Field crews at our Illawarra Metallurgical Coal operation often spend their days in isolated water catchment areas measuring close to 200km2 in size, completing work such as environmental monitoring.

To help us ensure their safety, we’ve teamed up with local start-up 152hq to use mobile app technology to monitor the location and safety of employees in real time.

The Safe-halo app can be downloaded onto any smart phone, and then reports an employee’s movements, removing the need for employees to manually provide data to communicate with the control room.

The app also provides alerts and has a man-down button, and countdown timers that generate SMS and email alerts related to an employee’s scheduled return.

In the event of intermittent signal, Safe-halo stores GPS coordinates within the smart phone’s memory, and uploads this data back to the cloud as soon as mobile signal is received.

Superintendent Brownfields Exploration Richard Walsh said the Safe-halo app helped to keep employees safe out in the field, while also reducing the workload of the crews.

“This app automates tasks like logging an entry register into the catchment and continually updating location, so employees are free to get on with their work,” he said.

“So this is a win-win in terms of safety and efficiency gains.”

Employees can ‘set and forget’ the Safe-halo application so it only operates between certain hours on selected days, allowing them to maintain their privacy when they’re away from work.