One of the most dangerous spots aboard any oil and gas drillship, or drilling rig, is the infamous ‘red zone’ – the drill floor, where human personnel interact with moving, heavy equipment, and where the risk of crush-related injuries is significant.
To improve safety within this area, Salunda Limited has produced its Crew Hawk system, developed to track the locations of both personnel and moving equipment in real time, over a wireless network, and to keep the two at a safe distance apart.
The system uses a series of personnel locators, which crew attach to their clothing or PPE (including hardhats, for instance), and locators attached to the moving equipment. When a crew member moves too close to the equipment, he or she receives an automatic, personalised alert. Simultaneously, the Crew Hawk system’s E-Stop feature automatically pauses the moving equipment until the individual has left the danger zone and returned to a secure location.
“The system is ATEX- and IECEx-certified, and the technology can be upgraded with the incorporation of digital ranging cameras, to provide an additional level of authorised work area access, safety and security,” Salunda says. For instance, the Crew Hawk system can be integrated with machine vision to discriminate between ‘authorised’ and ‘unauthorised’ personnel, and enforce role-based access rights – so, should a rig worker enter the red zone without wearing a locator, the system will be able to pick out this individual.
End users can also generate dynamic zones around moving equipment, customised for their own safety management plans, and set up their own zones and role descriptions. The personnel locators are waterproof and dust-proof, in accordance with IP67, and have up to 24 hours of battery life. The equipment locators, meanwhile, have up to a month’s worth of battery life.
The system has been installed on rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico, and Salunda is now hoping to roll it out across Latin America, Australia and South East Asia.