Cermaq is deploying the Blackline Safety Loner Bridge System (bottom left photo) at all locations around Vancouver Island. Cermaq staff (above and bottom right) use the technology in a mock evacuation exercise.

Cermaq deploys remote lone worker safety monitoring technology

Cermaq Canada is using an innovative, made-in-Canada system to keep its salmon farmers safe on the Pacific Coast—especially when working alone.

Cermaq is deploying the Blackline Safety Loner Bridge System at all locations around Vancouver Island.

“We looked at several solutions that would let us instantly notify our workers about tsunamis and other potentially life-threatening situations, and allow them to quickly evacuate to a safe location,” says Dave Samson, Cermaq Canada’s occupational health and safety officer. “What impressed us most about the Blackline Safety solution was the ability to communicate with our employees who often work in areas with no cellular coverage. This is a serious concern, especially if they have to work alone. With this system, they can send and receive messages instantly, and check in with just the push of a button.”

A smartphone-sized lone worker monitoring device eliminates the need for radio check-ins when working alone at remote freshwater and seawater sites.

The Blackline Safety monitoring system automatically detects injuries, health events and even physical assault. Safety alerts are communicated in real-time to monitoring personnel who manage the emergency response to the employee’s exact location.

Cermaq has tested the devices several times, in real-world situations, and they have worked flawlessly. Workers each carry a portable unit, which allows them to communicate with Blackline Safety in Calgary via satellite. Their in-house Safety Operations Center manages the emergency response process, escalating to Cermaq’s offices. This system will be useful in several ways, as it will:

n Allow the Cermaq office to instantly warn workers of any dangers, such as tsunamis

n Let workers send and receive messages instantly

n Automatically notify the office if a worker is inactive for more than a few minutes due to a potential injury or health event

n Enable workers to call for help by manually triggering an alert

n Allow employees working alone to check in without impacting productivity

“Anything that makes it safer for our employees on the water is a good thing,” says Brock Thomson, Regional Production Manager and Special Projects Manager in Campbell River.

“Although we try not to have people working alone, it sometimes happens—even if two employees are at the same site, but beyond each other’s vision and hearing. This will help keep them safe and give their families peace of mind.”

Cermaq’s IT department has been leading the drive to install the devices. “This system is about protecting people and potentially saving lives,” says Ian Brown, Cermaq Canada’s IT Manager. “It will keep people safe when they have to work alone and will also make work more efficient for them.”

The Blackline Safety lone worker monitoring system will be installed at all sea sites in late May and early June, and will be installed at all land-based facilities in the coming months.

Cermaq Canada farms fresh Atlantic salmon at 27 sea sites around Vancouver Island, operates three hatcheries and two processing plants (one under contract).

Cermaq Canada is a subsidiary of Cermaq Group AS, an international fish farming group with its head office in Oslo, Norway.

The group has a diversified presence in the major salmon farming regions worldwide.