Promoting Field Worker Safety and Enhancing Training
Companies in the utility industry go to great expense to outfit, deploy, and train field workers. Connected Worker technology helps these companies use on-site resources more efficiently using remote expert guidance, picture and video capture, digital workflows, AR/VR capabilities, and more. Through a connected wearable, smartphone, or tablet and customized software, field workers leverage two-way visual and verbal communication, as well as optional hands-free functionality for improved safety, greater access to information, and more efficient training.
How CBT is Helping a Utility Company Keep Field Workers Up to Date on Standards and Training Using Connected Worker
Field workers at utility companies face many challenges when working on-site. Many utility companies are behind the times when it comes to technology, expecting their frontline workers to use clipboards and spreadsheets to conduct inspections and record data. Multiple trucks with teams of workers often need to be deployed to a single worksite at great expense. These workers also lack visibility into underground infrastructure.
Utility workers need to perform maintenance and inspections under hazardous conditions, including underground and at great heights. Connected Worker technology enables them to access information using hands-free capabilities so they can focus on their work and surrounding conditions. With the ability to view schematics, workers can avoid hitting a line and causing a leak or explosion.
When utility workers are being trained, the trainer needs to be in the same piece of equipment, on an adjacent piece of equipment, or on the ground nearby. Field workers also need a realistic, hands-on training experience. Connected Worker enables remote mentoring from subject matter experts who can share the perspective of the trainee. The technology can also create an augmented reality (AR) experience for training, using 3D modeling and on-screen annotation.
Outfitting and deploying whole teams of workers to a worksite to conduct repairs and maintenance can be costly. Sending one truck out into the field can run into tens of thousands of dollars. Connected Worker enables a single worker to do the job of an entire team. The connected headset allows a field worker to communicate with other team members and supervisors wherever they are located, maximizing human resources.
Working with pen and paper is highly inefficient. Many field workers are forced to consult spreadsheets, schematics, and blueprints while on-site. If frontline workers are missing information, they need to travel back and forth to collect it or have a supervisor come to the site, delaying work. Connected Worker makes it easy to access information from databases at company headquarters. The headset allows field workers to communicate directly with subject matter experts in real time.
Compliance regulations in the utilities industry can change daily, and companies must comply or face stiff fines. Field workers must conduct inspections —such as how welds are performed and what materials are used to make repairs — that vary by type of utility. With Connected Worker, field workers get compliance updates in real time. Workers have hands-free access to the most current regulations.