Over the years a slew of high-profile incidents, such as the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, raised concerns not only about the environmental impact of these incidents, but also about the safety of the workers. In the Middle East, health and safety issues are heating up and industries are looking to improve their worker safety positions.
The remote nature of oil rigs makes it complicated for oil and gas companies to gain an accurate picture of the operations and ongoing production. This leads to information gaps in the off-spec process and machine variables, risks of asset failure, and expensive downtime. Gaps in monitoring also translate into disasters and could badly impact the environment and human lives.
Here are just some of the methods location monitoring, location awareness, and other connected solutions are revolutionizing safety in the oil and gas industry.
Real-time Location Awareness
During emergencies, knowing worker locations significantly increases emergency response time and reduces injuries. Knowing where workers are and being able to reach them with key information is essential to keeping them safe.
Real-time location systems (RTLS) help organizations gain real-time locational information on their workers. The oil and gas industry is waking up to the need for locational awareness technology and is enhancing its real-time monitoring capabilities.
Control Access Zoning
These systems can detect the presence of workers and equipment in marked work zones and spaces including access-restricted areas to keep them safe and notify personnel if they get too close, or enter without permission.
RLTS technologies ensure access management, provide rapid detection of approaching heavy equipment such as forklifts, entry and exit tracking, and proximity detection. While simultaneously keeping workers safe without needing further standup meetings or physical cordoning.
With automated alert systems and detection, technology organizations can quickly alert workers in case of accidents and ensure aid is sent to where it is needed most using location and alert data.
RTLS and GIS technologies not only impact safety but also help increase productivity. They help organizations track people, assets, and equipment proactively, reduce time wastage and thereby improve productivity.
Time and Motion Studies
Real-time technologies complemented with high-precision location tracking can also be used to develop a new approach for the time measurement of workplace tasks and activities. Using precise time measurements, advanced technology systems aggregate location data over time and overlay this on site-specific maps. These systems are then used to optimize operations by providing fresh perspectives on recurring and planned operational activities.
Evacuation and Mustering
Access to timely information can be lifesaving during emergency procedures. Tracking worker locations ensures that every worker is accounted for and no one is left behind. Similar to automated alerts, real-time monitoring and location technologies can also be designed to initiate different types of emergency evacuations.
For example, organizations can employ systems with evacuation and roster count capabilities that authorize operators to start emergency evacuations by sending out individual evacuation alarms to every worker inside the evacuation zone. The system then tracks workers until they reach the muster point and are outside the impacted area.
It further simplifies the work of emergency coordinators by providing the count of the workers inside and outside the evacuation zone and provides a real-time roster of the same.
PPE compliance is a complex task, from operational complications to worker privacy, it is by no means a simple issue. Real-time monitoring and locational awareness can facilitate it, however.
By combining control access zoning and automated notifications and reminders based on worker site location. Organizations can encourage PPE compliance without seeming overbearing. These systems can also send reminders to the workers to wear the right PPE based on the work location, job type, and other configurable parameters in real-time.
With the right technological solutions, oil and gas companies can take a safety-first approach. Helping organizations better control workplace hazards, enhance training, augment communications, and improve workforce protection. However, these solutions need to be human-centric and account for the unique challenges of the industrial space and its users.
Guardhat is pioneering end-to-end connected worker safety solutions for industrial workers. We offer cutting-edge, wearable technology; a proprietary connected worker platform – unrivaled in its ability to ingest, manage and analyze unstructured data; easy to deploy monitoring and reporting software; and a growing ecosystem of partner integrations.
Guardhat enables companies to monitor worker location, health, and work environment to shorten reaction time and help proactively solve safety challenges. We hold 15 patents in real-time location systems, wearable solution design, and connected worker software. If you are interested in our connected safety solutions – including lone worker, real-time location systems, control access zoning, and human condition monitoring – contact us, or to see our systems in action, visit us at ADIPEC Nov. 15- 18, 2021 in the Smart Manufacturing Zone.