Lone worker protection: alarm notifications with minimal effort

Companies that employ lone workers must ensure their safety at all times. In case of an emergency it must be ensured that help can be called quickly and that the exact location of the worker is known.

 Therefore, the experts at ECOM Instruments, a Pepperl+Fuchs brand, have developed the eSENTINEL app. With this app, safety for employees can be significantly increased with little effort. The aim in designing eSENTINEL was to provide users with basic security measures for day-to-day use. It is the ideal tool for lone workers or people working in high-risk situations. A mobile device and the app are all the worker needs. Thanks to low installation effort and acquisition costs, eSENTINEL can be easily integrated into existing company infrastructures.

Alarm at the touch of a button – or automatically

In case of an emergency, things must happen quickly. The handling of the eSENTINEL app is simple but effective. This way, no valuable time is lost when a digital call for help is sent. With ECOM terminal devices such as Smart-Ex 02 or Tab-Ex 02 the app is linked to the red emergency button on the hardware. With third-party hardware, a red emergency button is shown on the display. This enables the worker to send an alarm notification in a dangerous situation in a flash.

Some work assignments take place in environments where workers are only allowed to stay for a limited period of time for safety reasons. If, for example, extreme temperatures prevail or toxic gases are present in the room, a longer stay can be life-threatening. For these cases, the eSENTINEL app provides a timer function. The worker sets the pre-set time before entering the area. When the time has elapsed, the application notifies the user before the alarm is triggered. The worker can now deactivate this so-called "pre-alarm" notification by pressing a button. If he does not do so, the app will trigger a real alarm.

Even without a time limit, the app automatically processes various data provided by special sensors on the hardware. If an anomaly is detected by one of them, the app also triggers a pre-alarm. For example, this happens if the gyroscope detects a change of the tilt angle to a predefined position. A pre-alarm is also triggered if the terminal device does not register any movement for a certain period, which could mean that the worker is immobilized or unconscious. If the worker does not react to the alarm, the app automatically informs a pre-defined contact by e-mail, SMS, or call.

Receiver and localization

If an alarm notification is triggered, the app automatically determines the device’s location via GPS and submits it to the contact points, which must be alarmed. The location is transmitted either by e-mail or SMS. However, the localization function can be switched off at any time. During normal operation, eSENTINEL does not collect and store GPS or any other personal data. 

One method of alerting the company's switchboard, a colleague working nearby, or the emergency service is the automatic call function. The call continues until it is answered. For this purpose, several contact numbers are stored and hierarchically organized within the app. If a contact cannot be reached, the next person is alerted and so on. With SMS alerting, the app sends a message directly to all stored numbers. This ensures that the alarm notification is seen.

Automatic start and password protection

To ensure the operation of the eSENTINEL app and there for the protection of the lone worker, it can be configured to run automatically at system start-up. To prevent the user from accidentally misplacing contact numbers or similar the app is equipped with password protection.

eSENTINEL can be pre-installed on selected ECOM terminals, such as the Smart-Ex 02 and Tab-Ex 02, on request. For other smart devices, the app can be licensed online via the ECOM Digital Products division to be implemented on the end devices. To get to know the advantages of the App, ECOM offers a four-week free test phase. During the test phase all functions are available. After the test phase the app can be easily licensed for further usage. 

www.ecom-ex.com