FallSafety Year in Review

Our Apple Watch Fall Detection shipped in September to help protect people at work and at home. Apple Watch Series 2, 3, and 4 are supported. We are now ready to take our industry leading fall detection to more devices.

FallSafety Apple Watch alerts and alarms protect people from more than falls. We also support heart rate monitoring. See our powerful Apple Watch solutions for how they connect people with help when they need it.

New worker safety and iPhone personal safety apps were released throughout the year, with more safety protocols and capabilities. WorkerSafety Pro, LoneWorker Pro, and FallSafety Home joined FallSafety Pro for the benefit of people working in large organizations or working alone including health care professionals.

The FallSafety dashboard was upgraded to make central management of thousands of users in a multi-tiered hierarchical organization easier and faster. The Dashboard makes quick work of onboarding, management, and safety monitoring for organizations.

New safety functionality named “Scheduled Check-Ins” protects people even when they are offline. This allows remote workers and people in areas with poor or no internet connectivity to remain protected throughout the day. Companies appreciate knowing that their employee safety is being checked throughout the day.

Android FallSafety Pro safety app improvements were released too including worker down (man down) detection and a Send for Help (panic) button.

As we enter 2019, we look forward to protecting more people at work and at home as well as helping companies reduce risk. We have now provided over 2.5 million hours of safety monitoring.

To learn more, contact us at info@fallsafetyapp.com.

WorkerSafety Pro protects employee safety at Alinta’s Wagerup gas plant

Employees at Alinta Energy’s Wagerup power station, 124km south of Perth, will be the first in Australia to receive iPhones loaded with a new safety application, WorkerSafety Pro, to help detect falls or worker down, manage safety check-ins, provide GPS location and direct assistance in an emergency.

Every year the West Australian electricity, gas, water and waste services industries record around 550 work related lost time injuries and diseases. While falls in the industry are infrequent, the severity of these incidents has worsened since 2012-13[1].

Jeff Ey, who oversees operations at Alinta Energy’s Wagerup power station said part of the difficulty in reducing the severity of the incidents is monitoring and responding to issues that occur when people are working alone or in remote locations.

“If someone is working at our plant alone at night, they are required to check in every hour via text. However, if they have a fall one minute into that hour, we may not be able to detect an issue for at least another 59 minutes – which is a very long time in an emergency.”

“That’s why we went looking for innovative technologies to help monitor our employees’ safety and alert us and emergency services if something goes wrong,” he said.

Jeff reached out to several solution providers, and started a discussion with U.S. company Tidyware, the makers of WorkerSafety Pro. Their health & safety system connects at-risk workers, employers and emergency response providers through its patent-pending software platform that uniquely leverages the sensors in iPhones and Android phones.

“I think the technology is great; and it’s nice to see it being used for more sophisticated applications than counting steps. We can use it for people working in high-risk work environments, for what’s called journey management (when our employees check-in while they’re travelling), or for fall safety,” he said.

Founder and CEO of Tidyware (www.tidyware.com), Philip Carmichael, said his company believes that pairing WorkerSafety Pro with smartphones provides an easy way to better protect workers and achieve higher uptake and lower costs for employers.

“Past safety technologies have required workers to manage and carry extra devices, in addition to their tools and phone. Smartphone hardware is now more sophisticated. Combined with our safety system, we can offer a much more powerful and meaningful application for the workplace than simply health and fitness. No other solution can provide the level of enhanced safety through detection, monitoring and response time,” said Carmichael. “We are pleased to work with a company like Alinta, who makes it a priority to protect their employees with smart technology that can improve safety protocols.”

Alinta Energy is considering WorkerSafety Pro for additional generation sites.

See Alinta staff stay connected with personal safety app for article.

Media contact
Julian Polachek, 0403 590 339, julian.polachek@alintaenergy.com.au

[1] Government of Western Australia Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety WorkSafe, 2017, Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services Industry Profile (ANZSIC2006) Work Related Lost Time Injuries and Diseases in WA 2011-12 to 2015-16, https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/atoms/files/03_utilities_2017.pdf

Lone Workers and how they affect your business

FallSafety Roofing Inspector at risk of falls at height

Lone Workers Need Protection

A Lone Worker is an employee who performs an activity that is carried out in isolation from other workers without close or direct supervision. Such staff are exposed to increased risk because there is no one to assist them. The US, Canada and many other countries have regulations around an employer’s responsibility to Lone Workers that every company should be aware of for their country and locality.

The largest safety hazard to Lone Workers is the risk of falling. Workers can quite easily be knocked unconscious by falls, and their lives are at risk while in this vulnerable state. Someone who has been knocked unconscious can drown, die from inability to breathe due to body position, and be hurt by objects in the environment that can no longer be avoided.

Workers could also suffer from concussions that they are unaware of, and may resume work in an impaired state. This can lead to another fall or other serious accident. It is imperative that someone other than the worker is made aware of a fall immediately, and can assess physical and cognitive condition.

Fall danger facts

According to OSHA’s 2015 report, approximately 1 in 5 reported fatalities were fall related.1

The CDC found that, based on 14 years of NTOF surveillance data, “falls from elevations were the fourth leading cause of occupational fatalities from 1980 through 1994.” 2

According to the World Health Organization, “Falls are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide.” 3

Falls are a serious danger and are the second leading cause of death in the construction industry. We know that unless workers are securely tied to something at all times, which is impossible, falls are always a risk. Prevention is very important, but to save lives when it fails, response time is the key.

A study by Columbia University shows how important it is to respond quickly to an accident. The results show that “response times significantly affect mortality.” In this study, an increase of one minute in response time increased mortality by between 8 and 17 percent. 4

As you can see, it is essential for employers to be alerted to accidents for the purpose of responding to them rapidly.

What this means to an employer

In OSHA’s guide for protecting roofing workers, the following is required of employers.

“Emergency Action Plan (EAP) Employers must train workers in any emergency action plan required by OSHA standards (29 CFR 1926.35(e)(2)). EAPs must include, among other information, the preferred means of reporting emergencies and procedures for evacuating the area (29 CFR 1926.35(b)). Workers should always know the street address of where they are working in case they need to give emergency services their location. Post the site street address and emergency contact information in prominent locations. This will allow workers to quickly contact emergency services with necessary information.” 5

Many employers are unaware of their Lone Worker legal responsibilities. Some important Federal regulations to be aware of include:

OSHA 1915.84(a) Except as provided in § 1915.51(c)(3) of this part, whenever an employee is working alone, such as in a confined space or isolated location, the employer shall account for each employee:

1915.84(a)(1) Throughout each work shift at regular intervals appropriate to the job assignment to ensure the employee’s safety and health; and

1915.84(a)(2) At the end of the job assignment or at the end of the work shift, whichever occurs first.

1915.84(b) The employer shall account for each employee by sight or verbal communication. 6

On Canada’s Prince Edward Island the Occupational Health & Safety Act requires this:

The employer must provide a written procedure that “details of the means by which a worker who is working alone can secure, and the employer can provide, assistance in the event of injury or other circumstances that may endanger the health or safety of the worker.” Other areas in Canada are under similar regulations and we recommend that you check on them for your locality. Do you have this requirement met? Another thing to think about is how can you meet this requirement for a worker who has suffered unconsciousness?

Notice the federal requirement for accounting for each employee “at regular intervals appropriate to the job assignment to ensure the employee’s safety and health”. Canada shares some similar check in requirements. In this case, what does that mean? Every hour or every 15 minutes? It appears to be up to the employer; without some form of automated monitoring system, check-ins would need to be more frequent.

Since a reasonable amount of time can leave dangerous gaps in which a worker could fall (e.g. A worker falls 10 minutes after an hourly check in and is left in peril for 50 minutes), the best way to meet this requirement is by using a communications-based immediate response system.

Cost to company

The cost to a company of a worker falling is enormous. OSHA says this about fall costs:

“Direct costs include workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses, and costs for legal services. Examples of indirect costs include training replacement employees, accident investigation and implementation of corrective measures, lost productivity, repairs of damaged equipment and property, and costs associated with lower employee morale and absenteeism.” 8

Financial costs to a company from a fall-related death are the smallest consequence. A Lone Worker who is routinely at height, on slippery surfaces, or around other dangers that create vulnerability to a fall, is of long-term value to the company on a professional and personal level. To lose someone on the job when a rapid response could have saved them is a tragedy. Fall safety is insured by immediate detection and rapid response. This knowledge can save lives and protect your business.

The Solution

If your workers use iPhones, then a great solution is software, because you already own state of the art equipment with all of the capabilities needed for an immediate response system. FallSafety is an app available on iPhone that will detect falls as soon as they happen and notify emergency contacts within seconds so that rescue can be sent. It automatically provides their GPS location in an emergency.

This application will turn your workers’ mobile devices into automated Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Contact us now, and we will give you your first month free, as one of our early adopters of a new level of safety.

Washing Windows Alone at Height

Window cleaner at risk from ladder fall who could use FallSafety

Automatic Fall Detection From Ladders

Window cleaners have great job security because people love clean windows and glass needs to be cleaned regularly. Many of these windows are on a second story or even higher which puts window cleaners at risk of a fall. Window cleaners who have been in the business for a while have fallen or know someone who has. As a result, it’s important to prevent falls and detect them if they do happen.

A professional window cleaner is no stranger to ladders and often has to work alone. Even if cleaning with a water fed pole system, skylights and other windows need to be cleaned from a ladder or from a roof. Even with the buddy system, when working in pairs, there is a risk of an undetected fall. Many times a person cleaning windows inside would not see or hear a person cleaning windows outside if they were to fall.

There are safety laws around this work that are designed to protect workers including:

 

4 feet is considered a fall hazard (OSHA 1910.23)

Fall protection is required at any height over 6 feet (OSHA 1926.500)

You need a safety plan to handle these dangers (WAC 296-878-14005)

 

Most of these laws rely on fall prevention training and fall protection equipment. Accidents happen in spite of this and it is good to have a backup that will make sure help comes in the event of a fall.

At 4 feet a person can easily sustain a head injury from a fall. In this situation it is very important that someone checks for a concussion and gets medical help when needed. How will this happen if no one knows that they fell?

FallSafety is a smartphone app that is engineered for residential window cleaners because of their substantial risk above the fall hazard height. In the event of a fall, emergency contacts will be notified about the fall with location information. An emergency contact can also speak with the person working in the field to make sure they are ok.

Falls are a serious danger and are the second leading cause of death in the construction industry. We know that unless workers are securely tied to something at all times, which is impossible, falls are always a risk. Prevention is very important, but to save lives when it fails, response time is the key.

Peace of Mind ★★★★★
“ My husband, who works on roofs everyday, most often alone, uses this app. Knowing that if he falls, I as well as his boss, will be notified, feels almost like he is always working with someone even when he isn’t. This app doesn’t eliminate the risk of falling, but does reduce the amount I worry about him while he is at work. ”

FallSafety Pro is a cost effective way to gain potentially life saving capabilities from the fall monitoring and fall detection system because it uses a smartphone. For $6.99 for the app, the cost of a cup of coffee, the fall monitoring equipment that can cover an individual or scale to a whole organization. The $6.99 a month FallSafety Service is also recommended for individuals and organizations to provide text and voice notifications, automatic check-ins, and other useful features.

This fall detection solution is very easy to use. You can see it in action in one of our tests. If a person does fall, a countdown timer begins. After the countdown timer a fall detected notification can be sent by email, text, and voice message to emergency contacts. If the person that fell is ok then they can send an all-clear message to their emergency contacts as an easy way to let them all know that they are ok.

Fall Safety All Clear Message
FallSafety has been rigorously tested with the “Fall Guy” test dummy. 100s of test falls have been performed to verify fall scenarios including unarrested falls, arrested falls, pendulum falls, and sliding falls. More fall testing information is available on the FallSafety Pro website and by email request.

FallSafety Pro detects falls as long as a wi-fi or cellular internet connection is available. If internet is unavailable the app will display a message indicating there is no data connection.

You can learn more about the app on the FallSafety Pro website or in the App store and Google Play store.