Employees at Alinta Energy’s Wagerup power station, 124km south of Perth, will be the first in Australia to receive iPhones loaded with a new safety application, WorkerSafety Pro, to help detect falls or worker down, manage safety check-ins, provide GPS location and direct assistance in an emergency.
Every year the West Australian electricity, gas, water and waste services industries record around 550 work related lost time injuries and diseases. While falls in the industry are infrequent, the severity of these incidents has worsened since 2012-13.
Jeff Ey, who oversees operations at Alinta Energy’s Wagerup power station said part of the difficulty in reducing the severity of the incidents is monitoring and responding to issues that occur when people are working alone or in remote locations.
“If someone is working at our plant alone at night, they are required to check in every hour via text. However, if they have a fall one minute into that hour, we may not be able to detect an issue for at least another 59 minutes – which is a very long time in an emergency.”
“That’s why we went looking for innovative technologies to help monitor our employees’ safety and alert us and emergency services if something goes wrong,” he said.
Jeff reached out to several solution providers, and started a discussion with U.S. company Tidyware, the makers of WorkerSafety Pro. Their health & safety system connects at-risk workers, employers and emergency response providers through its patent-pending software platform that uniquely leverages the sensors in iPhones and Android phones.
“I think the technology is great; and it’s nice to see it being used for more sophisticated applications than counting steps. We can use it for people working in high-risk work environments, for what’s called journey management (when our employees check-in while they’re travelling), or for fall safety,” he said.
Founder and CEO of Tidyware (www.tidyware.com), Philip Carmichael, said his company believes that pairing WorkerSafety Pro with smartphones provides an easy way to better protect workers and achieve higher uptake and lower costs for employers.
“Past safety technologies have required workers to manage and carry extra devices, in addition to their tools and phone. Smartphone hardware is now more sophisticated. Combined with our safety system, we can offer a much more powerful and meaningful application for the workplace than simply health and fitness. No other solution can provide the level of enhanced safety through detection, monitoring and response time,” said Carmichael. “We are pleased to work with a company like Alinta, who makes it a priority to protect their employees with smart technology that can improve safety protocols.”
Alinta Energy is considering WorkerSafety Pro for additional generation sites.
See Alinta staff stay connected with personal safety app for article.
Julian Polachek, 0403 590 339, email@example.com
 Government of Western Australia Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety WorkSafe, 2017, Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services Industry Profile (ANZSIC2006) Work Related Lost Time Injuries and Diseases in WA 2011-12 to 2015-16, https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/atoms/files/03_utilities_2017.pdf