ERSBio, a leading South African specialist in customised biometric time and attendance solutions, has partnered with ALCO-Safe to incorporate standalone breathalysers with advanced reporting capabilities into its offering.
“Alcohol testing is a natural extension of time and attendance solutions, especially in industries like mining and manufacturing. In these sectors, the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act mandates that persons under the influence of alcohol are not permitted to enter the workplace, and what better way to prevent this than by incorporating alcohol testing into the access control component,” says Rhys Evans, MD of ALCO-Safe.
ERSBio approached ALCO-Safe about a partnership when customers began requesting more intelligence from breathalysers than just a simple pass or fail scenario or access prevention. The emergence of Covid-19 brought with it significant changes and resulted in organisations moving away from handheld breathalyser equipment that enabled access to the worksite.
As a result, the ERSBio and ALCO-Safe partnership worked to design an integrated breathalyser solution, the Lion ALCONTROL, that can monitor large volumes of people entering the workplace via an access control biometric tool.
How it works: on arrival, the employee will place their fingerprint on the biometric hardware in order to confirm that they are a registered employee. Once the biometric confirms the employee’s identity, the unmanned breathalyser will be activated, requiring them to blow. Only once a negative result has been produced on the breathalyser will the employee be granted access to the workplace.
“Since ALCO-Safe is a local manufacturer with local support and years of market experience, and turnaround times are almost instant on any requests, partnering with them made sense from a development perspective. We are currently using the Lion ALCONTROL, which can operate on bi-directional and man trap style turnstiles, to prevent employees from entering the premises while intoxicated,” explains Zander Els, special projects consultant at ERSBio.
The ALCONTROL can be used in any environment for operator-free breathalyser testing. It can be mounted on a wall as a voluntary device or fitted to a turnstile as part of an access control system with a siren and a beacon light that attract attention when a positive sample is blown.
By utilising fingerprint or facial biometric technology, organisations can ensure positive identification (and sobriety) of their employees, preventing employees from ‘buddy clocking’, a common occurrence with manual registers. Furthermore, with this technology, occurrences of human error are eliminated whereby security personnel may allow workers access to the workplace while neglecting to follow the correct access protocol.
“We have linked the breathalyser to the ERSBio software that enables advanced reporting on each reading. The reporting function is extremely powerful and can be set up to capture the number of tests that have been done, the exact time of employee clock-ins, and the number of employees who tested positive for intoxication. These reports can then be issued to security, safety and HR personnel on a daily as well as monthly basis. This information can be used to identify trends and pick up on repeat offenders, amongst other elements. The intelligence behind the data is where the value lies, and there are no limits to the customisation we can achieve,” Els adds. “As soon as a positive blow has been recorded, all relevant parties will be alerted immediately via the reporting mechanism, and the report can even provide suitable evidence including photographs.”