Blackline expands safety monitoring service for worker protection
EP&T MagazineAutomation / Robotics Electronics Engineering Software industrial safety software
Announces plans to increase monitoring staff, open new Safety Operations Centre in France
In response to growing demand for employee protection and a one-stop solution to keep workers safe on the job, Blackline Safety Corp., a Calgary-based leader in connected safety technology, has announced a major expansion of its round-the-clock safety monitoring service.
The expansion includes growing the Blackline Safety Operations Centre (SOC) – the only in-house safety monitoring service operated by a connected safety vendor, which operates 24-7, 365 days a year – by increasing the company’s specially-trained monitoring staff to meet rising user demand in North America.
First European in-house SOC
The company will also launch its first European in-house SOC in France this spring to better serve international customers.
“The more the world becomes a connected place, the more businesses are looking for a seamless, end-to-end consolidation of employee safety services,” said Sherrie Sawkey, Blackline Safety Director of Global Safety Operations, noting that the company expects to see a 100 per cent increase in the number of connected devices monitored due to the expansion.
With the market for lone worker protection in North America and Europe combined estimated to reach more than 260 million in 2022, Sawkey explained that the need for enhanced, consolidated monitoring services is on the rise.
Centre has experienced steady growth
“Employers want to deal with one vendor for hardware, software and monitoring because it leaves less room for error when every second counts, and that’s where we have a distinct advantage,” she explained. “As a result, we’re looking to expand the number of our monitoring agents by up to 50 per cent.”
Launched in 2015 to focus exclusively on safety monitoring through Blackline connected devices, the Blackline SOC is staffed by professionally-trained agents who are experienced in managing safety alerts – including skillfully handling gas and lone worker incidents – from receipt through to resolution by following each customer’s unique emergency response protocol and involving local first responders as needed. Since then, the centre has experienced steady growth, increasing from two agents to 20, who currently handle 800 to 1,000 alerts daily from more than 37,000 connected devices, including both wearable and fixed safety monitors.
High standards in safety monitoring
In 2021, after transitioning its dedicated command centre to a remote workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blackline SOC managed, handled, responded to a record 250,000 alerts for the year, the majority of which were related to high gas levels or missed check-ins. Only 20 of those alerts escalated to the point where local emergency services were contacted through the 9-1-1 emergency network, with Blackline agents using the company’s advanced technology to direct first responders to the exact location of the employees involved.
“We are committed to providing the highest standards in safety monitoring and ensuring the safety of all our users, so they return home safe and unharmed,” said Sawkey. “The fact that such a small percentage of alerts ended up requiring outside intervention shows that our technology does what it’s designed to do: prevent emergencies before they happen.”
Blackline’s technology is cloud-based, featuring GPS-enabled safety sensors and devices that leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect workers to live monitoring. The platform includes high-performance emergency response and evacuation management capabilities as well as contract tracing. It connects employees with software that pinpoints their location, enables back-and-forth information sharing and collects vital data, making it possible to detect the exact location of a gas leak or determine how often workers are travelling through high-risk areas. The company’s wearables are offered in two robust models — one connected via a cellular network and another via satellite.