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Real-Life Incident: Juan’s Story – Trapped in a Twister

Blackline Safety Leader in Connected Gas Detection & Lone Worker Safety July 06, 2023

tornado-bannerWorker stuck inside storage container while seeking shelter from a tornado is rescued.

Juan, an environmental advisor with a midstream energy company with operations in the Southwestern US, performed a site inspection in extremely windy conditions when the weather drastically changed. As the conditions took a turn for the worse, he saw a tornado forming on the horizon.

1300-tornados DID YOU KNOW?
There were over 1,300 tornadoes in the US in 2022.
(National Centers for Environmental Information, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Worried he would not be able to return to his vehicle in time and drive out of the twister’s path, Juan took shelter in a nearby storage container and shut the door tightly.

Unfortunately, the tornado reached the storage container, forcefully knocked it over, damaged the door and blocked Juan from exiting safely.

“I was all alone and absolutely terrified,” Juan later recalled. “My lip was split open; I had a big gash on my finger; and I was trapped in a confined space with 100 mph winds whirling around me and no way to get out of this mess.”

Protected Because Connected

The upheaval triggered a fall alert from the G7c lone worker device Juan was wearing.

Juan’s G7c was monitored 24/7 by Blackline’s Safety Operations Center (SOC). Two seconds after the storage unit was overturned, an SOC agent received the fall alert from Juan’s device. The agent immediately contacted Juan on this cell phone and confirmed he needed emergency assistance as Juan had been injured.

17-percent DID YOU KNOW?
Only 17% of lone workers report having access to a system to check-in themselves.
(EHS Today)
soc-monitors-juan ems-safety-response-juan

Coordinating the response

The Blackline SOC agent remained on the line to ensure Juan’s safety and help keep him calm. Meanwhile, an assisting Blackline SOC agent immediately contacted EMS dispatch and provided Juan’s exact location using the GPS coordinates from Juan’s G7. They also got a hold of his supervisor to inform him of the situation. 

When the supervisor got the call from the SOC, he was able to log into the Blackline Live monitoring platform and see that another coworker was working nearby. He phoned the coworker who was able to get to the container quickly and help Juan out.

“I don’t think I would have been able to get out of that situation as quickly without the SOC coordinating the response,” said Juan. “And it was reassuring to have a live voice on the line throughout the whole ordeal."

safety-monitoring-incident-response-juanSafety That’s a Step Ahead

Over 150,000 industrial workers worldwide rely on Blackline’s connected technology to protect them at work and get in front of on-the-job risks—whether from working alone, confined spaces, slips and falls, or harmful gases. Juan’s story is a testament to the power of connectivity to save lives.

This real-life incident is a true story, but names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the people involved.

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