Utilities workers are consistently exposed to potentially dangerous environments, hazardous equipment and high-risk materials. Consequently, utilities workers are disproportionately represented in statistics covering work-related accidents and fatalities across the UK. The HSE (Health & Safety Executive) revealed that workers in the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply industries reported the highest rate of self-reported work-related ill health and non-fatal injuries. Non-compliance does not come without cost - there have been 143 prosecution cases this year alone, with an average fine of £60,000 per conviction. There is an urgent need for digital technologies that allow for real-time visibility in the field - to mitigate not only the financial costs of non-compliance, but the human cost.
Navigating Health & Safety Risks in Utilities
Utility companies often have employees that regularly work alone in remote areas. Utilities organisations have a legal responsibility to ensure lone worker safety. Under lone working regulations, the employer’s basic responsibility includes:
- Conducting lone worker risk assessments
- Producing health and safety policy
- Taking steps to reduce or eliminate risk, creating a safe working environment
- Providing lone worker training and supervision where appropriate
- Regularly reviewing and improving risk assessments and policies
The Lone Worker feature in GeoPal protects lone workers in the field with just their smartphones, enabling organisations to comply with these health and safety regulations. Alerts can be triggered should a field worker find themselves in trouble in the field. GeoPal’s Lone Worker feature consists of three elements: The Panic Alarm, The Check-In and Non-Movement detection.
The costs of unsafe working conditions for both lone workers and the general field workforce are considerable. They include:
- Legal fees
- Tarnished business reputation
- Loss of contracts/clients
- Damage to property or equipment
- Sick pay due to illness/injury
- Time costs
- Compensation costs
With GeoPal, Utilities organisations can ensure:
● Prioritisation and enforcement of Health and Safety measures for field workers
● 75% reduction in insurance claims
● Each job is date/time stamped on the mobile device, providing management with performance metrics while verifying worker safety.