How situational awareness software is improving
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Every industrial organisation around the globe promises that the safety of its people and the environment are its highest priority. Despite this, more than 200 people in the USA alone lost their lives while working in the oil and gas, mining, and quarrying industries in 2019 and 2020.
Senior leaders whose teams are active in hazardous environments continuously question whether more can be done to safeguard their people. All too often, the answer is yes. Many organisations continue to rely on outdated methods for delivering their duty of care commitments, leaving their people, the environment, and their reputation exposed to unnecessary risks.
As risk management teams face pressure to reduce site risks and improve incident outcomes, many companies are beginning to turn to situational awareness software for solutions.
Suggested reading: Hear what industry experts have to say about the past, present, and future of incident management in our latest webinar: The Future of Incident Management.
Improved workforce safety with cloud technology
Hazardous environments can make it difficult to monitor everyone’s locations in real-time. When incidents occur, companies are left with little to no information on the safety of their people or the actions that need to be taken.
Creating a digital thread that connects individuals’ locations to HR information as well as broader operational and logistics data means that when risk levels increase, organisations can respond faster and more effectively.
Cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) provides teams with a unified approach to situational awareness, offering end-to-end visibility of their people and associated risks.
Locate data, quickly
Cloud-driven situational awareness technology enables companies to easily locate all the data they need to manage potential risks, incidents, or crises from a single platform. With situational awareness software, companies gain:
- Unified situational awareness: Teams are aligned around one hub of verified data.
- Knowledge of potential risks: Being able to track real-time data allows senior leaders to prepare for potential hazards.
- Better team safety: People will feel empowered to work, knowing their safety is being prioritised.
- Remote incident management: With a clear understanding of the situation at hand, leaders are able to remotely respond to and manage incidents.
While employing comprehensive situational awareness software may seem like common sense, many industrial companies continue to rely on fragmented systems to manage their data. When incidents do occur, all-important response times are slowed by the process of finding, verifying, and sharing sources from HR, operations, logistics, and emergency and crisis response units.
Suggested reading: The digital age is changing how we should respond to incidents — for the better. Find out more in our blog on The Role of Technology in Effective Incident Management.
Providing a unified platform
Synchronising data onto a singular platform allows local, enterprise, and supply chain leaders to learn about potential or developing incidents, even when working remotely.
With end-to-end visibility of site operations, control teams can eliminate risks and recover faster from incidents. In the case of a fire with significant escalation risk, for example, incident and crisis teams require access to a full suite of data connecting people information, HSE details, logistics, and operational data.
A single hub of data in the cloud allows responders to identify actions before they get to the operations centre, improving response times and reducing the scope for human error.
Having real-time access to every worker’s location, whether during normal operations or an incident, is the cornerstone of a unified approach to situational awareness. Combining location hardware, such as a fob or keycard, with cloud-hosted software, allows companies to map people’s locations and minimise risk.
Situational awareness in high-risk environments
Remote, high-risk locations such as offshore sites pose a unique challenge to risk management teams. Cloud technology allows companies to track routine maintenance trips and act quickly if workers fail to report back. Increasing visibility through situational awareness software is an effective way to mitigate offshore risks.
Reduced muster times
Should a serious incident occur, such as an explosion or gas leak, having immediate access to people’s locations reduces muster times and ensures search and rescue teams are able to operate efficiently.
In a recent exercise managed by Restrata, one client reduced muster time from 20 minutes to six using real-time people monitoring technology. Access to critical information at critical moments can transform incident response times and, subsequently, outcomes.
Preventing just one incident is worth the investment
The cost of a severe incident can be immense, often resulting in ethical, financial, and reputational damage. The tragic events of the 2005 BP Texas City refinery explosion, for example, killed 15 workers, left 170 injured, and led to financial losses of around $1.5 billion.
Meanwhile, Liberty Mutual estimated that in 2021, US employers paid more than $1 billion per week for workers compensation costs for disabling, nonfatal workplace injuries.
One of the greatest hurdles to adopting situational awareness software is securing capital expenditure approval. In recognition of this, many software providers offer subscription models that minimise upfront costs, encouraging SaaS as a cost-effective, user-friendly safety solution.
Companies have more opportunities than ever to optimise site performance and improve the safety of their team.
Discover how Restrata’s connected resilience platform, leveraging HID’s leading location-aware solutions, is helping organisations to transform their situational awareness in high-risk environments.
Book a demo of Restrata Platform today.
 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2020 | U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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