Foothills Automation & Controls

Lone working technician in protective wear checking oil pipes equipment

Foothills Automation and Controls Turn to StaySafe to Help Locate their Technicians in the case of Emergency.

Foothills provide servicing and maintenance to the oil and gas industry in Alberta, Canada. Working with a number of clients, technicians travel to various sites to carry out construction, calibration and general maintenance of control systems, facilities and equipment.

Working in the oil and gas industry means that technicians regularly enter environments where chemicals and other hazardous substances are present. As well as the usual risks such as slips, trips and falls, field service technicians face the risk of explosions, fires, burns and chemical poisoning.

Accidents related to these risks can be fatal. In fact, 74 workers providing support services for the oil and gas industry, lost their lives in 2012. Many of these fatalities were caused by fires and exposure to harmful substances*.

Foothill’s technicians often travel to sites alone or in pairs. The business recognized that if an accident were to occur, they needed a way to quickly locate their work alone employees and send medical assistance straight to them. Receiving immediate medical assistance reduces the severity of an accident and in some cases could mean the difference between life and death.

Foothills were previously operating a system in which employees were calling and texting to update their employer on their location and safety status. If, however, an employee could not be reached, there was no way of knowing where they were. Even if their last site location was known, some of the sites they work on are vast and locating them could take too long.

The business began looking into more robust systems with GPS tracking, check-ins and panic being key features in their search. When they came across StaySafe, they realized the solution had all the requirements they were looking for.

The ability to check-in during set intervals was important to the business as it allows them to keep an eye on the safety of their employees. StaySafe allows you to chose the length of check-in intervals within the hub. For those working in high risk industries, shorter intervals mean that even if an employee cannot panic when in trouble, you will be alerted through a missed check-in alert.

But what was particularly interesting for Foothills, was the ability to bring up the hub and view all their employees’ locations on screen. They tested the location feature during a trial and were satisfied with the level of accuracy StaySafe provided.

Greg Saunders from Foothills comments, “StaySafe is a great tool with lots of really useful features. If an employee panics or misses a check-in and can’t be contacted, not only can we now locate which site they are working on, but also where they are on the site. Work alone legislation in Canada requires us to provide an effective communication system and check-in facilities suitable to the nature of the workplace’s hazards. We felt our old system just wasn’t meeting these standards so implemented StaySafe as a way to meet our duty of care.

We are now confident that if an accident does occur, we are able to locate our employees quickly and respond appropriately.”

*Bureau of Labor Statistics oil and gas industry workplace fatalities 2013

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