Health and Safety
The health and safety benefits of a CALM+ (Chatterbox Alarm Location Monitoring ) system and Chatterbox’s experience in providing this type of system are best demonstrated by the system we currently provide to Thames Water.
Through discussions with Thames Water, a long standing client, Chatterbox identified an opportunity to streamline and improve the existing three-part communication system (which comprised of analogue radios, pagers and mobiles) at the company’s Walton AWTW (Advanced Water treatment Works). The new CALM+ system has delivered improved worker safety and worker tracking, and delivered cost savings.
Thames Water Walton’s CALM System
Inside buildings CALM+ automatically tracks personnel movement using Bluetooth beacons picking up radio signal. Unlike GPS tracking, which provides a location in 2D, Bluetooth provides a 3D location making it possible to see which floor the radio user is on. GPS, which tracks operatives outdoors, is automatically disabled within the Bluetooth area and resumes when leaving. The previous internal system required operatives to manually input which one of seven prescribed zones they were working in to their radio, this manual input is no longer required so there is less likelihood of human error.
Following a site survey and working with site plans and Thames Water personnel Chatterbox engineers identified the optimum sites for the system’s beacons to ensure that the location of operatives within the works buildings could be tracked at all times on the PC based software. The facility required 95 beacons in all, programmed by Chatterbox for Thames Water’s requirement.
“The new system is a godsend. The previous system was far less accurate in terms of location of workers. This one offers real peace of mind”.
Process Controller, Thames Water
The new system even achieved coverage in ‘the crypt’, an area situated below the stairwell in the basement of the main pump house where several key services are located. ‘The crypt’ is below ground and very noisy. Previously no signal could be achieved and no conversation would have been audible however the use of beacons and the superior audio quality of the Hytera X1p made communication from here possible, and therefore working in this area far safer.
As operatives are often working alone the Hytera two-way radios have been programmed for lone worker, they sound a regular alarm to which the operatives respond; should they fail to do so an alert is raised. The radios are also programmed for man down monitoring; an inbuilt mercury switch triggers an alert if the radio is horizontal for an extended period of time. In both situations the alert, including the location of the operative, will be received by CALM+ in the control room. Out of hours CALM+ will send texts and alarm calls to all off site personnel providing cover.
“Operatives at Walton work in high-risk areas on a daily basis, often alone. Health and safety is a priority for Thames Water, and we believe that it is important to invest in technology that improves the safety of our staff. The new system tracks where operatives are; we know their safety is covered and they know that we are looking after them”.
Operations Liaison Engineer, Thames Water
“The new system means that anyone in any part of the works, whether it is the furthest edges or the deepest part, can stay in communication”.
Health & Safety Advisor, Thames Water