A look back at 2019 - SiteZone grew up and got smart

What a year it’s been here in the UK. No matter what industry you’re in, the general climate has been full of ups and downs. Brexit continues to raise questions and causes dissention. World leaders disagree vociferously, and climate change triggers alarm and inspires revolutionary change on our planet.

However, for us at the SiteZone HQ in our corner of Dorset, we look back on 2019 as a positive year, with some exciting firsts.

Our biggest news was that SiteZone celebrated its 10th anniversary. What a long way we’ve come. Our successful safety offering was originally designed to be an enhancement to existing safety protocols, and it continues to reflect the best of harnessing technology to fulfil those needs. SiteZone has now evolved into a suite of proximity warning products that cater to the various collision risk demands of clients. We are so proud of that. In fact, there are 12,000 SiteZone tags being worn by workers across the UK to date, with the largest single deployment of over 2,000 tags issued on just one project. We know that workers are being protected on the job, because SiteZone is installed on their sites.

We enhanced our team and invited a Non-Executive Director to join us, in the guise of Gareth Jones. For any Managing Directors reading this, I’m sure you understand that as a company develops, there are certain forks in the road where having an experienced hand nearby is an absolute boon. There’s nothing quite like experience, and the wisdom that comes with it. We’d like to thank Gareth for his candid and effective counsel since he joined us this year. We look forward to more, helping to steer us into the future.

Then there are the products.

We launched ‘SmartBubble’ at the Safety and Health Expo in 2019. SiteZone has grown up and is ‘smart’ now. We’ve been able to implement SmartBubble with high profile clients and will report on its progress through case studies in due course. For those of you who missed it, SmartBubble allows for authorised approach to plant and vehicles when they are in a safe state. That means SiteZone alarms don’t go off when the exclusion zone is breached – the machine automatically reduces the exclusion zone while it’s ‘dormant’. When it starts up again in a ‘non-safe’ state, then the exclusion zone expands. We put a lot of thought into it, and the result has been excellent. SiteZone is even more efficient than it was before, with no unnecessary interruptions to work on site.

We also did something a little different, away from our usual commercial approach by launching SiteZone Productivity. If you’ve read my blogs, you’ll know that I hold professional relationships and collaborations in high regard. SiteZone Productivity is a collaboration with VEI Group to provide VEI Onboard Weighing Solutions to the UK market. I identified another way to encourage safety practices, this time, in sectors that depend on vehicle loading limits. During the weighing process, if a vehicle is found to be under-loaded at a site exit, it must return to the site and load to the correct weight before it can leave. This means that it adds to the site traffic, interrupts its flow and there are too many vehicles driving around, in proximity to workers on foot. And you guessed it – that’s a collision risk.

Sometimes you have to approach issues from left field.

But what about looking ahead to 2020? Yes, the mood is still uncertain in the UK, because of that event that shall not be named twice! However, for our part, we plan to continue to champion the safety of employees in collision risk environments at work. The national safety statistics still read like a litany of near tragedies. Sometimes real ones, when workers don’t make it back home.

Therefore, we will continue to develop our technology to be smarter, more proactive and better when re-active. Training and communication will play a vital role in finding out what, and how, we can improve. As usual, we will depend heavily on working with our clients, cultivating good professional relationships, listening to their experiences and progressing with innovation and practicality.

So, whatever you’re trying to achieve in your working world, I wish you plenty of success. Find help if you need it. Listen. Teach. Learn. And so, prosper. 

We’re ready for 2020.

About the author

Gary Escott is the co-founder of SiteZone Safety, he has worked in the field of mobile plant safety for 15 years and has worked on the introduction of technology based safety products across other sectors. His goal is reducing the risk of collisions between vehicles and vulnerable persons using innovative products and technology.

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