Construction News

Thu June 24 2021

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SOS tech for lone workers

1 Jul 16 Morrison Utility Services (MUS) has developed an app to improve protection for lone workers.

The smart phone application provides new safety measures for the contractor’s operatives working in isolation. Any MUS operative working without close or direct supervision will have an instant alarm system to produce faster assistance in the event of an incident.

Using GPS/GPRS location tracking technology, the app enables supervisors and designated alarm respondents to pinpoint a lone worker’s location following notification of an emergency situation.

An accelerometer, built into the majority of smartphones issued to MUS contract teams, is designed to recognise sudden changes in movement (such as falling), as well as pre-set periods of non-movement that could signify injury or loss of consciousness.

The app’s detection of an emergency incident triggers an automatic SMS alert to the MUS incident line team which operates a round-the-clock service, and up to four designated mobile contact numbers. The alert includes GPS location coordinates and an emergency message that can be set in advance.

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An emergency alarm can be triggered in a number of ways:

  • If a panic button is double tapped by the lone worker
  • If the app senses no movement of the device over a pre-determined period of time – each new movement will immediately reset the countdown timer
  • If the app detects freefall followed by a hard landing (sensitivity settings can be adjusted)
  • If a pre-specified timed session is exceeded.

To prevent false alarms, the lone worker receives an initial alarm confirming that an alert text is set to be triggered. The alert is sent if the alarm is not cancelled within the defined 45 second response time.

MUS director of safety, health, environment and quality Paul Kerridge said: “The risks associated with lone working in the utility sector are clear. With nobody on hand to assist, an operative experiencing an injury or medical emergency whilst working out of hours or undertaking lone working activities can find themselves in a difficult situation. We are fully committed to the safety and wellbeing of all our employees and this app provides lone workers across our workforce with improved safety and greater peace of mind.” 

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