Onsite onside in Hunter

A HUNTER Valley company has developed a personnel management system that monitors who is where at any given time on a minesite and does not allow unauthorised or untrained people to endanger themselves.

Chris Leitch

Onsite Track Easy is a real-time system specifically built for the Australian mining industry that allows an operator to better manage safety, access and security on the minesite.

It involves a series of log points situated around the site where employees, contractors or visitors record their presence through a card reader or computer touch screen. Employees, contractors and visitors simply log on and log off when going through these points.

Onsite allows managers to monitor and manage employee and contractor competencies, location and duration of their deployment, and collates data from the site's various log points into one central location.

The system can send messages to various log points for individuals or safety information and warnings to the whole site from the central computer. It also allows fire and ambulance services access to an area in the event of an emergency.

Onsite was developed by Pegasus Group and is a wholly owned subsidiary company of Pegasus, a Hunter Valley family company started in 1987 that provides employment, training and business services, IT and technical solutions to mining companies.

The system was created in response to a request from Xstrata's Bulga mine and six mines in the Hunter region now use the system to track employees and contractors, as well as ensure any visitors have been through safety orientation.

Pegasus training division general manager Terry Garrett said the system had obvious security and safety benefits but also improved human resource efficiency as it better monitored where contractors and employees were at any given time.

"It can control site access through doors or boom gates, based on the person's right to be there and their competencies," he said.

Onsite can quickly supply details on how many people are logged in on the site and can be used for other health and safety applications such as fit-for-work testing, where it can select a number of logged-in workers at random to be tested.

There are a number of editions to suit mines of different sizes, while an Onsite realm licence can be obtained by a head office or training organisation requiring access to multiple sites.

A PC-based platform was the first version created in 2002 but that was superseded by the second generation web-based platform in 2004. Garrett believes the system also has applications outside mining, in industries such as manufacturing, construction, rail and food.

Garrett said mining companies regularly come up with good ideas to incorporate into the system and many of these were built into new systems, allowing it to evolve over time.

"The original designers and developers are still here and because we are locally owned there are no time or distance delays," he said.

The Onsite system won a National Award for the Effective Use of Broadband in the security category at the 2007 Australian Telecommunications Users Group awards earlier this year. Onsite was also recognised by the Hunter Valley branch of ATUG in November 2006 with the Innovative Telecommunications Solution in the Hunter award.

In recognising Onsite in March, ATUG said: "By replacing the sign-in sheet with a swipe card linked via broadband to an intelligent database, Onsite gives customers the ability to know who is present onsite with confidence, accuracy and efficiency."

Published in the September 2007 Australia's Mining Monthly