Mustering Roll-Call Automation
When it comes to emergency services and safety, Ferrero has a sweet solution for its chocolate and hazelnut plants, with an automated mustering roll-call system from Litum IoT. Using just a mobile phone or tablet, and Litum IoT’s app, safety personnel or managers can identify workers in the case of an evacuation and detect any missing individuals thanks to integration with the company’s time and attendance software.
Ferrero Turkey has a strong, global presence selling confectionery products such as Nutella, Tic Tac and Ferrero Rocher candies in more than 170 countries. In Turkey the company produces chocolate as well as hazelnut-based products. The company operates two plants in Turkey – a chocolate production facility in Manisa with 400 employees, and its hazelnut plant in Trabzon where another 800 individuals work.
Accounting for more than 1200 personnel, as well as visitors, at any given time is an arduous task, and even harder in the chaotic environment of an emergency. Every second counts when it comes to the safe evacuation of individuals in such events.
Ferrero needed a way to confirm that all its employees could be safely accounted when an emergency evacuation was underway. The manual method had gotten out of date — tracking each individual through manual counting was time-consuming and introduced potential for errors. Even if all personnel appeared at the dedicated mustering points, the employee roster for any given day could not be accurately obtained, especially when visitors were also in the building.
Ferrero takes safety for these employees seriously and was recently seeing a solution that leveraged the latest that technology has to offer. The company’s internal audit system requires employee headcounts fast. After all, seconds can be critical when an emergency takes place and people need to be accounted for.
Finding a Solution
Ferrero ruled out using barcode technology since scanning of individual barcodes would be too slow in an emergency. Passive RFID came with its own shortcomings since it requires a reader infrastructure that would need power and a network connection or Wi-Fi. So instead, the company worked with Litum, which offers a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) solution for mustering roll-calls that eliminates the need for a fixed infrastructure. With the Automated Emergency Roll-Call system, the company’s safety officials can capture the critical information about who is safe and who might not be, during an emergency, leveraging a simple electronic badge and mobile app.
The Litum Automated Emergency Roll-Call provides BLE badges powered with batteries that transmit at long distances so that no cables, and no hardware installations were needed.
With the solution Ferrero could simply capture employee and visitor location in real time, with a mobile phone or tablet, and the solution software could compare that data against the company’s employee roster that is refreshed periodically from the time and attendance system.
How Mustering Roll-Call Works
With the Litum Automated Emergency Roll Call solution, each employee ad visitor is assigned a sleek and lightweight, battery-powered badge. Employee badge IDs connect to details about each individual, securely stored in a cloud server. The link between the badge data and the employee roster is critical as well. As personnel report on site, and as they leave, the employee roster is updated, so that management knows who is onsite and who is not. Ferrero can choose how often its employee roster is refreshed in the software settings.
In the event an emergency takes place, safety personnel can retrieve roster information using the Litum App on their cell phone or tablet.
As personnel or visitors report to mustering stations, a safety officer at that site uses a cell phone or tablet to capture the BLE signals being transmitted by each badge. Because the badges transmit at a distance—as much as 100 meters, — safety officer can receive and view the data as soon as the individual approaches the mustering area.
The automated mustering roll-call system integrates with the company’s attendance system so that not only can the headcount be counted against the roster, but the names of those who are onsite and unaccounted for are listed in real time.
The system automatically compares the BLE data captured at the mustering area against the employee rosters, and lists each missing individual. Officers can then seek that individual to help ensure they are safely evacuated.
The Results of Automated Mustering Roll-Call
Since it was implemented, the Automated Emergency Mustering Roll Call system has transformed how Ferrero conducts its evacuation exercises and any real-life events. Gone are the clipboards, paper and pen that would be necessary in a manual evacuation system. With the BLE solution, the company management knows in seconds that its people are safely evacuated, or who still needs to be located.
The confectionery company plants are also able to ensure they comply with all regulatory health and occupational safety requirements. In addition to its automatic people counting feature, the system tracks the number of practice exercises conducted and the total time of the exercise as well as the results.
The system was deployed quickly without the need for hardware cabling for gateways or readers. Instead, the cell phones or tablets of safety personnel provide the location data that is so critical in an emergency, with no added effort. The software uploads and download critical data from a cloud-based server via a cellular connection.
Since the solution went live Ferrero has conducted firefighting exercise in compliance with occupational safety regulations, and during the exercises the time of the full evacuation was vastly reduced, while the accuracy of results rose.
Solution Designed for Real-Life Problems
Litum provides the solution that meets the individual needs of each client. While Ferrero requested a mustering system that centers around mobile data capture, technology can also be provided with fixed readers in specific gathering areas or chokepoints.
When used with the mobile app, the solution requires no Wi-Fi or external power; making it flexible, versatile and affordable, while ensuring the company also meets its safety requirements. Ultimately it’s all about safety and saving lives. With automation technology, companies can rest assured their personnel will be accounted for, and never be overlooked in an emergency.