The Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation (RSSC) experienced regular staff intoxication during working hours. Two of their sugar mills had serious problems with workers arriving at work intoxicated. The sugar manufacturing industry can be very dangerous when you take into account: heavy vehicle movement on-site, forklifts, sugar dumping, conveyor belts, crushers, presses, high voltage powered machinery, high pressure hoses and pipes. It is the kind of environment where workers always need to be focused to ensure safety and prevent bodily harm. This is the last place where you want to find your workers intoxicated, not just for their own safety but also for the safety of others.
The RSSC tried to solve this problem by implementing a mandatory breathalysing test before a worker can enter the premises. The solution was for the guards to test every individual upon entry with the use of a handheld breathalyser. It soon became evident that the system was flawed due to human error. The guards were easily manipulated by the workers which resulted in either unlawful entering of premises or not reporting workers for further disciplinary action. Another problem identified was the fact that the workers decided to stop drinking before entering the premises but started drinking when on premises resulting in the same safety issues.
The RSSC decided to install an automated system to minimize the risk of human error and to do a test upon entry and exit to help identify the workers who drink on-site. This is where we come in. After consulting with the RSSC and identifying problems with their access systems we started on our strategy to resolve their problem and implement a sustainable alcohol testing program.
Automated System Process:
Upon entry, the workers’ fingerprints are scanned for identification purposes. Next, he/she blows into the breathalyser which provides either a pass if the person is not intoxicated or a fail if the person is intoxicated. If a worker passes the breathalyser he/she is allowed onto the premises. If a worker fails the breathalyser an alarm sounds to alert security. He/ she is removed by security a taken to another breathalyser which is calibrated to provide an alcohol level reading that is admissible in court and can be used for dismissal purposes. After the second breathalyser, the appropriate disciplinary steps can be taken. The entire process is repeated when the workers exit the premises.
The automated system was installed at every gate and turnstile to ensure proper access control. The breathalyser and access control system is integrated to provide the corporation with plant data that integrated and therefore holistically interpreted.
The access system integrated with the breathalysing system we installed at the RSSC has made the working environment a much safer place. The instance of workers working in an intoxicated state has reduced radically. As result, the RSSC are very happy clients of MMD.