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Connected safety for utility workers

PROTECT YOUR TEAM

POWERING DATA-DRIVEN SAFETY

The utility infrastructure industry, including electric and natural gas providers, is essential for our society to function as we know it. But keeping the lights on and our homes and businesses heated comes with its perils to over 555,000 workers in utilities to harmful and combustible gases and added risks as lone workers. 

Connected gas detectors and lone worker devices elevate worker safety and provide data-based information for easy compliance and rapid incident responses. Data analysis can also guide proactive safety measures. In the utility industry, workers need protection from the various gas hazards they can face, including:

  • Combustible hazards, such as methane and supplemental gas leaks can happen in pipelines, underground storage tanks, gas-fired power plants, etc.
  • Hydrogen sulfide from sour gas purification – note: natural gas can contain up to 28% H2S
  • Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)  
  • Sulfur dioxide from fuel consumption (coal or oil used in power plants)

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Connected gas detection and lone worker monitoring for the Electric and Natural Gas industries.

To help mitigate some of these risks, your team needs to employ a connected gas detection system to protect them from potentially deadly gas exposures. Plus, if they're working alone in remote areas or separated from colleagues in a busy power plant or natural gas facility, lone worker safety features with an intrinsically safe device can offer fall and no motion detection, missed check-in alarms, or an SOS latch to immediately call for help.

Lone Worker Protection Personal Gas Detection Area Monitoring
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G7 EXO area monitor

Whether in a power station, natural gas plant separated from coworkers, or alone in the field, utility workers face lone worker risks such as slips, trips, falls, or traffic accidents. They need a lifeline that links them to help in case any incident occurs. 

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Utility workers face various gas hazards including toxic gases and flammables. Additionally, with the need for confined space entries, workers require a connected gas detection safety solution to ensure they are always protected.

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When it comes to monitoring the air quality in mills, G7 EXO deploys in minutes, delivering reliable connectivity for 100+ days, even in the harshest conditions. You can always rely on G7 EXO to perform when you need it most.

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Utilities Toxic and Combustible Gas Hazards

  • Common gas hazards
  • Natural Gas Transportation: Whether through pipelines, trucks, ships (as LNG), or trains, leaks can occur when transporting natural gas releasing combustible gases (e.g. CH4), carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides.
  • Natural Gas Storage: Natural gas is often contained in underground caverns or above-ground tanks. The storage process can release gases, such as methane, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide if the storage facility is not properly maintained or degrades over time. Workers need protection should leaks occur. 
  • Natural Gas Distribution: After processing natural gas is transmitted to Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) via high-pressure pipelines. The LDCs reduce the pressure and add odorant (e.g. methyl mercaptan). During these processes, there is risk of toxic and combustible gas exposure.
  • Confined Space Entries (CSEs): From open ditches and vaults to storage tanks, workers in natural gas facilities and power plants need to perform CSEs on a regular basis and require proper gas detection equipment to ensure their safety at all times. 
  • Power Plants, whether natural gas fired, coal fired or nuclear, have high fire and explosion risks (e.g. boiler explosions) due to the variety of fuels and backup fuels required in CHP and CCGT plants.
  • Power plants can release various toxic gases such as CO2, SO2, and NO2.

The utility sector has a 32% Serious Injury and Fatality exposure rate, which is 7% higher than the all-industry SIF rate.

(DEKRA Organizational Safety & Reliability)

Utilities Lone Worker Risks

  • Employees that regularly travel to and from worksites are at risk of vehicular accidents and may be in a position where they can't call for help.
    Check out our blog post: Blackline Safety's G7 triggers emergency response after fiery collision in remote Mexico
  • Workers in empty properties or client homes face extended periods working alone, with a possibility of incidents from slips, trips, falls, inclement weather, animal attacks, and potential violence from angry customers. Their safety needs to be monitored, especially when they can't call for help themselves.
  • Lineworkers and maintenance workers may need to do repairs in remote locations out of cell coverage - satellite-connected lone worker devices, such as G7x, are critical to ensure their safety and protection regardless of the location of the work.
  • Electrocution is a high risk in the utility industry, with 20 deaths per 100K workers resulting in around 400 deaths per year (gocontractor). In fact, Power Linemen have the 10th most dangerous job according to ISHN statistics. Should electrocutions occur, wearing a safety device with fall detection is crucial to inform monitoring personnel that an incident has occurred. 
  • Various types of noisy machinery and equipment are used throughout the power plants and natural gas facilities and are the leading causes of injury. Even if a worker has colleagues nearby, noise levels can overpower calls for help. A lone worker solution, like G7's SOS latch can allow a worker to call for help wherever they are. 

The connectivity and software to further protect your team.

Blackline’s connected safety and robust software offering provide the electric and natural gas industries with solutions that offer ultimate protection from worksite hazards and help you run a more efficient operation.

Next-level safety – The Blackline Live online portal allows you to manage your G7 connected safety devices, monitor your facility and your workforce’s well-being in real-time, respond to emergencies and report on collected data. Simple compliance is no longer good enough.

Unmatched visibility – Blackline Analytics provides a complete view of your connected safety fleet’s compliance, usage and alert data in a single, easy-to-use tool. Analyze real-time and historical data to anticipate potentially dangerous situations and prevent incidents from happening.

Enhanced productivity – Connected devices deliver data that can uncover opportunities to increase operational efficiency, offering the potential to save millions in lost revenue.

Optimized responses – Comprehensive safety monitoring and mass notifications give you complete and swift control of evacuation and emergency management.

Always at the ready – Blackline’s in-house Safety Operations Center is staffed 24/7 with professionally trained monitoring agents focused exclusively on ensuring the safety of your people.

The connected devices you need for unparalleled safety.

With Blackline’s comprehensive suite of safety devices, you get a complete ecosystem that leaves no aspect of worker or worksite safety to chance. Whether you need personal safety monitoring, gas detection or area monitoring, every G7 solution offers turn-key connectivity and versatility.

Trustworthy protection – Poison-immune combustible gas monitoring with broad spectrum LEL detection

Efficient execution – Connect in minutes wherever the device is placed or worn

Built for extremes – Face tough and rugged conditions, on any worksite, anywhere in the world

Ready and reliable – The G7 EXO’s100+ days of battery life allows devices to remain in operation longer, reducing the manpower needed to swap batteries or devices and the number of permits required.

Direct-to-Cloud connectivity – Industry-leading cellular and optional satellite connectivity for remote areas (e.g. bring the magnetic satellite bridge with you from your truck to your ATV), streaming all data directly to the cloud

Low cost of ownership – G7 EXO’s extra-long battery life eliminates the need to purchase extra monitors, saving tens of thousands of dollars. And with connected wearables, you can easily locate a lost device

Immediate awareness - Text and email alerts keep you fully aware device status and active situations

No nonsense – Eliminate the need for LEL correction factors, minimizing unnecessary and costly evacuations from false readings

Maximum flexibility – Thousands of gas detection configurations available in single-gas to five-gas detectors with or without a pump

Uncompromised safety – Extensive person down safety features such as fall detection, missed check-in alarms, an S.O.S. latch to call for immediate assistance and no-motion detection, two-way communications and push-to-talk functionality

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

THE VALUE OF CONNECTED SAFETY FOR SINGLE-GAS DETECTION

Leveraging data to create a proactive and efficient safety program

Connected gas detection isn’t the tech of the future anymore. It’s right here, right
now, and more money-saving, sustainable and simple than you think.

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