Keep running. Keep turning. Keep safe

Posted on 5 Apr 2014 by Callum Bentley

Chris Potts, marketing director at ANT Telecom, presents a must-attend webinar for anyone looking to improve plant uptime and lone worker safety in their plant.

Building on ANT Telecom’s unique communications technology experience, ANT Telecom’s Marketing Director Chris Potts will show how ANT has worked with Severn Trent Water and other UK companies to improve lone-worker safety and staff flexibility at their first UK webinar, on Wednesday 16th April 2014.

Using real-world examples, the webinar will show how ANT’s experience has helped key UK companies:

  • Use communications technology to improve alarm relay speed, improving maintenance and repair times around the plant
  • Improve lone-worker safety, while helping staff work as efficiently as possible

Improve alarm relaying

Normally, alerts and alarms are received in the plant control room, where staff relay each alarm manually. This is a time-consuming task, requiring round-the-clock maintenance in some cases and tying up manpower and expertise that could be put to use in other areas of the plant. Delays in communication can also hamper repairs, increasing total downtime in a plant and damaging productivity.

In addition, the diverse environments across the plant present a range of challenges to communications equipment. Electromagnetic interference from machinery may render standard GSM technology or basic radio equipment inoperable, for example. In some environments there may even be specialist requirements, such as ATEX certification, which equipment has to meet in order to be used. If a plant’s communications systems are not reliable, or cannot be used across the whole site, then response times to alerts (either from the control room or from other colleagues) will be slowed, possibly hampering productivity, efficiency and, of course, safety.

Keep lone workers safe

In an industrial environment, lone workers may be maintenance staff working alone, night staff monitoring alarm systems out of hours, or even site managers in locations where they are the only staff member present. These individuals work in a variety of environments that make keeping them in touch with colleagues, and locating them in an emergency, a challenge. Electromagnetic interference may block communications, and in many cases the sheer size or remoteness of the location or the fact that a site is underground can make communication and location of individuals problematic. If these issues are not addressed, the effectiveness of your lone workers can suffer because they are unable to communicate with their colleagues reliably. It can also make their work more hazardous; if they’re injured, rescue may be delayed because your people monitoring the site are unaware that there has been an accident and don’t know the casualty’s location.

In such an event, the ability of a lone worker system to send alarms to colleagues so the worker can be located and rescued is critical. A variety of different methods to raise an alarm in an emergency exist; panic buttons allow lone workers to quickly request help, even if they cannot talk or be heard. ‘Tilt’ sensors, which trigger an alarm if they sense the wearer falling over, as well as systems that raise an alarm if the staff member does not reply to a message sent at pre-arranged intervals, have an advantage in that they work even if the lone worker has been rendered unconscious or is otherwise unable to raise the alarm themselves.

A tailored solution is best

Only rarely will a “one system fits all approach”  to either of these issues be effective. The working environments you deal with every day will often require multiple technologies to ensure effective communication, but the quantity of offerings on the market makes finding those solutions complex. ANT Telecom’s consultative approach makes the process far easier; by taking time to understand the unique requirements of your business, they can design a solution tailored to those needs from a range of sytems such as  GSM, IP DECT,  digital radio and  PMN. Partnering with ANT will help you find the right solution for your plant.

On Wednesday 16th April, at 1pm, ANT Telecom is hosting a webinar to show you the benefits a tailor-built communications solution can deliver a business like yours. With 30 years’ experience working with the likes of pharmaceutical giants AstraZeneca and Severn Trent Water, this is a must-attend event for anyone who is interested in helping their business keep turning, keep running, and keep safe. To sign up for the webinar, visit