The CLR (Contamination Land & Remediation Expo) as part of the ESS 2023 will take place at NEC Birmingham on September 13 – 14, 2023. Supporting their UK partner LRES-UK, Access Technology Group will be there to promote and demonstrate their innovative and cost-efficient VISICS solutions to improve safety and efficiency of workers during maintenance activities.
The yearly Contamination & Land Remediation Expo is a must if you are dealing with contamination, remediation and everything in between. All aspects of contaminated sites, soils and materials, brownfield regeneration, management of hazardous substances, biodiversity and natural capital, analysis and laboratories and consulting services are covered.
The VISICS Reporting Tool is a web-based safety application built specifically for the needs and challenges faced during turnarounds, shutdowns and outages.
The Reporting Tool digitalizes turnaround reporting with an easy-to-use application allowing safety managers and other stakeholders to have greater insight into their operations. Utilizing the VISICS Reporting Tool allows users to generate detailed digital reports (incident, shift or DOR reports), investigate noted events, identify safety bottlenecks, track critical project data and more.
In the traditional way of working, shift data is paper-based, meaning information is recorded on paper, collected and then manually analyzed to determine critical information such as project progress/timeline and safety trends.
Utilizing paper in the industrial workplace naturally means:
information gets damaged – environmental conditions, water, dirt, etc.
information is wrongly documented – human error in reporting or reading reports
inability to analyze data – in a timely manner, with evidence of claims
process inefficiency – time-consuming, repetitive work
To combat these challenges, the Reporting Tool boasts features such as:
Standard digital reporting forms, stored centrally
Safety observation tally, to track safety infractions and identify bottlenecks (i.e missing gloves, missing helmet, etc)
Project information dashboard, an overview of the most critical project data such as special PPE requirements
The VISICS Reporting tool is now available for all VISICS projects, worldwide.
To request the Reporting Tool for your next project, contact:
Finding the right personnel to work in high risk industries is becoming increasingly difficult for managers these days. Why not use technology to improve safety and efficiency? The innovative solution called Digital Confined Space Solution we offer that reduces the labor burden while improving monitoring capabilities.
For years prior to the pandemic, energy sector observers warned of the need to attract and retain a skilled workforce. In 2019, the Global Energy Talent Index reported that labor shortages continued to grow due to multiple factors, including retirement and job shifts to more attractive sectors. COVID-19 only made matters worse as workers left the workforce with no intention of returning.
Technology to the Rescue
But like many other challenges posed by the COVID pandemic, labor ambiguity, costs and security measures can all be addressed with digital technologies that allow for greater flexibility, fewer staff and greater efficiency. Take, for example, Digital Confined Space Monitoring (DCSM). Traditionally, confined space surveillance is performed with one security officer monitoring one confined space (ratio 1-1)
Due to a lack of information from the inside of the confined space and historical working methods, traditional security guards are limited in their ability to act. Should an accident occur in a confined space, there are few resources to alert contractors inside and little information available to guide rescue personnel. This also makes it difficult to concretely identify the incident and learn from it.
With these working methods, sites planning for turnarounds must account for not only one safety attendant to every confined space, but also for standby firewatchers and rescue personnel, all whilst needing to reduce headcount, contact, and costs in the growing wake of the labor shortage. This is just a fraction of the new challenges faced by turnaround planners. So, how can contractors, planners, and operators emerge as industry leaders post-pandemic? Well, now, more than ever, may be the time for energy industries to seize digitalization opportunities.
To find solutions to labor shortage challenges, the first step is to identify your objectives. Common objectives shared amid the growing labor shortage during the global pandemic include:
These objectives can seem contradictory at first, especially when applying traditional business rationale, but when innovative thinking is applied and technology is factored in, the possibilities are endless. The trick is to simplify what your tangible objectives are. Digitalization, data, and technology can all be intimidating and complicated words—the results should not be. When thinking back to the example of confined space monitoring, achieving the mentioned objectives under today’s pressures can be relatively simple with DCSM technology.
Becoming a certified VISICS operator, how does this work? It all start at our VISICS Academy
the VISICS academy – the place to be for building and up-skilling your VISICS knowledge, featuring a blended learning approach, allows us to make the VISICS education program more flexible and accessible, as our operations continue to expand across the globe.
Episode 5, How to become a VISICS Operator
The design is based on the mobile first principle, allowing trainees to learn anytime, anywhere.
The structure is simple, each certification journey is divided into three sections:
Online training – including videos and interactive quizzes;
HQ training – practical training at the VISICS headquarters; and
Field training – applied learning and coaching in the field.
Once all sections of a journey have been completed a certificate will be awarded. That trainee may now operate self-standing.
With this initiative we’re looking forward to further supporting our partner’s operations.
If you would like more information about the VISICS academy, please contact our lead trainer.
For more information about VISICS Academy Training
Blackline Safety and Access Technology Group Partner for Confined Space Monitoring
Best practice protection for industry’s most at-risk worksite maintenance activities
May 25, 2022
Calgary, Canada — Blackline Safety Corp. (TSX: BLN) (“Blackline” or “Blackline Safety”), a global leader in connected safety technology, today announced it has partnered with Access Technology Group, a Dutch innovator in digital shutdowns and turnarounds, to integrate Blackline’s G7 EXO portable area gas monitors with Access Technology’s VISICS Digital Confined Space Monitoring system.
“Blackline Safety has over 1,000 customers around the world and through this partnership we are now able to link our equipment and live stream gas readings to the VISICS platform to support the new best practices of confined space monitoring and deliver even more value to our customers,” said Brendon Cook, Chief Partnership Officer, Blackline Safety.
Confined spaces are challenging working environments. Identifying the hazards involved then taking proactive steps to prevent them and minimize risks is paramount. Minimizing risks starts with knowing who’s inside a confined space, for how long, and monitoring the atmospheric conditions within it.
The VISICS system takes information from workers’ badges and communication devices to manage and monitor their entries into confined spaces. Live camera feeds both inside and outside the space enable remote teams to centrally monitor each confined space and all activities inside and out.
Now, through the integration of Blackline’s G7 EXO area gas monitors into the solution, the equipment can communicate directly with the VISICS network streaming gas readings sampled from within a confined safety to add another layer of proactive safety monitoring and protection during turnaround and shutdowns.
“Integrating with Blackline Safety is a wonderful opportunity for VISICS as it allows us to offer Blackline’s top-of-the-line technology while maintaining the same familiar look and feel for VISICS operators,” said Rene Slegers, CEO of Access Technology Group.
“Blackline Safety has a loyal client base which we are now happily able to serve during confined space monitoring work,” Slegers added. “By combining the right people with the best equipment, such as Blackline’s, VISICS helps protect CSE personnel from the risks and hazards associated with confined space work, 24/7.”
VISICS is the market leader in digital confined space monitoring, providing services to the most well-known industrial energy clients in over 15 countries through direct business and well-developed local partnerships. Blackline Safety worked with Access Technology Group and its North American distribution partner, InfoSignal, to develop an EXO hard-wired data interface to deliver real-time gas readings into the VISICS network. The technology was then trialled at several customer worksites to ensure a seamless integration.
About Blackline Safety
Blackline Safety is a technology leader driving innovation in the industrial workforce through IoT (Internet of Things). With connected safety devices and predictive analytics, Blackline enables companies to drive towards zero safety incidents and improved operational performance. Blackline provides wearable devices, personal and area gas monitoring, cloud-connected software and data analytics to meet demanding safety challenges and enhance overall productivity for organizations with coverage in more than 100 countries. Armed with cellular and satellite connectivity, Blackline provides a lifeline to tens of thousands of people, having reported over 177 billion data-points and initiated over five million emergency responses. For more information, visit BlacklineSafety.com and connect with us on Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
About Access Technologies Group
Access Technology Group (ATG) is an innovative Dutch company located in the centre of The Netherlands, with a range of subsidiaries. ATG started in 2002 with solutions for wireless infrastructures and public safety and security under Access Innovations BV. In 2005 ICT services were added to the portfolio under Access Communications BV.
As an increasing demand for mobile solutions was sensed, especially in heavy industries with a need for increased safety levels at lower costs, ATG developed VISICS – the innovative and mobile solution for safe and efficient maintenance turnarounds and shutdowns. The first generation VISICS was launched in 2007 under Mobile Shutdown System BV. Since then, ATG has focussed more intensively on this specific industrial application, which has resulted in a mobile high-tech solution providing on-demand state-of-the-art observation, registration and communication techniques. VISICS has sense been deployed actively in over 15 countries for the most reputable energy clients. For more information, visit Visics.eu and connect with us on LinkedIn or Xing.
On May 3, 2022, Mobile Shutdown System International (MSSI) celebrated the opening of its first international office in Chennai, India.
VISICS ATG India Pvt. Limited hosted a formal Grand Opening Ceremony in Chennai, attended by prominent government leadership from both the Netherlands and India, showing a deep commitment to cross-border collaboration.
MSSI’s entry into India has been continuously supported by the Dutch Government, specifically through the Netherlands Embassy in India and Consulate Offices, and the Dutch Good Growth Fund.
The Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) is a fund set up to assist Dutch SME’s in expanding their business abroad. The Netherlands Ambassador to India, Mr. Marten van den Berg was a key player in establishing this fund, which he spoke passionately about at the event ceremony.
Similarly, the Government of Tamil Nadu has shown continuous support and encouragement to innovative companies moving into the region. Mr. Mano Thangaraj, Honorable Minister of Information Technology, Government of Tamil Nadu, stated, “We are very excited that the Government of the Netherlands is partnering with the Government of Tamil Nadu on various aspects such as Information Technology. We have a very good talent pool with over 450,000 engineering graduates every year… we also plan to provide continuous trainings to the youth of Tamil Nadu through our ICT Academy to further develop a global talent pool, ready to meet the (future) industry needs with skills in emerging technologies. We are happy to have VISICS here adding value to Chennai“.
With a market full of immense potential and workforce of highly skilled technology professional, Chennai was a logical choice to base VISICS ATG India Pvt. Limited. VISICS ATG India Pvt. Limited officially opened its local Head Quarters in July of 2022, following growing demand for the VISICS solution. Aditya Birla Group (ABG), was present at the ceremony to be officially recognized as the launching customer in India, a milestone for both organizations.
As Mr. Anurag Goel, Digital Transformation & Startup Ecosystem Leader for Aditya Birla Group, accepted VISICS’ token of appreciation saying, “thank you, Rene, for your innovative and safe solutions which help us ensure the safety of our employees at Aditya Birla Group… your passion is inspiring“.
MSSI would like to thank all its partners who made this opening happen, as well as the friends, family, colleagues and guests who participated in the event.
So you’re interested in VISICS technology… but what’s next? If you’re a service organization you may be a great partner candidate.
Since 2009 VISICS has operated around the world for the most reputable energy industry players, utilizing a well developed and trusted partner network.
Our partner portfolio spans over 10 countries and 25 organizations. We classify our partners into two categories – Implementation Partners and Technology Partners.Implementation Partners are often contracting or service proving organizations operating within heavy industries. We rely on these partners to successfully implement VISICS solutions in the field. When it comes to being a new implementation partner there is a lot of due diligence to cover. First, we will initiate an introductory meeting, whereby both firms can learn about one another. It is in this introductory meeting that the VISICS solution is demonstrated and all questions pertaining to the system, implementation, costs, logistics, training and the like are covered. One can generally expect a good 4-hour session to thoroughly go through all of the information and a demonstration. Fear not, these sessions fly by as we prefer to keep things interactive with two-way dialogue.
We recommend bringing the following stakeholders to this introductory session:
Upon concluding that your firm is both interested and a good fit, we will share our Partner Agreement, which initiates a formal partnership.Once a formal partnership is established (upon signing the Partner Agreement), we will do the following:
Get your sales team set up in the Partner Portal
Initiate training in the VISICS Academy
Make some noise – media announcements
Technology Partners are often innovative organizations that help us develop our service and solution portfolio.
Technology partners help us push the boundaries of innovation, continuously developing solutions for tomorrow. Technology partners can include both hardware and software organizations.
When it comes to being a new technology partner we will initiate an introductory meeting, whereby both firms can learn about one another and discuss “fit”. In this session, we will talk about technology compatibility and how to get started with a successful partnership.
Welcome to month two of Ask VISICS, our newest initiative to dive in-depth into commonly asked questions.
This month we’ll be addressing the needs of a fire watch – the question being are there solutions specifically built for the needs of a fire watch?
The answer is yes.
With the VISICS system and components, the Fire Watch role can be enhanced to become more efficient, safe and intelligent! Traditionally the Fire Watch is responsible for:
Watching for fire hazards in the workplace while hot works are performed
Maintain the conditions and requirements stated on the safety permit
Maintain a lookout for small fires started by sparks
Sounding alarm, and if possible, attempt to control the fire, should one develop
Maintain communication with personnel in the confined space
Maintain situational awareness and raise alarms in the case of an emergency, plus communicate with emergency services
Inspecting the work area to look for fire hazards before, during, and at the end of each shift
Remaining at the work site 30 minutes after the hot work has ended to assure no fires have started
With the VISICS system, two Fire Watchers are able to monitor 12 confined spaces. This monitoring includes:
Eyes and ears inside and outside the confined space with cameras and intercoms – full visuals and two-way communication channels at all times
24/7 gas detection, with automated alarm levels
Thermal readings from the cameras, to monitor during and after the hot work has been completed
Triggering alarms remotely in the case on an emergency
Data to be passed to emergency services in the case of an event
Automated logs of personnel entering and leaving the space, for reporting
Would you like to discover the value of VISICS for hot works and Fire Watchers? Reach out for a pilot at your next turnaround using the contact form!
Case Study Excerpt: How VISICS prevented potential fire at refinery The digital VISICS system for safe and efficient turnarounds was installed at a refinery in Wesseling. Combined with Dräger’s solutions for remote gas detection, the VISICS system was brought in to accomplish a safer and more efficient turnaround by digitally monitoring the confined spaces. No more than a few days later, the VISICS system proved its added value by preventing a potential fire.
When the second night shift was about to start at around 6 p.m. , the VISICS monitoring operator noticed that different kinds of gases were detected in one specific kettle. With the real-time camera feeds he saw smoke coming out of one of the monitored manways. Without hesitation the operator took immediate action by informing the right people. Apparently a flammable residue was glowing in this kettle. It would probably have remained glowing, or developed into something worse, if it was not monitored by VISICS.
Read the full customer success story of how VISICS prevented a potential refinery fire below ⬇️
For us, security by design has three main components, which are:
Authorization; the process of implementing roles based on what users primarily need for their daily operations, nothing more nothing less
Network security; secure communications over virtual private networks; and
auditing; the ability to track user actions and continuously monitor sessions and/or mutations to comply with the authorization polices
I’m going to tell you about all three more in-depth.
Authorization is managing the process to make sure people get only access to resources and data which are applicable for them. For us, we use fine authorization policies for several roles like operator activities, operator lead activities and remote support activities. In our line of work, proper authorization is important because we work with a lot of sensitive or confidential data
Next, we have Network Security.
We make use of segmentation in the network infrastructure so we classify different kinds of data and make sure that this data is only available in the proper applications.
To have safe and secure remote connectivity we make use of a VPN connection stands for virtual private network, it serves as a way to securely communicate between two networks. See it as a tunnel which is used to drive cars (network packets) back and forward. All the traffic within this tunnel is encrypted at the entrance (Network A) and decrypted at the exit (Network B). VPNs are important because confidently and integrity is increased when applying e.g. using a third-party network like the internet. All network traffic generated by VISICS which is communicating over a third-party network is ensured by VPN.
And lastly, we have auditing.
Auditing is the process of continuously monitoring mutations, actions, login attempts etc. to check if these are valid and comply with security policies. This is important to ensure to keep security standards high and adapt when necessary.
Together, Authorization, Network security and auditing make up the three main components of our “security by design” – design by Niels van Kooten.
VISICS“What is security by design and how does VISICS implement it?”
VISICS is the state-of-the-art and digital solution for increased safety during maintenance turnarounds and shutdowns. Being one of the top innovations in the safety industry, VISICS answers to the demands of enterprises worldwide looking for increased safety levels at lower cost.