When you meet Barry for the first time, you immediately categorise him as one of life’s organisers; as the old phrase goes: ‘a place for everything, and everything in its right place’.
But he’s that way because he has to be – because the alternative is too dangerous. He manages a shift at a large petrochemicals plant that pumps out a 1,000 tonnes of ethylene and other chemicals a year. A tidy workplace has no distractions. It’s focused on the plant and the process.
Almost every minute of every day someone from a shift is out on the plant, eyeballing it. Today it’s Barry’s team. They walk the plant with various bits and pieces but the one thing they love above all else is the tablet; an intrinsically safe mobile device that goes everywhere with them.
This device keeps them safe, tells them what’s happening that they should know about, ensures HSE compliance and that they’re looking after the plant. A bit of a wishlist? Not at all.
They’re kept safe thanks to the built-in GPS tracking and Sabisu looking for a lack of movement which could indicate a ‘man-down’ situation. They often work alone and it’s configured to only be active when they’re out on the plant.
They also love it because it’s linked to every other system, so they know about a situation before they face it. Sabisu is pumping data out to the mobile device to ensure that they know what’s happening with the plant, with the production plans, with HSE, with Permits to Work and so on. These guys have a real interest in what’s going on out there – as would you, given the risks.
And data goes the other way too. The guys are out there gathering data on the plant as they eyeball it; meter readings, possible valve leaks, maintenance requirements. This used to be paper based but no longer, meaning no double entry and real-time updates to management systems. When an issue arises, the data is ready and waiting for the people who need it.
The HSE solution is also really about data – just richer data. Using the built-in cameras, RFID or barcode scanner, the guys can capture information about potential violations, or complete Risk Assessments.
Intrinsically safe mobile devices were for many years not suitable for deployment to the riskiest environments; either the physical user experience wasn’t good enough, or the devices weren’t safe enough. Now, they are.
But of course, it’s not about the tablet – it’s about the data. The device is a key part of the solution but it’s the data that makes it all work.
Sabisu is keeping them safe, reducing their workload and helping them make better decisions. That’s a great thing to be able to say.
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