Associated British Ports (ABP) trials the Rombit safety wearables at ABP Port of Garston, Liverpool

Associated British Ports (ABP) is the first UK ports group to invest in innovative wearable safety devices. The wearables are designed by the leading safety solutions company Rombit. ABP’s IT innovation team worked closely with Rombit and Rombit’s official UK partner Net4 on this trial. Although the wearables had been extensively tested in busy mainland European ports, like Antwerp, their use by ABP is a first for any organisation in the UK.

ABP’s extensive work to optimise safety across its ports resulted in the lowest number ever of Lost Time Accidents in 2021, and continuous improvement in workplace safety is a core value shared by ABP and Rombit. Building on the existing PPE (high visibility clothing, eye protection, safety helmets, protective boots and gloves), this new technology provides connected workers with a new level of protection. Following a successful trial of the Rombit safety devices at ABP’s Port of Garston, Liverpool, the design was refined to adapt to ABP’s specific requirements and will be rolled out further.

 

“Building on existing PPE, this new technology provides connected workers with a new level of protection.”

 

The new safety devices, which are worn on the wrist, arm or ankle, and attached to machinery, have a wide range of uses including lone worker support, collision avoidance and evacuation in case of emergency. For example, when a vehicle fitted with the Rombit anchor and a port operative with a Rombit wearable are too close to each other, the devices will vibrate and light up, alerting both the driver and the pedestrian to avoid a potential collision.

The speed of reaction to lone workers in an incident is critical to minimising the danger. In case of an emergency, a lone worker can use the device to request help. Similarly, the device can alert the system if the lone worker has a fall or shock, or if no motion is detected at all for a specified period of time. This enables a swift assessment and reaction to a situation helping to minimise risk.

As Mike McCartain, ABP’s Group Director of Safety, Engineering & Marine said

“At ABP, we put safety at the heart of everything we do, and we continuously invest in innovative ways to sustain our exemplary safety record and the confidence of our staff. We are delighted to be the first company in the UK to work in partnership with Rombit and trial these cutting-edge new safety gadgets in our ports, supporting the development of this useful technology.”

Evert Bulcke, CEO of Rombit stated

“Co-creation is at the heart of operational success. In working with Rombit, and steering the product to meet port logistics requirements, ABP proved a very valuable partner. The result is an IoT safety solution that saves lives while minimising false positives and negatives.”