<![CDATA[BLACKRIDGE Solutions - Blog]]>Fri, 16 Mar 2018 16:07:53 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Ammonia Gas: What You Need To Know About It]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 23:31:08 GMThttp://blackridgesolutions.com/blog/ammonia-gas-what-you-need-to-know-about-it
The New York Department of Health describes ammonia gas as a colorless, alkaline gas comprised of nitrogen and hydrogen (NH3) that has a strong odor, often associated with window cleaner. Ammonia is a natural, biological agent in organisms that helps to form amino acids, which are the basic building blocks of proteins. It also involved in the natural decomposition of plant and animal materials. When present in higher concentrations, ammonia gas is hazardous to workers and the public.

Many industries make use of ammonia gas for several applications:
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Agricultural fertilizer
  • Refrigerant gas that has in large part replaced chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Water purification
  • Manufacturing plastics and other chemicals
  • A building block for pharmaceuticals

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, ammonia has boiling temperature of -33°C (-28°F)— ammonia is a gas a room temperature. While it is lighter than air, a release of pressurized ammonia gas can collect at ground-level until the aerosol cloud becomes diluted and begins to rise. Dilute ammonia gas that has left the cloud / vapor phase will generally not collect in low-lying areas such as heavier-than-air gases such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S).
Ammonia gas is very hydrophilic, meaning it is water-loving. When stored as a gas or compressed liquid without presence of water moisture, ammonia is referred to as anhydrous ammonia.

Upon release to the environment, ammonia gas is very quick to attach itself to moisture, such as found in a person’s eyes, mouth, throat, lungs and on his or her skin. Ammonia is very caustic, forming ammonium hydroxide that has a higher pH than water and can damage respiratory systems, disrupt vision and irritate or burn skin upon contact. The caustic action of ammonium hydroxide damages cell membranes, causing more liquid to be released that further interacts with ammonia gas, perpetuating the effects on the human body.

Although not every organization agrees on the perceptible threshold, OSHA estimates that people begins to smell ammonia gas ranging from 5 to 50 ppm. Experience in the industry indicates that workers consistently subjected to weak ammonia levels may become somewhat desensitized to its presence.

According to 
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, nose and throat irritation can result
 from ammonia exposure ranging from 24–50 parts per million (ppm) after ten minutes of exposure. With a higher ammonia concentration ranging from 72–134 ppm, the same irritation can occur in half the time. For a concentration of 700 ppm, immediate and severe irritation would likely occur. At a concentration of 5,000 ppm, respiratory spasms and rapid suffocation occurs. At 10,000 ppm, pulmonary edema and potentially fatal accumulation of liquid in the lungs would occur.

As with all safety regulations, the safe work exposure limits for ammonia vary from region to region.
The recommended exposure limit (REL) specified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is 25 ppm for an eight-hour TWA. NIOSH specifies the immediately dangerous to life or health concentration (IDLH) at 500 ppm.

While ammonia gas has a broad range of uses, from a refrigerant and fertilizer to being a raw material for many processes, it’s hazardous to the health of nearby workers and the public. Personal gas detection with an ammonia sensor is an invaluable method for businesses to help personnel keep an eye on safe work environments and the potential for ammonia gas exposure.
Wireless gas detection and communications solves the challenge of triggering an emergency response when a worker has been exposed to ammonia gas and cannot self-rescue. Blackridge Solutions G7 wireless gas detection and lone worker monitors to solve this exact problem — to empower a real-time emergency response for when seconds count. G7 features an ammonia gas sensor option that alerts live monitoring personnel when an employee needs help, directing responders to the employee’s exact location. Best of all, G7 safety monitoring technology and cloud-based monitoring portal are a turnkey solution that don’t rely on facility Wi-Fi networks or power to operate. As a standalone system, no smartphones or Bluetooth connections are required.

Let us know if you have any questions on how the G7 may be able to complement your gas detection or lone worker monitoring programs. info@blackridgesolutions.com or (778) 686-5799
"When Only The Best Will Do"
Original blog: Kirk Johnson, Blackline Safety
<![CDATA[Award Winning G7 Provides Safety & Gas Detection]]>Thu, 26 Oct 2017 17:25:49 GMThttp://blackridgesolutions.com/blog/award-winning-g7-provides-safety-gas-detectionH2S EXPOSURE

Hydrogen sulfide is a fast acting poison, impacting many systems within the body. Wearable gas sensors are necessary for early detection and alerting, as the body’s senses are not reliable indicators. Exposure to low levels of H2S gas within a short period of time will not usually produce adverse effects in a healthy person, though long-term exposure or exposure to high levels of the gas may result in immediate, lasting effects. To keep your team safe, an H2S detector with a fast response time and sturdy construction are important for use in the environments where H2S gas may occur.


Traditional gas detectors function similarly to smoke alarms, alerting only the wearer and those in earshot of potentially hazardous surroundings. For gas detectors to deliver maximum value to users, wireless connectivity and live monitoring are crucial enhancements over traditional gas detection equipment. The new G7 solution provides encompassing, connected safety monitoring to supplement gas detection, for dangerous environments where H2S may incapacitate or render workers unconscious in no time.

G7 connects employees to Blackridge's live 24/7 monitoring teams, who react instantly when an alert is communicated, providing immediate emergency response when required — should an employee call for help using G7’s SOS latch, a fall be detected, or a gas alert triggered. With connectivity, worker confidence increases in hazardous environments, knowing they are connected and being monitored by real people.

The G7 utilizes the industry-standard electrochemical sensor for its H2S detector, plus carbon monoxide (CO) and ammonia (NH3). In electrochemical sensors, the target gas undergoes a chemical reaction producing a current inside the sensor that is proportional to the concentration of gas present. A sensing electrode and counter electrode are in contact with and separated by an electrolyte. Gas enters the sensor and interacts with the working electrode where it is either oxidized, accepting oxygen and/or releasing electrons, or reduced, releasing oxygen and/or accepting electrons. The current produced is a direct result of how much of the target gas is oxidized or reduced at the working electrode. The electrochemical sensor has a lower detection limit for H2S of 0.5 ppm.

H2S is a gas capable of rendering workers unconscious within just a few breaths at high levels — yet even when a worker can no longer self-rescue, it is not too late. Traditional gas detectors function similarly to smoke alarms, alerting only the wearer and those in earshot of potentially hazardous situations. In addition to a t90 response time providing a gas reading for H2S in 20 seconds, G7 also communicates any H2S detector readings above pre-set thresholds in real-time to live monitoring personnel. Employees who face an incident experience extreme stress. Even when they can’t respond, monitoring personnel can be in constant contact with the affected worker via industrial two-way speakerphone.


Following an incident, every second counts. In life-threatening situations, how an emergency response is managed could mean the difference between an optimized rescue and a recovery. When an alarm is triggered, should it be an H2S detector reading or a fallen employee, Blackridge's live monitoring personnel spring into action.
  • 00m 01s: G7 sends a high H2S alarm to the Safety Live network
  • 00m 02s: Blackridge’s live monitoring team receives the H2S detector reading and worker’s location
  • 00m 31s: Voice call is established with the worker
  • 00m 40s: Team member receives voice alert, mustering them to a safe area OR nearest responders are notified and directed to the worker’s location
With G7, rescues are optimized so more lives can be saved.

With G7, all incident and gas detection data is communicated in real-time to the Safety Network for storage and reporting. Though H2S does not usually create lasting health effects after minor exposure to low levels, continued or prolonged exposure may result in chronic ailments. With G7 incident reporting, areas with persistent leaks can be identified so appropriate safety precautions can be taken.

An H2S detector or personal safety monitor cannot warn of a threatening event if they are not properly used. G7 is an all-in-one solution, cutting down the number of devices a worker needs to carry with them, and constantly tracks usage for reporting. Should an employee neglect to wear their device or use it appropriately, safety managers have the data to follow up with them accordingly.

Though H2S electrochemical sensors are very reliable, it is best-practice to ensure the sensor is regularly bump tested and calibrated to ensure accurate readings. G7 manages all calibration and bump test reminders over-the-air, alerting the using of upcoming due dates so compliance can be maintained. Data is then stored for reporting, communicated to our servers. With G7, the tools to manage your fleet and ensure compliance is available in real-time, at your fingertips.

​For further information on the G7 safety & gas detection solution, contact Blackridge Solutions at: (778) 686-5799 or info@blackridgesolutions.com
Original Posted by Jaime Seaman, Blackline Safety
<![CDATA[Smartphone App for Work Alone Safety]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 15:20:05 GMThttp://blackridgesolutions.com/blog/smartphone-app-for-work-alone-safety
Dedicated devices have been around for a long time and are a great way to offer personal protection to "at risk" employees. However, with the advancement of technology and availability of smartphones, safety apps can offer a new and efficient way of providing protection.

With more and more businesses switching to smartphone technology to keep their staff safe, we take a look at some of the reasons why apps are gaining popularity.

One of the greatest benefits of safety apps is their accessibility. Most people carry their mobile phones with them everywhere they go and would not leave the house without them.

Lone worker apps do not rely on employees having to remember a separate device, or even to keep it charged – which is perhaps the greatest challenge many businesses experience with devices.

Easy to roll out
Lone worker apps can be downloaded straight onto the user’s phone. With very few resources required, roll out can take as little as a couple of minutes to complete.

Range of functionality
There is often a misconception that the functionality of apps is limited. However, apps can utilize all of the functionality of a smart device, which in reality is some of the best technology available on the consumer market.

With technology advancing rapidly, apps are a great way to offer the best technology solution at no extra cost.

For example, the Loner MOBILE app offers accurate GPS tracking, timed sessions, two-way audio, a range of panic alerts as well as the ability to be paired with the Loner DUO to provide No Motion alerting capabilities.

Always up to date
Another great feature of apps, is the ability to be developed remotely. When operating systems roll out updates, apps can utilise any new technology and provide updates of their own. And all the user is required to do is update the app from their phone.

Low cost
Because apps do not require any equipment, the cost is low for the business. The cost of running apps is also low as most apps are designed to use very little data. Plus, there are no additional costs or down time due to breakage and servicing.

Wearable options
In some work environments, the ability to wear a device is more suitable for the type of work being carried out. If working on a one-to-one basis or at height, a wearable device provides a secure, accessible and discreet way to access panic and check-in functions.

Recent developments in technology have meant that apps can now be paired with wearable devices to for those that need it.

The Loner MOBILE app provides the user a quick, easy and discreet way to check in or send a panic alert. Employers can choose to equip all app users with a Loner DUO, or "pool" it among a group of employees.This is especially useful for businesses who have a diverse workforce, where staff perform differing roles.

Pairing an app with a wearable device enables all staff to be monitored under one system, with some using the app from their phone and others through the wearable device. This also helps to contain costs as dedicated or wearable devices, which can be expensive, need only be purchased for those who need it, rather than the whole workforce.

Protecting remote staff via satellite
The most advanced of lone worker safety apps can also utilise satellite connectivity. Under normal circumstances, apps and devices both rely on signal to send alerts and location data. However, of course, there are remote locations around the world that are unable to provide even the most basic connection. Pairing your smartphone with a satellite hub or using an app on a satellite phone allows the most remote of employees to keep in touch, and to be monitored on the same system as other staff.

You can find out more about these and other leading work alone safety solutions at:  www.BlackridgeSolutions.com or contact us at (778) 686-5799 or info@blackridgesolutions.com
<![CDATA[Autism Wandering/Elopement: New Study - Mortality & Risk]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 22:48:04 GMThttp://blackridgesolutions.com/blog/autism-wanderingelopement-new-study-mortality-riskPicture
A new study released today by the National Autism Association (NAA) highlights the risk of injury and death related to missing persons with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), specifically those who wander or elope from safe environments.

The study, Mortality & Risk in ASD Wandering/Elopement, found that nearly a third of reported ASD missing person cases related to wandering/elopement from 2011 to 2016 in the United States ended in death or required medical attention. The study was based on over 800 media-reported missing person cases in the U.S. over a six-year period involving individuals with an ASD.

According to the study, accidental drowning was responsible for over 70% of lethal outcomes, followed by fatal traffic injury. Injuries or trauma in the sample ranged from minor scrapes and bruises to non-fatal traffic injuries, near drownings, dehydration, and physical/sexual assaults post elopement.

Lori McIlwain of the National Autism Association says these findings likely underrepresent the issue of wandering/elopement and its associated risks. "It's very likely these cases are happening at a much higher rate than what's being reported."

Even so, lethal outcomes occurred at a rate of about once a month on average in 2011 to about two to three times a month on average in 2015 and 2016. "What we're seeing now is different from what was happening early on," she says. However, she cautions it's still too early to tell whether there is an increase in lethal cases, or if better reporting or other factors are playing a role.

Children 5 to 9 showed the highest number of deaths, while children under 5 faced the highest lethal risk with cases ending in death nearly 60% of the time. McIlwain noted that even though younger children faced more risk, the average age per year for lethal outcomes increased for most years of the sample period. "We are seeing more fatalities in teens and adults, so it's important that all age groups and their caretakers have resource options for both prevention and response."
A disproportionate risk was also seen among black individuals with ASD, as well as a higher lethal risk for females on the spectrum.

Individuals were under various types of supervision at the time of elopement with non-parent supervision accounting for 45% of cases. Times of transition, commotion and stress increased elopement risk, and those who were noted to be upset or agitated showed a higher risk of abruptly exiting into traffic or other high-threat situations.

Most individuals were found in or near water, traffic, at a stranger's residence or in the woods. Low-sensory locations were also a common theme, according to McIlwain, such as abandoned areas and vehicles, cornfields, farms, tree nurseries, libraries and other typically quiet settings.

According to the report, cases touched on a variety of safety topics affecting the ASD population, including suicide ideation and self-harm, bullying, restraint, heightened stress response, and lack of proper services and supports. McIlwain says research, medical protocols and other programs are needed to address these issues, which may reduce exit-seeking behaviors in individuals with ASD.

NAA President Wendy Fournier says these findings underscore the need for widespread first responder training and resources, broader outreach, education and prevention tools for families, school staff, foster care providers and residential caretakers.

"In this six-year sample, incidents and deaths occurred in almost every state of the U.S.," said Fournier. "Yet, most states do not have resources to properly prevent, or respond to, elopement behaviors in children and adults with autism."

She also says the disproportionate risk among black individuals with ASD needs further study and guidance. "Black individuals with ASD and their families do not appear to be getting the proper supports to stay safe and protected, and this needs to change," she said

To download the report, click here

For more information on the latest technology to assist with wandering prevention, contact BLACKRIDGE Solutions at info@blackridgesolutions.com or (778) 686-5799

<![CDATA[Loner G7 - Winner of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 22:15:44 GMThttp://blackridgesolutions.com/blog/loner-g7-winner-of-the-red-dot-award-product-design-2017Picture
After assessing products from all over the world, the 39-member Red Dot jury has recognized the innovation and industrial design achievement of the new Loner G7 wireless gas detector. This expert committee made up of product design leaders, professors, architects and ergonomic engineers, selected G7 as the winner of a Red Dot Award: Product Design 2017, from over 5,500 submissions sent in from 54 countries.

The Red Dot Awards for product design are recognized as one of the world's most prestigious design competitions. Red Dot initially convened more than 60 years ago to assess the best designs of the day. Since then, an expert jury has been awarding their seal of quality for outstanding products of the year for design and innovation. Manufacturers and designers around the globe entered their products in the 2017 competition and were judged on degree of innovation, functionality, ergonomics, durability and overall quality of design.

"The Red Dot winners are pursuing the right design strategy," said Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of the Red Dot Award. "They have recognized that good design and economic success go hand in hand. The award by the critical Red Dot jury documents their high design quality and is indicative of their successful design policy."

Industrial work can be risky for employees. Many organizations use personal gas detectors to monitor for toxic or combustible gases, but they are traditionally disconnected and cannot call for help. The G7 solves this problem - it is the world's first connected gas detector with 3G wireless, two-way speakerphone and live monitoring. By connecting workers with a live monitoring team, every incident is managed in real-time, delivering help to the employee's exact location. Plus, G7 features an exclusive modular design to support customization that caters to diverse working conditions. Gas detection is tailored to teams' working environments with the choice of field-replaceable single- or quad-gas cartridges, and a selection of gas sensors.

"The hallmark of any good design is one that enables users to do new things without thinking too much about it," said Barry Moore, VP Product Development at Blackline Safety. "G7 not only looks great, but more importantly it makes an employee's job easier by combining three devices into one - a gas detector, a lone worker safety device and a communication tool. This award recognizes the efforts of our dedicated design team who defined a new level of personal safety for our clients."

The Red Dot Awards: Product Design 2017 will conclude on July 3, 2017 where, at the Red Dot Gala award ceremony, the Red Dot best of the best laureates receive their trophies. At the subsequent Designers' Night after-show party, the award winners receive their certificates and celebrate in the midst of all the prize-winning products inside the Red Dot Design Museum Essen. For five weeks, the special museum exhibition Design on Stage will present the awarded products of the year as part of the world's largest exhibition of contemporary design.

G7 will be featured in the Red Dot Design Yearbook for award-winning design 2017/2018, coming out on July 3. This international reference presents the year's winning products. The yearbook will also be available online, accessible via the Red Dot App and on the design platform, Red Dot 21. For more information on Red Dot visit www.red-dot.org.

To learn more about the G7, visit www.BlackridgeSolutions.com or info@blackridgesolutions.com or call us at (778) 686-5799
About the Red Dot Design Award:
In order to appraise the diversity in the field of design in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award breaks down into the three disciplines of Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept. The Red Dot Award is organised by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen and is one of the world's largest design competitions. In 1955, a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs of the day. In the 1990s, Red Dot CEO Professor Dr. Peter Zec developed the name and brand of the award. Ever since, the sought-after Red Dot award has been the revered international seal of outstanding design quality. More information is available at www.red-dot.org.

<![CDATA[GAS DETECTION: IR and Pellistor LEL Sensor Options]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:22:23 GMThttp://blackridgesolutions.com/blog/gas-detection-ir-and-pellistor-lel-sensor-optionsWith the introduction of the new Loner G7 comes a new-wave in customizable portable gas detection. The all-new G7’s modular design and selection of field-replaceable cartridges allows you to tailor G7 devices based on your needs and working environments. With single-gas and quad-gas cartridge options, up to four gases are detectable using one device,  including combustible or flammable gases using LEL sensors. G7 and its cartridges are certified intrinsically safe for use in environments that present a risk of an explosive atmosphere.
To detect explosive gases, ​Blackridge Solutions offers two LEL sensors, an LEL pellistor sensor and an LEL infrared sensor. Pellistor sensors and infrared sensors each detect a range of gases using two very different techniques, this determines which sensors to use in any given work environment.

Flammable gases are commonly hydrocarbons, made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Such gases can burn in the presence of oxygen, in some cases such as furnaces, this planned combustion is very controlled, while unplanned gas leaks could cause a violent reaction or explosion.  Industry offers a measure of the degree that an environment may be explosive due to combustible gases present. So-called lower explosive limit (LEL) indicates the minimum concentration of these gases required in the air to be explosive. This number is typically represented as a percentage of the lower explosive limit where 100% is considered to be explosive if a spark or other combustion source were introduced. An LEL level of 0% indicates that no detectable level of flammable gases is present.

The G7 not only provides its user a real-time reading of LEL but also communicates these gas readings to the Safety Network. Should G7 detect a sufficient LEL reading to trigger a high gas alarm — for example, 20% — a safety alert is communicated in real-time to monitoring personnel, who then contact the worker to ensure his or her safe egress from the environment.

Pellistor sensors use controlled combustion to detect and measure a wide variety of flammable gases. Pellistor sensors contain within them two platinum coils each embedded in separate ceramic beads. The first bead is coated with a catalyst to promote oxidation when exposed to flammable gases. The second bead is treated to discourage catalytic oxidation, and acts as a reference. The first bead allows for the combustion of a very small amount of flammable gas — generating heat and changing the resistance of the platinum coil. The resistance change is proportional to the amount of flammable gas present in an environment and is translated into an LEL% reading on the detector’s screen.
Infrared (IR) sensors (sometimes referred to as optical sensors, or non-dispersive infrared/NDIR) detect the presence of flammable gases by precisely measuring the absorption of infrared light at specific frequencies by various hydrocarbon molecules. Inside the sensor, an infrared emitter passes light through two paths. One path is used to measure the absorption of light by gases, the other is used as a reference. Light detectors on both paths allow the LEL sensor to measure the amount of flammable or combustible gases present by comparing how much light is absorbed in each path.

Pellistor sensors are very well established in many industries as a staple of safety equipment. These sensors detect a broader range of gases, including hydrocarbons, hydrogen and acetylene. Pellistor LEL sensors detect flammable gases using a catalyst that oxidizes gases behind an explosion-proof screen. As a result, this process requires sufficient oxygen to cause the combustion and detect flammable gases. Pellistor LEL sensors also should not be used in environments where there may be oxygen deficiencies.
Certain chemicals can reduce pellistor LEL sensor sensitivity, poisoning the catalytic process. The result can be a reduced LEL sensor reading compared to the actual atmospheric LEL percentage. Work environments where silicon, lead, sulfur and phosphorus, among other chemicals, are used should be avoided in order to prevent sensor poisoning.

Prolonged exposure to combustible gases may cause a pellistor LEL sensor’s zero reading to shift, resulting in inaccurate readings. Pellistor LEL sensors do not positively confirm a sensor fault and instead falsely indicate a 0% LEL reading. Exposing pellistor sensors to high gas concentrations, even for short periods of time, may stress the sensor leading it to produce poor readings or even causing sensor failure.

IR LEL sensors are an ideal choice for many working scenarios, including those where pellistor function would be limited. Long-living, infrared sensors are not susceptible to poisoning by chemicals in the environment. Further, IR LEL sensors do not suffer a shift in zero reading due to long-term exposure to combustible gases. Due to their measurement method, LEL sensors confirm a failure if the system is not working correctly. As they do not utilize combustion, these low power sensors perform well in low/no oxygen environments.

IR LEL sensors should not be used in environments with risk of exposure to hydrogen or acetylene, as their single-atom structure does not absorb infrared the same way as hydrocarbons, and therefore do not produce accurate sensor readings.

Both pellistor and IR LEL sensors can be used in many of the same applications and industries, but each has their specializations.

Pellistor sensors are ideal for use in environments where combustible hydrocarbon gases could be present without low-oxygen levels. Industries for pellistor use include oil & gas, telecom, manufacturing and wastewater industries. Applications that incorporate hydrogen and acetylene into processing will require pellistor LEL sensors, including manufacturing of metals, semiconductors, petrochemicals and foods, plus flame-cutting, welding, brazing and heating applications. To maximize sensor performance over its operating life, contaminants that could poison the sensor and consistent exposure to high combustible gas levels should be avoided.

Infrared sensors can also be used in many similar scenarios but with the additional benefit of operating in low-oxygen environments or environments with consistently higher levels of combustible gases. Infrared sensors are ideal for use in many environments, including those with high flammable gas percentages and/or low oxygen environments where pellistor sensors may not provide a long-term, reliable LEL measurement. IR sensors are also ideal for scenarios where contaminants could poison a pellistor sensor’s catalytic chemical process. These sensors are suitable for oil & gas applications where the presence of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is possible, and the use of silicone defoamers may be common. IR sensors are also ideal for waste water processing facilities, where explosive methane can accumulate.

They key to complete gas detection coverage is understanding your environment and the benefits and limitations of each sensor type. No one sensor accommodates every situation. The Loner G7 cartridges support both IR and pellistor LEL sensors, delivering flexibility with coverage for diverse environments. With our cartridge replacement program, it’s easy to quickly switch out cartridges at the end of their service life with another pre-calibrated cartridge of your choosing, increasing efficiency and minimizing device down-time.

Let us know how we can help you with your gas detection program.

www.BlackridgeSolutions.com       info@blackridgesolutions.com      (778) 686-5799

Original Posted by Jaime Seaman, (Blackline Safety)
<![CDATA[​Working in isolation is the same as working alone]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:03:10 GMThttp://blackridgesolutions.com/blog/working-in-isolation-is-the-same-as-working-alonePicture
The idea of safety in numbers has been around forever. It’s common sense that being in a group can reduce risks from violence and accidents. What isn’t always common sense is the reality that groups of people are often at the same risk as an individual. In these situations, it’s important for employers to have a plan in place that covers not just lone workers, but groups of employees.

In this post, we’ll look at what employers can do to create safety policies that protect both lone workers and larger groups of employees.

Workplace vehicle accidents

During 2013, transportation incidents caused 2 out of every 5 fatal work injuries in the United States. Employers can’t always stop accidents, but communicating with employees can help when things do go wrong.

If workers travelling in a vehicle get into an accident, they may not be able to communicate. Scheduling a defined check-in time can help employers know when their employees need help, along with equipping them with GPS safety monitoring equipment like the Loner M6. The Loner M6 will automatically signal an alert in a Missed Check-In situation or if the employee remained motionless for a set period of time. By using GPS technology, your "time to assist" is drastically reduced due to knowing their exact location. 

Isolated locations

Often the danger to employees comes from their environment. Poor air quality, chemical, and electrical dangers affect groups of employees and lone workers in the same way. In these situations, just having a panic button is not enough.

Workers who can’t call for help are often the ones needing help the most. Using the buddy system only works when you can guarantee that one employee will always be safe. A check-in policy can help make sure that groups of isolated employees get help when they need it. With the new Loner G7, you have the ability to provide "mustering" instructions and awareness to groups of employees at one time, thus providing an enhanced safety procedure.

Threats from public violence

Threats from violence are a danger that employees working with the public face every day. Even in a crowd, employees can become isolated from each other at times. Relying on employees to look out for each other isn’t always an effective safety policy.

Any time that an employee can become isolated, you need to consider them a lone worker. Plan for your employees to communicate when they’re out of sight, and make backup plans for employees who can’t communicate at all.

Building an inclusive safety policy

An effective workplace safety policy means being able to account for every employee. The next time you plan for the threats in your workplace, think about groups of employees who could be lone workers. Reducing the risk to employees can be as simple as using a lone worker safety policy. A lone worker system like those offered by BLACKRIDGE Solutions can help. Providing Emergency, Silent, Missed Check-In, No Motion and Fall Detection alerting capabilities, inside or outside cell coverage ensures your employees safety at all times..

To find out how BLACKRIDGE Solutions can protect the lone workers in your workplace, call (778) 686-5799 or info@blackridgesolutions.com.

<![CDATA[Evacuating Workers in an Emergency Situation]]>Thu, 05 Jan 2017 16:34:28 GMThttp://blackridgesolutions.com/blog/evacuating-workers-in-an-emergency-situationWhat is possible regarding evacuation management using connected safety technology?

Safely and quickly evacuating employees from facilities is a significant challenge for many businesses. New connected safety technology can have a dramatic impact on evacuation management by quickly discovering an incident and accounting for every employee along the way. Should a search crew be required, their risk is minimized by knowing where to retrieve an employee in need of help while having awareness of potential environmental exposure.

Evacuations start with the need to get teams out of a facility immediately. For example, an employee may discover a process failure, a control panel alarm light may turn on or a planned drill is about to be initiated. If an incident goes unnoticed because of other activities or lack of situational awareness, valuable response time is lost.
Triggering an evacuation often involves radio calls, a site-wide alarm system with strobes and PA speakers, or finding each employee in person. Once an evacuation is underway, employees are often accounted for at safe locations using manual checklists or collected employee tags. With manual processes like this, you may not know if an employee is left behind and needs help until it’s too late. It’s easy to see room for technological improvements.

With the emergence of employee-worn connected safety devices, it’s possible to see every worker’s location and communicate with them in any circumstance. These solutions can automatically detect incidents, from gas exposures to an injury or health event where the employee is motionless. When needed, employees can also call for help manually. These wirelessly communicated alerts provide real-time situational awareness to help assess whether an evacuation should be initiated.
Live-monitoring personnel receive every alert through a cloud-hosted monitoring portal. Each situation is managed efficiently with live data from every employee on the jobsite. Should an evacuation be triggered, employee-worn devices alert users with a visual and audible alarm, coupled with two-way voice instruction and text messaging. Employees acknowledge the evacuation request and evacuate immediately.

Connected safety technology doesn’t rely on facility power systems or communication infrastructure such as Wi-Fi. Each device operates independently, communicating via cellular or satellite wireless links. Monitoring personnel keep an eye on evacuation progress using a live map from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection. Employees left behind can be precisely located, contacted and rescued if need be – all while personnel know whether responders face environmental risks such as gas leaks or other hazard.

Not only do these advancements make evacuations more efficient and accountable with real-time situational awareness, but they make for a safer work environment because businesses can respond to any situation beyond evacuations, best utilizing onsite personnel. Connected safety also offers proactive awareness to help address issues before they become larger problems. For example, every gas reading and location is recorded, enabling persistent gas leaks to be discovered and fixed.

Businesses should consider their evacuation and emergency response protocols and the value of connected safety technology. Investing in such technology is often offset through operational efficiencies while greatly improving the safety infrastructure for all personnel.

For further information, contact BLACKRIDGE Solutions at: (778) 686- 5799
or info@blackridgesolutions.com.       "When Only The Best Will Do"

Author: Kirk Johnson, product manager, Blackline Safety.
<![CDATA[Wandering Prevention: GPS Watch for Those With Alzheimer's ]]>Fri, 23 Dec 2016 23:31:31 GMThttp://blackridgesolutions.com/blog/wandering-prevention-gps-watch-for-those-with-alzheimersPicture
The Blackridge Wandering Prevention GPS Watch is perfect for those with Alzheimer's, dementia and memory loss who are at risk of wandering. For caregivers or those who are alone, whether at home or traveling outside their home, this device gives the extra assurance that they can communicate at any time. The elderly living with a chronic disease or people who require immediate emergency assistance in an emergency situation will find this device invaluable.

The Blackridge GPS Watch has a variety of advanced features, some of which include:
  • Two-way Voice (Make and Receve Calls)
  • Lockable Watch Strap
  • IP66 - Waterproof
  • Geofencing (Entry/Exit Notification)
  • SOS Button
  • New GPS Locates Every Minute (indoors/Outdoors)
  • Up to (5) Days in Between Recharging
  • Smartphone App (iPhone/Android)
  • Same Size as a Digital Watch
  • Digitial Time Display, Plue Step Counter & Battery Level
  • Manageable By Up To (16) Care Providers
  • GPS Locates on Google Maps
  • Alarm Clock (Date and Time Programmable)
  • Low Cost

To learn more about the latest in GPS technology and wander prevention, contact Blackridge Solutions at:  (778) 686-5799 or info@blackridgesolutions.com

<![CDATA[Loner G7:  Work Alone Safety & Gas Detector in a Single Device!]]>Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:00:00 GMThttp://blackridgesolutions.com/blog/loner-g7-work-alone-safety-gas-detector-in-a-single-devicePicture
BLACKRIDGE Solutions are very pleased to announce the latest addition to our gas detection portfolio, the Loner G7. After nearly two years in development in response to customer feedback, this new system is a world first – a work-anywhere, global employee safety monitoring system with total detection capacity.

Highly configurable for every organisation, G7 warns both the user and live monitoring personnel of environmental exposure risks to both toxic and explosive gases. G7 is a true ‘Internet of Things’ tool with wireless communications and location technology to empower real-time emergency response and evacuation management.

Traditional gas detectors work in isolation and only alert the worker of imminent danger. Now, with G7, a team of responders is alerted in real time if an employee hasn’t moved for a specific period of time and can pinpoint their exact location.

With the responders also receiving the gas concentration data readings from the worker’s G7, any rescue can be undertaken with pre-entry knowledge of conditions and risks in the area. Two-way voice communication enables monitoring personnel to speak directly with the employee through a built-in, industrial grade speakerphone. G7 uses a combination of assisted GPS and proprietary indoor location technology to display a fallen or injured employee’s exact location on an interactive map, enabling monitoring personnel to direct responses quickly and accurately.

​The G7 is the first device anywhere that works straight out of the box to: Automatically detect when someone is not moving, either from a fall, accident or health incident so that help can be immediately deployed. 

Empower evacuations with mass notifications by speakerphone or text message, while accounting for the location of every employee through to emergency assembly point.

Support customisation using interchangeable gas sensor cartridges with a choice of single or multiple gases (hydrogen sulphide, oxygen, combustible gases, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and ammonia).

The G7 is available in three models: 

G7c Standard
  • Ideal for monitoring all personnel, lone workers and actively managing evacuations.
  • Functionality includes:
  • Always-connected 2G/3G wireless
  • GPS and indoor location technology
  • Automatic incident detection
  • Manual safety triggers
  • Two-way voice and text message communications.

G7c Single-gas and G7c Quad-gas:
  • All of the Standard model functionality 
  • Your choice of LEL, O2, H2S, CO, NH3 or CO2 gas sensors as either single or four gas options. 

All three models will be available from BLACKRIDGE Solutions early in 2017. For further information contact us at (778) 686-5799 or info@BlackridgeSolutions.com.