Case Studies | Worker Safety
Improving the safety of field workers operating in remote and isolated locations.
With workers operating for extended periods of time in remote locations across the country, Komatsu required a solution that would enable contact between remote workers and local branches, providing them with the ability to reach out for support in the event of an emergency.
Using Pivotel’s Tracertrak platform, Pivotel has allowed Komatsu’s Cairns branch to keep remote workers safe and vastly improve Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) compliance. This solution has been recognised by the wider organisation and other branches in Queensland, interstate and abroad are now implementing Pivotel’s technology.
“The solution is not just a necessity; it now forms part of the way we do business. There’s no excuse to work with limited safety and communications anymore. The simplicity of Pivotel’s technology and the great support we’ve received was key to our success. ”
Kate Pemberton, Branch Manager, Komatsu Cairns
The Business Challenge
As a supplier and servicer of mining and earthmoving equipment to Australian quarry, mining and farming ventures, remote field operation is an important aspect of Komatsu’s business. This requires staff to travel and work in locations where access to cellular coverage or Ultra High Frequency (UHF) is limited or does not exist.
Komatsu is familiar with the challenges faced by remotely located workers with staff uncontactable for up to four days at a time when on location, leaving them exposed to a catalogue of safety risks.
Striving to be proactive when it comes to safety, Komatsu’s branch in Cairns recognised the need to improve the safety of field workers and made it a priority to find an effective communications solution.
The branch set up an internal team in 2015 to drive the investigation for a solution that would improve the company’s Occupational Health, Safety and Environment (OHS&E) compliance and prioritise the safety of workers. The primary OHS&E issues identified by the local team were that remote workers could not be ‘visualised’ in the field and weren’t able to inform branch staff of emergencies in real-time.
Komatsu’s Branch Manager for Cairns, Kate Pemberton, said satellite phones were thought to be the only available solution, but this was not a comprehensive answer to Komatsu’s communication issues.
“Simplicity and ease of use was critical to our chosen safety solution, but we also needed technology that would accommodate the daily multi-tasking and changing priorities of our staff,” Kate said.
“We wanted to streamline branch operations by creating a central touchpoint for all remote workers.”
The Business Solution
Pivotel was engaged to provide the Komatsu Cairns team with a comprehensive worker safety management solution.
Utilising hand-held SPOT Gen3 satellite messaging devices and Pivotel’s Tracertrak management portal, staff can be tracked, report progress updates and reach out for assistance to the branch, urgent or otherwise, with ease.
Tracertrak also allows Komatsu’s workers to check in regularly both in transit and on arrival at their destination to provide assurance to staff and loved ones.
The solution was received well by staff who saw the technology as an easy-to-use tool that would drastically increase workplace safety.
For branch management, Pivotel’s technology was a cost-effective and engaging solution which allowed greater OHS&E compliance and round-the-clock monitoring of field workers to ensure safety.
Introduction of this technology allowed peace of mind to extend from the remote workers themselves to staff at the branch and on to families and loved ones of the workers on location.
Pivotel’s Tracertrak technology has enabled full visualisation of Komatsu workers in the field. The Cairns branch has created a remote driving plan for effective use of Pivotel’s technology which allows internal staff to monitor all SOS and help messages sent out by remote workers.
“I can't stress enough the peace of mind for our team knowing our remote working staff now have tools at their disposal to get help when needed,” Kate said.
“We as a company are confident that using Pivotel’s technology is helping to provide workers with a level of safety and support they deserve and have lacked in previous years.” The local branch was active in promoting the solution, which resulted in interest and uptake from other Queensland branches, including Mt Isa, Townsville, Mackay, Gladstone, Emerald, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, as well as other branches around the country including Darwin, Port Hedland, Newman, Bunbury, Kalgoorlie and Geraldton.
Komatsu is now looking to roll out Pivotel’s technology into branches across Australia and New Zealand.
One-way satellite communications with SOS on Tracertrak.
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