ERSBio, specialists in customised biometric time and attendance solutions, has partnered with ALCO-Safe to incorporate standalone breathalysers with its advanced reporting capabilities and solutions.
“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 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 ALCO-Safe MD Rhys Evans.
The partnership resulted from customers’ requests for more detailed information from breathalysers than just a simple pass or fail reading or denial of access and, in addition, COVID-19 led to organisations moving away from handheld breathalyser equipment. The two companies partnered to design an integrated breathalyser solution, the Lion ALCONTROL, that can monitor large volumes of people entering the workplace by means of an access control biometric tool.
The tool works in the following way: on arrival, an employee places a 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 the employee to blow into the device. An employee is granted access to the workplace only once the breathalyser produces a negative result.
“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 ERSBio special projects consultant Zander Els.
The ALCONTROL is designed to be used in any environment that requires 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 employees, preventing employees from ‘buddy clocking’, which is a recognised problem in manual registers. The technology also helps to eliminate human error, such as security personnel allowing workers access to the workplace without following 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.”
“Our partnership is mutually beneficial, as we are able to offer the customised products ERSBio needs, while leveraging their established customer base and market expertise to tap new markets. We look forward to a longstanding relationship with ERSBio’s tailored solutions to meet the specific needs of the South African market,” Evans concludes.