Foothills Automation and Controls 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 burns and chemical poisoning from fires and explosions.
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 regularly 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 would call and text to update their manager 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 are vast and locating them could take too long.
The business began looking into more robust systems with GPS tracking, check-ins and a panic button being key features in their search. When they came across StaySafe, they realized the app and monitoring Hub had all the requirements they were looking for.
The ability to check-in during set intervals was important to Foothills as it allows them to keep an eye on the safety of their employees. StaySafe allows the organization to choose 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 send a panic, someone will be alerted through a missed check-in alert.
But what was particularly appealing to Foothills was the ability to bring up the hub and view all of their employees’ locations on screen.
“StaySafe is a great tool with lots of really useful features. If an employee panics or misses a check-in and can’t be contact, not only can we now locate which site they are working on, but also exactly where they are on the site. Work alone legislation in Canada requires us to provide an effective communication system and check-in facility 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.”
– Greg Saunders, Foothills