Preventing the risks associated with working alone
Approximately 10% of employees are affected by lone working, which corresponds to a situation in which an employee will be required to carry out work or tasks alone, out of sight or out of mind for a certain period of time. The employee has no recourse in case of accident or illness. It is essential to identify isolated work situations in each company.
One of the situations of isolated work presenting risks is work in confined spaces. Indeed, the person working in confined spaces will have to go into a cavity, which may contain gas. The gas in question can be toxic, particularly in the nuclear, petrochemical and water and sewage industries.
Numerous physical and mental health effects related to working in isolation exist:
The lone worker may face several medical risks in the context of an isolated mission. They could be subject to an anxiety attack, which will manifest itself through intense fear, a feeling of danger and unpleasant physical sensations (trembling, sweating, etc.). An epileptic seizure may also occur, with symptoms such as uncontrolled muscle twitching and sensory hallucinations.
The lone worker may also experience dizziness if working at height. In the event of a lack of oxygen, in a confined environment for example, the isolated worker may be confronted with intoxication by neurotoxic products, acute respiratory distress syndrome, heart failure, etc.
By being isolated, the worker could have a feeling of abandonment, and be confronted with a certain anxiety. These psychological impacts could lead to risky behaviours such as not wearing equipment, excessive speed, use of inappropriate tools.
However, there are several preventive measures implemented in companies, such as the DATI: Alarm device for isolated workers. This one is going to allow to secure to the maximum the isolated Worker, by alerting one or several persons outside the place of isolation.
"Alarms don't save individuals...It's men and women who do."
Sylvain BRUEY - Blackline Safety
Today, the Labor Code does not dictate any rules concerning lone working. However, lone working must be included among the risks listed in the establishment's Single Occupational Risk Assessment Document for the prevention and control of these risks.
For isolated work, it is necessary to draw up a list of posts and situations in the company where the worker is likely to be isolated. It is also important to identify the dangers that may arise, as well as to reduce the number and duration of interventions in a state of isolation, or even eliminate them.
Other preventive measures can be applied in the company:
- Be informed, when travelling, of the location of the intervention and the mode of transport.
- Ensure the suitability of the isolated worker(s).
- Make the isolated worker(s) aware of the associated risks.
- Ensure the proper application of preventive measures: wearing of PPE, training, etc. With regard to the wearing of PPE, there is a device that makes it possible to prevent the risk associated with lone working, the DATI.
The importance of DATI
The Alarm Device for Isolated Workers (DATI) allows first of all to answer the regulation (article R 4224-16 of the Labour code) imposing to the head of the company to ensure the first aid to the injured and wounded. Indeed, the DATI is a telecommunication system that transmits an alarm in case of danger to the isolated worker.
The DATI is a system consisting of a transmitter, worn by the lone worker, and a receiver. The ITAD must be simple and ergonomic to use (size of the control buttons and width of the spaces between the buttons). The DATI must be protected against overvoltages (lightning), its autonomy must be sufficient to cover the entire duration of the mission, the case must be shock resistant and weatherproof (water, dust).
Once set up, the DATI is an insufficient preventive measure if it is not followed by a quick alert management. Indeed, the intervention must be immediate, and the information feedback as well. The DATI alert can be triggered voluntarily, in case of imminent danger or aggression, by means of an SOS button. The alert can also be triggered in case of fall detection or immobility (dead man's position). It is also possible to set up a check-in system, which will allow to ensure the good health of the worker, at a regular hourly frequency.
Distinguish between DATI and PTI
The Protection of the Isolated Worker (PTI) is composed of a DATI (which makes it possible to start and send an alarm in the event of problem) then of a procedure of management of the alarm with one or more people who receive the alarm, and who engage, if necessary, an intervention.
What about the G7 exo?
Like the G7c portable gas detector, the G7 EXO uses satellite cellular connectivity to connect to the Blackline Live cloud network. By combining the 2 systems, it is possible to obtain a global visibility of the area to be monitored:
- Location of other EXO beacons and G7c carriers thanks to the GPS signal
- Continuous gas measurement data
- Geofencing: technology that sends messages or push notifications to users when they enter or leave a given geographical area
Blackline Safety's G7 is a lone worker alert device with gas detection, portable and operational in all circumstances. It is the first complete gas detection system in the world to use 3G/2G connectivity.
Featuring visual and audible alarms, the G7 EXO alerts nearby crews while relaying the alert to the entire network via the Blackline Safety cloud through other G7c or G7 EXO devices in the area. It is designed to withstand the harshest conditions while remaining easy to use thanks to its aluminum structure and color interface.