Alcohol, even many hours after consumption, severely impairs a person’s ability to properly operate equipment and vehicles. It is responsible for 60% fatal accidents and up to 40% of workplace accidents. Not a comforting thought when you have to dispense keys to plant equipment or fleet vehicles daily, or hand new vehicle key to potential customers.
ALCO-Safe’s Intelligent Key Management System brings a new solution to the local market – it adds a breathalyser to a sophisticated keysafe to ensure only sober employees or customers can access or return keys.
Reliably managing the keys to heavy plant machinery or high-asset vehicles is vital to manage risk to the business. And that risk is high – an incapacitated driver can damage business reputation, take lives, impact operations and services levels and subsequently destroy the asset itself. Until now, these limits to key dispensing systems have been difficult to overcome without secondary stand-alone or bolt-on solutions.
Says Rhys Evans, Director at ALCO-Safe, experts in drug and alcohol testing solutions: “There are many types of keysafes in use, and more than a few manual systems that require a logbook to be completed every time a key is issued or received. These systems try to meet regulatory and safety requirements and mitigate risk. However, the reality is, without a breathalyser, it can be difficult to tell if someone can responsibly operate a vehicle.
“Even a little alcohol in the system can slow reaction time, reduce concentration, and lead to poor judgement. A 0.020% blood-alcohol level (BAC), the result of approximately one drink, will decrease the ability to judge, for example, whether a vehicle is able to pass through a gap. Even after five hours after stopping consumption, there is still a16% deterioration in lateral vision and depth perception. At 0.080% BAC the driver is four to five times more likely than a sober person to have an accident.
“This makes having a failsafe solution in place critical. It is what led ALCO-Safe to combine its proven breathalyser technologies with one of the leading keysafe’s on the market, creating a solution that can meet the needs of a wide range of organisations.”
The breathalyser, which is integrated to the keysafe, makes use of an electrochemical fuel cell sensor to measure the concentration of alcohol vapour in the subject’s breath. The breathalyser is integrated with a keysafe system that includes RFID, touchscreen capabilities, PIN access and key security seals to enforce user, key and access rights.
If the alcohol measure is above the allowed limit, it will not release the key. When the key is returned, the driver must again pass the breathalyser test. The solution also features software that allows integration with time and attendance and other Human Resource applications, ensuring rules and policies are enforced. It can be tailored to meet the needs of specific industry sectors.
Says Evans: “The ALCO-Safe’s Intelligent Key Management System is a first in the local market. It is an intelligent combination of solutions that fills an important gap.
Importantly, this type of solution features a central database which is instrumental in tracking the assets through reporting of event logs. It provides a supervisor with an audit trail where they can monitor every event, asset and identify anomalies. For example, if a person wants to use the vehicle for personal use, a parameter can be setup to send an alarm as an email to the supervisor if the keys to vehicle are removed outside of official working hours.
“We believe it will be very useful for organisations hotels and casinos where alcohol is easily accessible, car dealers and car rental agencies that must hand keys over to customers or staff, and fleet managers and any industrial organisation that must make use of heavy machinery in their operations, such as mines or construction sites.
“It’s a solution that is useful for daily operations – it is easy to use and operate and has high level functionality that adds real value to key management.”