Case Studies | Worker Safety
Remote workforces and heavy machinery require fail-safe communication services.
DDH1 Drilling provides drilling services to the resources sector and manages a large, remote workforce using heavy machinery throughout Australia in an environment where safety is paramount. Effective communication at all times is crucial to ensure safe operation of drilling rigs and welfare of personnel.
Pivotel supplied DDH1 with SPOT tracking devices for remote staff and drilling rigs, combined with the Tracertrak portal system to monitor movements of all staff and assets at a glance, complimented by satellite phones to allow further communication as required.
“They serve the purpose for the safety factor, they’re cost-effective and the tracking is very reliable. They are very simple to use. It’s a very reliable communication system. ”
Dennis Wescott, Special Projects Manager, DDH1 Drilling
The Business Challenge
DDH1 Drilling employs nearly 550 staff, around 500 of whom are out in the field working in remote areas at any one time. Safety is the number one priority in an industry that uses heavy machinery in challenging environments, often a long way from help. “Every employee goes through a series of education and training modules,” says Dennis Wescott, DDH1’s Special Projects Manager.
Due to the nature of drilling operations and the remoteness of the sites, mobile phones don’t work, and even if coverage was available, they wouldn’t meet DDH1’s safety requirements. DDH1 needed a simple, cost-effective solution to monitor all assets and staff around the clock and at a glance.
The Business Solution
Utilising handheld SPOT Gen3 satellite messaging devices and Pivotel’s Tracertrak management portal, staff can be tracked and reach out for assistance, urgent or otherwise, with ease, giving DDH1 the constant monitoring capability they require.
DDH1 also use satellite phones when and where required, complementing their communications system and allowing users to respond to any eventuality.
“It was back in 2011 when I was first introduced to the Tracertrak system through our safety management team and was given the task of trying to improve comms and safety within our workforce” says Dennis Wescott.
DDH1 started with a handful of SPOT Gen2 personnel safety units and now have more than 100 Gen3 devices out in the field.
“They’re used in two ways. Some people have their devices personally allocated, and then we have dedicated devices for drill rigs. We are using them in conjunction with our travel plans. If someone’s doing a remote trip or travelling by themselves, we have travel plans with their estimated arrival time.” says Dennis
“They already carry a satellite phone, and we give them a SPOT device as well. It’s another safety back up for us, providing communications for people who are remotely located. Any remote field staff that leave the office takes a SPOT Gen3 with them, sometimes it doesn’t need a phone call, it’s just pressing the okay button. We have someone in the office tracking the system 24/7.”
The SPOT Gen3 devices and Tracertrak system have proven ideal for meeting DDH1’s communication needs.
“They serve the purpose for the safety factor, they’re cost-effective and the tracking is very reliable,” says Dennis. “They are very simple to use. It’s a very reliable communication system.”
While it is comforting to have this comprehensive communications system in place, it is even better when you don’t have to use it. “We’ve used the help button on one occasion over all this time where someone was in difficulty in the middle of nowhere,” says Dennis.
“He used it in the right manner, and we were able to facilitate help quickly. We have rigs throughout the country and we have mechanics travelling around the country. We’re able to despatch someone who is closest.”
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