Simply the best Lone Worker/Man Down solution available. The TPASS SC500 by Grace Industries has been integrated into MAXtrax. When equipped with a correctly positioned external vehicle antenna there is an effective range of up to 1.6 Kilometres (1 mile), depending on local conditions. These devices are rugged and CSA/UL listed for I.S. environments, download spec sheet below.
A number of options exist which allow GPS tracking systems to be used for monitoring Lone Worker/Man Down scenarios. The majority of options introduced in the last few years include the use of small dongles or card type devices which are carried or attached to the personnel being monitored. These devices offer a wide variety of features depending on the solution provider. All of them suffer when it comes to range. The range can be up to 100 meters (330 feet) but most can at best achieve 30 meters (100 feet) coverage under ideal conditions.
Please note that all solutions that utilize any device meant to be carried or attached to field personnel suffer from the same limitations. As these devices utilize radio transmitters, on various bands and frequencies, the signal from the device to the vehicle or from the vehicle to the device can be easily blocked or interfered with making system reliability hit and miss. Any radio transceiver is subject to limitations in coverage due to transmitter power, receiver sensitivity, and real world obstructions such as hills, earth embankments, gully's, and dense foliage. Any metal structure will interfere with these devices to some degree and far too often they will completely block the transmissions. With some solutions that provide a simple in cab receiver rather than an externally mounted antenna, simply being on the wrong side of the vehicle can defeat the ability of the system to function as desired.
In addition to obstructions, SCADA systems and Wi-Fi systems, other computer PLC type systems at various sites utilize radio frequencies which often interfere with the dongle transmissions.
Due to the above listed items, if you need to monitor the wellbeing of your field personnel you cannot depend 100% on any device that must communicate back to any network service via non-cellular or satellite system radio transmissions. As an example, if in the event an employee is carrying a man down dongle and something happens rendering them incapable of getting back to the vehicle and the signal from the dongle can't communicate with the in vehicle system, no alert will be sent out. The employee can be disabled and in need of medical attention for hours before someone may notice the employee hasn't called in or their vehicle hasn't moved from the location.
Man down dongles can provide a false sense of security. You may believe "if the employee is injured or incapacitated someone will be alerted won't they?" Not necessarily. As outlined above someone can be incapacitated for hours or even days with no one knowing about the situation because a man down dongle is out of range, the battery has died or it's simply on the wrong side of a metal building.
We suggest using the best possible combination for Lone Worker monitoring, the SC500 Man Down device combined with an in vehicle Button activated system. By utilizing the features within existing MAXtrax tracking devices mounted in vehicle, a button/light combination is mounted in an easy to reach area of the vehicle interior, usually on the dash. When an employee gets into the vehicle at the beginning of their shift they simply activate the system by holding down a button for 5 seconds, the light will blink indicating the system is active. Now at any point when the vehicle is stopped, with the ignition on or off, the device starts an internal timing sequence. For this example, the employee needs to push the button every 45 minutes after the vehicle has come to a stop. At the 40 minute mark a number of external options can be activated, lights or a horn for example, to alert the employee he needs to check in. The employee then has 5 minutes within which to return to the vehicle and push the button for three seconds which resets the process. If for any reason the employee cannot return to the vehicle and reset the system, at the 45 minute mark an alert is sent out to MAXtrax which then handles this alert in a manner chosen by the client. In the meantime, the lights or horn will continue to draw attention to the vehicle which is very desirable under the circumstances. At the end of their shift or if they are taking a break, they simply hold the button for 5 seconds to disarm the system.
By utilizing the two systems, SC500 and in vehicle button, the employee is now covered as far as possible. In the event that something happens and they cannot move as long as the TPASS device is within range of the vehicle and alert is sent out immediately. If the signal is blocked then the in vehicle system will send out an alert when the button isn't pressed in time. While it may take 45 minutes to send this alert, the option is that no alert is sent at all and an injured employee may be in the field for hours or even days before anyone is aware that something has happened.
Timing for in vehicle system activation and alert timer resetting are easily programmed to the individual clients needs as are the items which are used to alert the driver to reset the system and or draw attention to a vehicle.
By utilizing the TPASS SC500 and MAXtrax in vehicle Lone Worker solution you have the greatest possible coverage to ensure you're employees are safe.
SC500 Details: Download Spec Sheet