E.ON goes electronic with lifting gear tracking

A highly successful implementation of the Safetrak electronic system for safer, more efficient lifting gear asset tracking and booking in/out processes.

E.ON is one of the UK.s leading integrated power and gas companies. The company generates and distributes electricity as well as retailing power and gas. As part of the E.ON Group, the world.s largest investor owned power and gas company, the company employs around 17,000 people in the UK and over 93,000 worldwide.

To help improve the efficiency and reliability of its lifting gear asset management processes, E.ON turned to the Safetrak system from Scafftag. Safetrak is a unique electronic system designed to transform safety, maintenance and identification activities into paperless, efficient and simplified processes.

With such a vast workforce, many of whom are working with rigging equipment, health andsafety has to be a top priority. Stephen Attaway, Storeman at E.ON.s Kingsnorth Power Station explains: .Rigging equipment needs to be tightly controlled. It is important for equipment to be checked regularly to make sure it conforms to health and safety legislation and therefore is safe for our employees to work with.. Stephen continues: .The system we had in place for managing our rigging equipment required users to complete a form to indicate what items were being taken from the store and where they were being used. Like other paper-based records, our system was susceptible to recording errors which could mean that we weren.t always able to track the equipment history..

Stephen was tasked with finding a solution and looked at various options in the market place. After a number of meetings and discussions pertaining to their specific requirements, E.ON enlisted the help of equipment status management specialists, Scafftag, to help overcome its two main problems. Scafftag.s obvious solution was Safetrak - a unique electronic system designed to transform safety, maintenance and identification activities into paperless, efficient and simplified processes.

The Safetrak system is designed for use across many types of equipment. In E.ON.s case, it uses Safetrak for its lifting equipment.

.At the beginning of our work with Scafftag they provided us with their current Safetrak lifting gear solution to look after the booking-in and booking-out of the rigging equipment at our stores,. says Stephen. .While this worked fine, it didn.t give us exactly what we needed. The system we used initially meant that employees had to scan each item they wished to take out individually and then assign it to themselves. This was time consuming, especially as it is not uncommon for one employee to take out a number of items at one time. We also wanted an authorisation system to be in place so employees can only book out equipment they are authorised to use..

Following a feedback session, Scafftag set out to tailor the system to E.ON.s specific needs. Abi Piper, Regional Account Manager at Scafftag explains: .E.ON initially trialled our Safetrak system and found that it didn.t meet all their needs so we then developed a bespoke system that was more streamlined and efficient. The solution was twofold; we designed a .frozen screen. system only allowing one function . to book out equipment. Secondly, we developed a way for an individual to scan numerous items that are then automatically issued to them. Through the use of a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system, E.ON is able to track which worker has which piece of rigging equipment. The system works in a very simple way; all rigging equipment is tagged and anyone requiring a piece of equipment places their ID card against a reader to register that they would like to take something out. The equipment.s tag is then run across the reader and assigned to the user.s ID. E.ON is then able to track the rigging equipment back to that employee..

Importantly, without the correct level of authorisation on an ID card an employee is prevented from taking out equipment. Each piece of equipment has a reference number and when this number is entered into the computerised system it displays the assets total history. Abi continues: .We had a consultative process with E.ON. They were offered a number of different solutions and they chose ours. We pride ourselves on being able to adapt our systems to meet our customer.s needs and engaging one-to-one consultations in order to determine exactly what they require..

Prior to adopting the new Safetrak system, the storeman in charge of logging equipment in and out would have to trace through paperwork to establish where a piece of equipment was and also the full history. The storeman then gave an independent visual inspection to check that the items booked back in were in a safe condition for workers to use. The new system is less time consuming and requires less manpower..

The service E.ON received from Scafftag was second to none. Stephen explains: .I would put our satisfaction at 12 out of 10 if I could! The staff from Scafftag were very helpful. Not only did they train us on the system initially but they listened to our feedback and facilitated a revamp. Then they came up to our offices a second time and held a one day training session for all staff who use the new system. Whenever we have any questions they are always on the other end of phone to help.

The system has worked so well for our area of the business that other sites within E.ON are also investigating whether to install it..

Customer : E-On

Industry : Utilities

Solutions :
Safetrak for Lifting Gear & Book In / Out

Return on investment summary

  • Easy to use system, minimising the requirement for paperwork and administration

  • Controlled booking out process means each asset can be traced to a specific, authorised worker and location

  • Ruggedised handheld devices so booking in/out and inspections can be recorded in any weather conditions

  • Data accuracy and integrity through minimisation of human error and illegible records

  • Electronic copies so records less likely to get lost

  • Instant access to current and historical data and endless options to manipulate data into clear and useful reports

  • Accessibility of information to all relevant stakeholders . improved communication

  • Ongoing support helped ensure a smooth implementation of the new technology.