Connected Solutions Protect Remote Workers
August 18, 2017
Companies in the oil and gas, energy and construction industries are using Honeywell connected worker solutions to improve the safety of their employees in remote work sites &endash; and improving efficiency in the bargain.
That's the assessment of several customers who participated in a panel discussion before dozens of participants who attended Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions' first Connected Worker Symposium, held in August in Charlotte, N.C.
The panel discussion included thought leaders and early adopters from the oil and gas, construction and energy sectors &endash; all industries that employ many remote workers, who perform their daily jobs out of regular contact with their companies, often in remote locations and out of cell phone range.
All the companies have deployed Honeywell's ConneXt Loneworker' solution to field workers, which integrates wireless portable gas monitors and personal protective equipment with cloud-based, location tracking technology and software analytics.
“The majority of our people spend their entire day, if not the entire workweek, out in the field where they may not see another soul, they're totally disconnected,” said Jake Kimery, a safety leader for Chesapeake Energy, a large U.S. oil and gas company with operations in several states. Using ConneXt Loneworker is like “someone watching your back. If you need assistance for any reason, it could be medical, personal or your vehicle breaks down, that option is available for you.”
Panel members predict more companies will adopt connected worker technology because it combines two key benefits &endash; a safer, connected worker and increased efficiency from the analytics and fleet management capabilities of the technology.
“We want to go to an enterprise and connect all of their mobile or remote assets,” explained Jeff Duffield, chief revenue officer of Trakopolis IOT Corporation, a Honeywell business partner that provides cloud technology and location tracking for Honeywell's Loneworker solution. “I always tell people that if something is worth over $10,000, and it's remote or it moves, then there is a return on investment for tracking that asset.”
In his opening remarks for the Symposium, John Waldron, president of Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS), highlighted the convergence of safety and efficiency that is driving the need for more connected solutions.
“Historically safety and productivity were thought of in isolation. There is a great opportunity to bring those together because people who are safer are more productive and those two things go together &endash; the condition of the worker and the work itself,” Waldron said. “We think some of the solutions we are putting in place achieve both ends and are quite interesting.”
The panel members cited several key areas where Honeywell can help drive further growth in connected solutions:
- Help customers define and determine the return on investment from connected worker solutions -- an essential step in getting companies to make the investment.
- Provide innovative technologies that meet customers' needs and are cost-effective.
- Collaborate with customers to help them translate the data and insights they get from connected solutions into actions that improve their safety and productivity.
“We need to get the information to the right people at the right time to drive the interventions that are going to stop accidents &endash; that's what it really is all about,” said Jeff Shoop, corporate health and safety executive at Bechtel.
While the panel members believe connected worker technology has arrived and is here to stay, the speakers also emphasized the need to ensure solutions are designed for the user, are simple to integrate into their daily work activities and that technology providers and employers help workers see the personal benefit the technology provides.
“The benefit to the enterprise [of connected solutions] is through the workforce,” said Dr. Karthik Subramanian, chief technology officer of Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), part of AECOM and a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy that manages radioactive and chemical waste. “In order to really realize the benefit to the enterprise, the workforce has to adopt it.”
All panelists agreed that we are past the tipping point for connected worker technologies and reinforced the need to one integrated solution for their workplace challenges around worker safety and productivity.