IBS Mapei focuses on safety with 360-degree technology

IBS Mapei focuses on safety with 360-degree technology

When most people hear the term ‘CCTV’, they think of protecting property and catching criminals. In reality, the application of cameras - especially Oncam 360-degree cameras - is far wider, as manufacturer IBS-Mapei knows well.

Picture this: you’re responsible for maintaining health and safety in a busy plant environment in Dubai. A workforce of up to 25 different nationalities, often with no common language, is loading and unloading a multitude of vehicles and moving materials round the site, in 43-degree (Celsius) heat. There’s a safety compliance issue on the other side of the plant, and by the time you get there each party is claiming that the other is responsible. There’s no objective view of what happened, and one party is claiming that your organisation should take responsibility. Sorting out who is responsible and, more importantly, how to prevent a similar incident happening in future, is time-consuming and complex.

It’s this kind of scenario that IBS-Mapei’s Quality Assurance, Health, Safety and Environmental Manager Christopher Lacey was keen to address. “We maintain excellent health and safety standards, but potential incidents are always a possibility. With so much happening on site, it can be challenging to make sure that everyone is complying with our health and safety procedures, and — in the event of a dispute — that we can resolve things definitively without needing to speak four languages.”

Total situational awareness

On a visit to Mapei’s headquarters in Italy, Lacey was impressed at their use of camera technology to ensure compliance with health and safety, and resolved to find a similar solution for his site. Extensive research led him to Oncam’s 360-degree technology. “The demo was a real eye-opener,” he recalls.

“We were shown how a fast-food chain used cameras to ensure that their staff were using the correct quantities of ingredients when making food, and we saw how one camera could cover a very large outdoor space — all on the presenter’s iPad. The coverage of the cameras and the detail you can see in them were exactly what we needed.”

Once the decision was made to install a trial the technology on site, Oncam provided IBS-Mapei staff with comprehensive training on the unique aspects of the technology, and support in setting up their camera network. “When it came to designing our camera network, nobody else we spoke to had as much expertise to offer as Oncam,” Lacey told us. “They’ve worked with us at every step of the process to ensure that the system best meets our needs. They even came up in a basket lift with us to help position the camera seven metres off the ground, to make the most of its capabilities.”

After a successful trial, six more 360-degree cameras were installed on IBS-Mapei’s site, providing a comprehensive view of the loading areas, one-way system, and site perimeter.

A single source of truth

The cameras enable Lacey and his team to monitor everything that takes place on site over the previous 30 days, improving their ability to audit site health and safety procedures.

“The detail the cameras give us is invaluable,” Lacey explains. “For instance, footage of vehicle movements led us to add road markings that will not only reduce the chances of an accident but also improve our operational efficiency through smoother traffic flow. For making educated decisions on how best to manage the site from a health and safety perspective, Oncam’s 360-degree cameras are a must.”

Because the 360-degree cameras can accurately record the history of the site, if an incident were to occur Lacey’s team now has the technological capability to determine who, if anyone, was responsible, and how it could be avoided in future. If necessary, they can also challenge anyone not adhering to IBS-Mapei health and safety regulations.

Just the presence of the cameras encourages compliance with site health and safety regulations. “We clearly let our staff and visitors know they’re being monitored, and it’s become a powerful reminder. If somebody chooses not to follow our policies, then we have a concrete source of evidence to prove it if we need to. In this regard, the 360-degree cameras have proven themselves a powerful tool to help us drive our health and safety efforts.”

Constantly evolving

As IBS-Mapei’s experience with the 360-degree cameras grows, they are continually refining their system. The wide coverage of the 360-degree cameras makes this a relatively simple process, but even so they’re committed to constantly reviewing where their blind spots are, and fine-tuning camera positions to eliminate them.

Lacey also has eyes on smarter software for his system, having been impressed with the potential of viewing the footage on a mobile app, and knowing that there are software modules that can analyse the flow of people through the site.

“Whatever the future holds, we’re confident that Oncam has the solutions and technology to keep our camera network at the heart of our health and safety strategy.”

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