known traceable concentration of a test gas. It is important to calibrate devices to environmental conditions that are the same or close to real-world work conditions. Further, ISEA recommends verifying the operational capacity of gas detection sensors (bump testing), before each shift, plus regular calibration.

Blackline’s G7 Dock offers a cost-effective solution to perform bump tests and calibrations while minimizing the amount of calibration gas used. We’ll highlight our G7 Dock in an upcoming blog article.

 

 POSTED BY JAIME SEAMAN

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RED DOT AWARD — G7 GAS DETECTOR IS INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED

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RED DOT AWARD — G7 GAS DETECTOR IS INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED

Blackline Safety’s G7 wireless gas detector and connected safety solution has been awarded a sought-after Red Dot Award. The expert jury panel, comprised of 39 product designers, professors, architects, ergonomic engineers and other industry leaders, selected G7 as the winner of a Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017 from over 5,500 submissions sent in from 54 countries, for its innovation and design quality.

The Red Dot Awards: Product Design is recognised as one of the world’s most prestigious design competitions, awarding only products that feature outstanding design. Headquartered in Essen, Germany Red Dot initially convened more than 60 years ago to assess the best designs of the day. Since then, the Red Dot jury has been awarding their seal of quality for exceptional products of the year. Manufacturers and designers around the globe entered their products in the 2017 competition and were judged on degree of innovation, functionality, ergonomics, durability and overall quality of design.

 

“THE RED DOT WINNERS ARE PURSUING THE RIGHT DESIGN STRATEGY,” SAID PROFESSOR DR. PETER ZEC, FOUNDER AND CEO OF THE RED DOT AWARD. “THEY HAVE RECOGNISED THAT GOOD DESIGN AND ECONOMIC SUCCESS GO HAND IN HAND. THE AWARD BY THE CRITICAL RED DOT JURY DOCUMENTS THEIR HIGH DESIGN QUALITY AND IS INDICATIVE OF THEIR SUCCESSFUL DESIGN POLICY.”

 

DEFINING THE WIRELESS GAS DETECTOR OF THE FUTURE

Industrial work for employees can be risky. Many organisations use a personal gas detector to monitor for toxic or combustible gases, but they are traditionally disconnected and cannot call for help. With G7 a new level of personal safety is defined — as the world’s first wireless gas detector with 3G wireless, two-way speakerphone and live monitoring, G7 provides comprehensive safety coverage for even the most hazardous working conditions. With constant connectivity, every incident is communicated and managed in real-time, allowing teams to deliver optimised emergency responses tailored to the situation.

 

“THE HALLMARK OF ANY GOOD DESIGN IS ONE THAT ENABLES USERS TO DO NEW THINGS WITHOUT THINKING TOO MUCH ABOUT IT,” SAID BARRY MOORE, VP PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AT BLACKLINE SAFETY. “G7 NOT ONLY LOOKS GREAT, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY IT MAKES AN EMPLOYEE’S JOB EASIER BY COMBINING THREE DEVICES INTO ONE — A GAS DETECTOR, A LONE WORKER SAFETY DEVICE AND A COMMUNICATION TOOL. THIS AWARD RECOGNIZES THE EFFORTS OF OUR DEDICATED DESIGN TEAM WHO DEFINED A NEW LEVEL OF PERSONAL SAFETY FOR OUR CLIENTS.”

 

G7 features an exclusive modular design to support customisation that caters to diverse working conditions. Gas detection is customised to teams’ working environments with the choice of field-replaceable single- or quad-gas cartridges, and a selection of gas sensors including combustible gases, oxygen, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide. G7 solves the old problem of replacing sensors inside a gas detector, traditionally requiring a device be removed from the field for maintenance, with the Blackline Cartridge Replacement Program. Cartridges arrive ready to use and can be easily switched out on-site, increasing product up-time and fleet efficiency without teams having to worry about complex ordering processes.

OUTSTANDING WIRELESS GAS DETECTOR DESIGN MEETS CONNECTIVITY

Should a fall, no-motion or dangerous gas level be detected, G7 instantly connects workers with the Blackline 24/7 Safety Operations Centre, teams. Using seamless 3G or satellite connectivity, G7 gas detectors communicate environmental conditions in real-time directly with Blackline’s teams, who are then empowered to mobilise the appropriate response based on businesses’ pre-determined response protocols. The safety operations teams also leverage wireless gas detection insights to notify responders of possible hazards to be prepared for during emergency responses, should they need protective equipment or respirators— keeping everyone involved informed and safe.

A beautiful appearance is not enough — a Red Dot Award is presented only to those products that help users cope with daily life, to make working environments safer, or to make daily activities more comfortable. The Blackline Live web portal is a core of the G7 wireless gas detector solution — as an alert management tool, the portal serves up all pertinent information needed to deal with an emergency effectively. Available on desktop or mobile, Blackline Live provides easy wireless gas detector management, employee location mapping and alert management tools. When designing Blackline Live, we understood that the people requiring safety solutions aren’t always those wearing the equipment or the ones that are in the field. The people that need and value the safety information are often safety managers, operations teams, industrial hygienists or first responders. Blackline Live is the window they need to get useful, necessary and timely information easily. G7 wireless gas detectors are easily configured through the portal for specific working environments, where alert settings, emergency protocols and calibrations schedules are managed.

THE RED DOT AWARD DISTINCTION

The Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017 will conclude in Essen on July 3, 2017, where, at the Red Dot Gala award ceremony, the Red Dot best of the best laureates receive their trophies. At the subsequent Designers’ Night after-show party, the award winners receive their certificates and celebrate in the midst of all the prize-winning products inside the Red Dot Design Museum Essen. The Red Dot museums, located in Essen, Singapore and Taipei feature past and present award winners from diverse industries and applications. In a repurposed coal mine designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, the Essen museum celebrates the award-winning design and quality of everyday objects. Visitors experience the innovations first-hand, touching and testing the latest inventions alongside historic industrial architecture. For five weeks, the special museum exhibition “Design on Stage” in Essen will present the awarded products of the year as part of the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design.

Red-Dot-Museum.jpg

G7 will also be featured in the Red Dot Design Yearbook for award-winning design 2017/2018, coming out on July 3. This international reference presents the year’s winning products and is available online, via the Red Dot App and on the design platform, Red Dot 21. For more information on Red Dot visit www.red-dot.org.

Photo courtesy of 

 POSTED BY JAIME SEAMAN

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H2S GAS — WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HYDROGEN SULFIDE

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H2S GAS — WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HYDROGEN SULFIDE

WHAT IS H2S GAS?

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) is a gas commonly found during the drilling and production of crude oil and natural gas, plus in wastewater treatment and utility facilities and sewers. The gas is produced as a result of the microbial breakdown of organic materials in the absence of oxygen. Colourless, flammable, poisonous and corrosive, H2S gas is noticeable by its rotten egg smell. With toxicity similar to carbon monoxide, which prevents cellular respiration, monitoring and early detection of H2S could mean the difference between life and death.

IMPACT ON SAFETY (SHORT-TERM)

Gas is a silent threat, often invisible to the body’s senses. Inhalation is the primary route of exposure to hydrogen sulfide. Though it may be easily smelled by some people at small concentrations, continuous exposure to even low levels of H2S quickly deadens the sense of smell (olfactory desensitization). Exposure to high levels of the gas can deaden the sense of smell instantly. Although the scent of H2S is a characteristic, smell is not a dependable indicator of H2S gas presence or for indicating increasing concentrations of the gas.

H2S irritates the mucous membranes of the body and the respiratory tract, among other things. Following exposure, short-term, or acute, symptoms may include a headache, nausea, convulsions, and eye and skin irritation. Injury to the central nervous system can be immediate and serious after exposure. At high concentrations, only a few breaths are needed to induce unconsciousness, coma, respiratory paralysis, seizures, even death.

IMPACT ON HEALTH (LONG-TERM)

Those having prolonged exposure to high enough levels of H2S gas to cause unconsciousness may continue to experience headaches, reduced attention span and motor functions. Pulmonary effects of H2S gas exposure may not be apparent for up to 72 hours following removal from the affected environment. Delayed pulmonary edema, a buildup of excess fluid in the lungs, may also occur following exposure to high concentrations.

H2S does not accumulate in the body, but repeated/prolonged exposure to moderate levels can cause low blood pressure, headache, loss of appetite and weight loss. Prolonged exposure to low levels may cause painful skin rashes and irritated eyes. Repeated exposure over time to high levels of H2S may cause convulsions, coma, brain and heart damage, even death.

IMPACT ON FACILITIES

Heavier than air, H2S gas accumulates in low lying areas of poorly ventilated spaces. In oil and gas applications, sour gas (products containing H2S gas) in the presence of air and moisture may form sulfuric acid, capable of corroding metals. Facility equipment, including the internal surfaces of various components, faces reduced durability and impact strength, potentially leading to premature failure.

DETECTION OF H2S GAS

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. Importantly, gas detectors such as Blackline’s G7 wireless gas detector, should be considered as they alert live monitoring personnel of worker H2S gas exposure. Lone worker protection devices with a fast response time and sturdy construction are important for use in harsh environments where H2S may occur. Additionally, as H2S may desensitise and render the body unconscious in no time at high concentrations, connected personal monitoring equipment is crucial.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) to H2S gas as follows:

  • General Industry Ceiling Limit: 20 ppm
  • General Industry Peak Limit: 50 ppm (up to 10 minutes if no other exposure during shift)
  • Construction 8-hour Limit: 10 ppm
  • Shipyard 8-hour limit: 10 ppm

TREATMENT

Those exposed to H2S gas should remove themselves from the toxic environment immediately. Rescuers need to take caution when approaching victims who cannot evacuate independently, as to not be harmed themselves by H2S exposure. Respiratory protection is recommended when entering an H2S environment, as is a safety line, because of the very rapid toxic effects of the gas. There are no proven antidotes to H2S gas poisoning, but side-effects and symptoms can be treated or managed. In serious cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) recommends you call your doctor or visit emergency should you develop any unusual side effects or symptoms within 24 hours:

  • Coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Stomach pain, vomiting
  • Headache­
  • Increased redness, pain or pus from the area of a skin burn

It is important to remain vigilant and avoid complacency with your safety program. Gas detection equipment must be calibrated regularly and frequently bump tested.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

POSTED BY JAIME SEAMAN

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PORTABLE GAS DETECTION — 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT OUR NEW G7

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PORTABLE GAS DETECTION — 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT OUR NEW G7

HOW IS G7 CHANGING THE GAME?

Every major gas detection company creates portable gas detection solutions in much the same way — a collection of sensors that detect gas levels and display the readings on an LCD. If a hazardous environment is detected, the body-worn device emits an alarm sound and flashes its lights to call out to nearby coworkers.

Gas detection has not dramatically improved the status quo compared to systems launched half a decade ago, or longer. The current push in the industry is for a long-lasting battery life so the device can last for two-years and then be disposed of when both the battery and sensors run out. Convenient? Sure. Revolutionary? No. But what’s worse is that each these detectors will try in vain to call for help when no one nearby. This means that you can have a man down and no one knows any better in order to deliver help.

We’re here to solve this problem and we’ve innovated in the gas detection industry before. Blackline Safety has developed G7, the world’s first turnkey, work-anywhere wirelessly connected safety system with expandable gas detection. We’re not one-upping the other guys with more minor improvements — we offer a whole new suite that gives your workers complete safety awareness, in any situation, for an instant response.

We’ve already started to touch on the ground-breaking capability of G7 but let’s look more closely at five ways it’s changing up the portable gas detection game.

1. REAL-TIME CONNECTIVITY AND ALERTING

We offer two models of G7, one that incorporates 2G/3G cellular communications and the other with Iridium satellite communications. Together, G7 delivers true work-anywhere wireless communications that doesn’t rely on expensive Wi-Fi networks or a separate device with Bluetooth wireless communications.

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The second that gas levels reach a hazardous concentration, the employee-worn G7 alerts the user using bright alarm lights and a loud audible alarm. G7 instantly communicates alerts to our Blackline Live monitoring portal and the live monitoring team. Blackline offers 24/7 Safety Operation Centre live monitoring while some customers have a control room or dedicated team members who can own this responsibility.

If an H2S leak occurs, G7 ensures that your teams have the complete picture. You can confidently send in a prepared response team with the proper safety gear, to the right location. By mapping the employee’s location on a map, your team can make the difference by saving precious minutes in emergency response time. And by geo-referencing every on-site gas reading, our G7 heat-map gas reading reports help you identify minor leaks before they become future problems.

2. AUTOMATIC AND FULL COMPLIANCE REPORTING

With traditional portable gas detection, collecting logs and proving compliance is a manual and tedious process. We don’t use SD cards, Ethernet cords or IR ports. G7 communicates all calibration logs and bump tests automatically and wirelessly to your user account, where you can easily review usage, exposure, and maintenance activity for each device. Bumps and calibrations are effortlessly handled and reported by the device, while efficiently using valuable calibration gas.

Compliance reports also highlight your employee’s use of equipment, helping you to ensure that employees not only use monitoring devices but that they use equipment correctly and conscientiously. G7 reports deliver green-yellow-red insights that highlights when everything is in compliance, when something is approaching out of compliance and when an item needs your immediate attention.

3. OVER-THE-AIR WIRELESS DEVICE CONFIGURATION AND FIRMWARE UPDATES

When you log into the Blackline Live portal, you have complete control over how to configure every safety monitoring device. Create G7 configuration profiles to customise device behaviours for each employee role and scenario. Device configurations ensure that no G7 is mis-configured — create separate profiles as needed, such as for operators, instrumentation techs and heavy-duty mechanics. Even if a device is powered off, it will automatically download the a new configuration upon connection to the Blackline Safety Network.

Configure all G7 safety settings including man down detection, fall detection, high and low-gas alert levels, time-weighted average (TWA) and short-term exposure limits (STEL). When you save the changes, the Blackline Safety network automatically updates all devices associated with that profile.. Similarly, Blackline Live features Alert Profiles that configures the response to each alert according to your business’ custom emergency response protocol.

At Blackline Safety, we continuously improve our solutions. When we deploy G7 product improvements through firmware updates, these occur wirelessly, seamlessly and automatically over-the-air. If a device happens to be off, when it connects to the Blackline Safety Network, it downloads new firmware and manages the update. We want to make your job easier and ensure safety for your workers around the clock.

4. PORTABLE GAS DETECTION WITH INTERCHANGEABLE SENSOR CARTRIDGES

G7 devices feature easily removable and replaceable portable gas detection cartridges — no need to take equipment out of the field, causing downtime and potentially interrupting employee monitoring programs either. Choose between a Standard Cartridge, Single-gas Cartridge or Quad-gas Cartridge and select the gas sensors that meet your requirements. Our current line of gases include H2S (hydrogen sulfide), LEL (lower explosive limit of combustible gases), CO (carbon monoxide), CO2 (carbon dioxide), O2 (oxygen) and NH3 (ammonia). If your teams’ need shift in the future, rest assured that you can repurpose G7 equipment with new cartridges easily and cost-effectively.

With G7, never pay to replace gas sensors again. When a sensor reaches the end of its life, we will send you a new, pre-calibrated cartridge automatically as part of your service program. Your portable gas detection fleet never has to experience any downtime while saving you time and money.

5. FUTURE EXPANSION

G7 offers many new features and capabilities, but a key G7 innovation is its cartridge-based interface. in this article, we spoke a lot about our portable gas detection cartridges. Our Standard Cartridge is a great example of how G7 is designed to support other applications, including plant evacuation management and lone working scenarios. We have other cartridges in our roadmap and we work tirelessly to deliver maximum value to our customers. We’re driven by customer feedback — let us know what challenges that we can help you solve through G7 expansion. 

Subscribe to our blog to be notified of future blog articles — next up, we will cover our 24/7 Safety Operations Centre and Alarm Receiving Centre live monitoring partners.

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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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HOW AUTOMATED EMPLOYEE CHECK-IN TECHNOLOGY BENEFITS LONE WORKERS & YOUR BOTTOM LINE

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HOW AUTOMATED EMPLOYEE CHECK-IN TECHNOLOGY BENEFITS LONE WORKERS & YOUR BOTTOM LINE

AUTOMATED EMPLOYEE CHECK-IN TECHNOLOGY

If one of your lone workers fails to check in, how long will it take to find your employee and deliver help—potentially hours after the incident occurred??

In our last few posts we have explored the benefits of three important lone worker monitoring features—Blackline’s True Fall Detection® technology, our man down / no-motion detection technology and SureSafe™ and LiveResponse™ technology.

Our suite of Loner® work-alone devices have an additional, automated feature: automated employee check-in capability. Many of our customers use check-in technology as an additional layer of automation to support fall detection and man-down alert capability in some work-alone scenarios.

But aren’t employee check-ins passé? The quick answer is yes and no. Read on to learn how a modern check-in product feature can differ from old-school processes and increase the value to your organization.

OLD-SCHOOL, MANUAL CHECK-INS ARE COSTLY

Traditional check-in processes require all lone workers to periodically cease their work and manage a check-in. Your businesses must balance the scheduled interruption with the need for productivity.

These check-ins require the employee to call a co-worker, colleague who is on call, supervisor and even a call center or automated phone system. Regardless of who performs the monitoring function, your business is losing valuable productivity during the time it takes for the employee to check in—both the lone worker and the other party receiving the call. Such manual processes are not acceptable in our Information Age where businesses are required to ‘do more with less.’

One of the more dangerous activities that your lone workers may face is pulling over on a busy road to check in.

MANUAL CHECK-INS ARE INEFFECTIVE

Compounding the situation, manual check-in systems are limited in their capability to efficiently detect an incident. A two-hour check-in respects your business’s bottom line with less frequent interruption but also leaves a large window for risk for lone workers.

An employee working alone—who needs help—may go unnoticed for up to two hours. Your employee could be virtually anywhere on your site or between sites during this two-hour period. How long then will it take to find the employee to deliver needed assistance? When the employee is found, it may only be a false alarm, but then even more productivity is lost.

MODERN CHECK-INS

Lone worker-worn technology eliminates the drain on value delivered by your lone workers and and supervisors while dramatically increasing capability for rapid incident detection, employee locating and response management.

Blackline’s lone worker monitoring devices and iOS / Android smartphone safety app provide a configurable check-in timer that confirms the employee’s well-being according to a regular schedule—and without degrading worker and supervisor productivity.

CHECKING IN

Blackline’s work-alone devices offer employees a couple of options to check in. The first is responding to a check-in request—the Loner device uses an audible, visual and tactile local alarm to call for the employee to check in. Checking in easy and quick—with the simple press inward of the red emergency latch—an action that can be performed confidently without looking.

 

The second option of checking in can be performed proactively, before a scheduled check-in request occurs. Some tasks require full attention. With an early check-in, the employee resets the check-in timer, providing the full amount of time to perform duties without the audible, visual and tactile request occurring until the next scheduled interval.

FAILING TO CHECK IN

A visual, audible and tactile local alarm requests the employee to check in. The default check-in request period provides 30 seconds for the employee to check in. This timer can be configured over-the-air through an update to the device configuration profile within the monitoring account.

If the lone worker is unable to check in before the end of the check-in request period, a missed check-in alert is communicated through wireless communications to the Blackline Safety Network. This alert is distributed to specified individuals within the organization according to the alert profile and the alert is managed by monitoring personnel through to resolution.

AVOIDING TIME-WASTING FALSE ALARMS

We have recently discussed our new Loner M6 Series’ two-way voice communications capability that enables monitoring personnel to communicate with the lone worker directly. This functionality eliminates the expense related to sending out the search team to find a lone worker who has failed to check in manually.

Similarly, our Loner Bridge System for remote lone worker monitoring features two-way text messaging that allows monitoring personnel to communicate directly with lone workers.

SERVER SYNCHRONIZED CHECK-INS

Blackline’s lone worker devices, the Loner M6 Series and Loner Bridge System, each incorporate server-synchronized check-ins. Awareness of the next scheduled check-in exists both within the lone worker device and within the Blackline Safety Network—our core safety monitoring infrastructure.

If an employee’s Loner device is damaged, the battery drains or the device moves beyond wireless coverage, safety monitoring personnel are notified when the employee fails to check in next.

MORE FREQUENT CHECK-INS ARE VIABLE

Some work alone scenarios feature increased risk and for these situations a more frequent check-in interval may be warranted. But more frequent manual checkins may result in too much of a productivity drain for the lone worker and supervisor.

Blackline’s lone worker devices provide the option of a more frequent check-in without impacting productivity. A check-in interval of 15 minutes is viable, requiring only a momentary button-press to check in.

AROUND-THE-CLOCK SAFETY MONITORING

Blackline’s in-house Safety Operations Centre, and our Alarm Receiving Centre partners in the United Kingdom and Pacific, delivers 24/7 live monitoring of lone workers Worldwide.

CONTACT US

Do you have the right program in place to deliver a real-time, location-based emergency response for your lone workers when a slip, trip or fall occurs?

Let’s talk about how we can help elevate your current safety monitoring program. Connect with us today to book your free demonstration.

 POSTED BY BRENDON COOK | APRIL 12, 2016 | BLACKLINE SAFETY

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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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Blackline’s New Safety Operations Center Delivers Around-The-Clock Confidence

One of the keys to an effective emergency response is the person at the end of the phone.  Blackline have taken steps to stay ahead of the competition with an inhouse managed Safety Operations centre.

To complement its suite of Loner employee safety monitoring solutions, Blackline GPS, a leading manufacturer of connected safety products, launched a new, in-house 24/7/365 Safety Operations Center. Now monitoring over 2,000 lone workers across Canada, this service manages an immediate emergency response to the precise location of an employee in distress.

“During a safety incident, the employee’s outcome depends upon the quality of emergency response management,” said Kevin Meyers, Blackline’s COO. “Blackline is in the best position to provide this capability as we already design, manufacture, and deliver service for leading safety monitoring solutions. This logical step forward is part of Blackline’s program to better serve customers by expanding our suite of services.”

Traditional call centers that monitor employee safety often also provide answering services, telemarketing, IT help desk, and technical support. Blackline’s Safety Operations Center is exclusively focused upon employee safety monitoring, staffed by professionally trained monitoring agents who also offer expert product knowledge. With 24/7/365 availability, safety alerts are managed from receipt through to resolution by following a customer’s unique emergency response protocol. Unlike many other players in this space, Blackline is able to direct local emergency responders to the employee’s location by accessing the network of 9-1-1 services across Canada.

The Blackline Safety Operations Center incorporates state-of-the-art infrastructure including redundancy of power supply, communications, computing, and other services. Safety alerts are responded to in an efficient manner and all calls are recorded for quality assurance. In order to provide comprehensive monitoring services to customers, Blackline is able to respond to situations with real-time translation of over 200 languages.

Blackline’s broad Loner safety monitoring portfolio empowers organizations in all industries and geographic locations with real-time safety incident awareness to deliver help within minutes instead of hours or days later. Blackline’s technology can make the difference to an employee’s outcome by directing an immediate response to the individual’s precise location.

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