NZ Winegrower – Protecting Lone Workers

When Sharon Ayres of Sacred Hill Vineyards started the search for a technology solution which would protect Sacred Hills lone workers she wasn’t quite sure where to start.


Their vineyard team we’re frequently driving between the different sites and visiting far reaches of the properties alone, with cell cover inconsistent on one property in particular. 


After a vineyard review which highlighted the risks regarding working alone, a practical solution was sought, with Guardian Angel Security who specialise in solutions for Lone Worker protection. 


Guardian Angel are hardware agnostic and can supply and monitor solutions on satellite, radio or cellular networks, but one solution which they had been finding a lot of success with was EGIS, an Australian designed and manufactured device. While it’s cellular based, the design of the antenna, chipset and modem has shown it requires less signal strength than placing a mobile phone call. 


The EGIS device sends the activation via IP and SMS, and will keep sending a duress activation with location details every 30seconds when in alarm, until it’s restored. 


The EGIS device has a duress button for manually raised alarm. It also has a man down and no movement function which can be programmed to automatically raise an alarm if the device is horizontal for a 30 sec period, or has had no movement for 10min (delays are programmable). 


The user wears the device on their waistband so they will feel the device vibrate and start to make noise to warn them if it’s about to raise an alarm. The alarm can be deactivated by moving/straightening the device. The EGIS also autodials the monitoring station on alarm. This provides another path of communication should the SMS/IP alert not get through and it also means the operator can ascertain exactly what the emergency is and keep Emergency Services updated. The operator will stay on the line with the user until help is at hand. The call is recorded at the monitoring station.


With full staff training, monitoring and monthly testing of the equipment, Ayres says it has given both her and her workers peace of mind when out in the field alone.

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