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Using Remote Visual Monitoring Technology for a Safe and Secure Quarrying Environment

First published in the June 2017 issue of Quarry Management as Safe and Secure 

Using the latest technologies to create a fearless environment

The quarrying industry faces many safety and security threats; it is simply the nature of the business. As well as the familiar and obvious threats of theft, vandalism and trespass, quarries also have to contend with a heightened duty of care for public and employee liability.

Netwatch, on of the world leaders in the remote visual monitoring market, deploy a wide range of products and services specifically designed to secure a quarry business from such threats. From the remote monitoring of specific contained areas to vast perimeters, their aim is to ensure the highest level of protection, and their solutions utilize some of the latest technologies that have been proven across thousands of customer sites worldwide. Netwatch are able to provide: perimeter protection; lone-worker protection; internal monitoring; hot-spot monitoring; thermal imaging cameras; and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).

With more than 15 years’ experience, the company is well versed in the risks and aims to ensure a comprehensive service. Indeed, since their inception, Netwatch claim have prevented more than 40,000 crimes, and among the many clients they protect are CRH, Kilsaran and Quinn Group.

Founded in the 1970s, Quinn Industrial Holdings have grown into one of the most successful manufacturers of building products in the UK and Ireland. The company started out by supplying sand and gravel to local builders and farmers, but has since been transformed into a multinational business with a wide portfolio of products.

Quinn Industrial Holdings are responsible for 780 staff and receive a continuous flow of contractors and visitors to their various sites. Their numerous businesses span thousands of acres through remote mountain routes and with public access on all roads, and whilst manned security and passive CCTV were providing a certain level of protection, Quinn felt this was not enough to cover all areas of their sites at all times.

The management wanted to ensure the health and safety of their people and the protection of high-value assets. To this end, Netwatch were invited to work closely with the Quinn team, to review all the safety and security issues, to survey all the sites in detail to identify the vulnerable areas, and to advise on technology solutions to mitigate the risks.

Kevin Lunney, chief operations officer with Quinn Industrial Holdings, said: ‘We weren’t convinced that the Netwatch system would work for us, but it has reached and exceeded our expectations. Netwatch are now helping management and staff to improve operations and productivity. As a company, we always look to improve professionalism and the way we use technology. Netwatch have embraced this for us and made a difference to the staff and management of the Quinn Group.

‘From the beginning, Netwatch got the whole company involved – everyone knew what was happening and why. The Quinn Group is a big part of the community and provides employment for many, so we need to ensure we are working with the best partners to ensure a safe workplace and business continuity.’

Among the safety and security challenges that Netwatch had to overcome were: protection of expansive areas and remote locations; staff health and safety; high-value products and assets; high levels of anti-social behaviour; costly business downtime; and public liability.

According to Quinn Industrial Holdings, working with Netwatch has resulted in a notable decrease in attempted security breaches at their sites. Now, any breaches that do occur create an instant alert to the Netwatch communication hub, whereupon the company’s intervention specialists follow specific predefined protocols to ensure a safe and secure site. Quinn staff are said to have confidence in the service and believe the fear of antisocial behaviour has reduced. Likewise, the risk of asset theft and damage has also diminished, ensuring business continuity and profitability to support the wider community.

Among the key benefits of the Netwatch system are: a reduction in downtime; continuous evolution and improvement of service; an increase in staff morale; health and safety improvements; no inhibition of daily activities; introduction of process management technology; highlighting and rectification of weaknesses in security; and cost-effective security. 

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