Access Control

ERSBio, ALCO-Safe add breathalysers to biometric access control

ERSBio, a local specialist in customised biometric time and attendance solutions, has partnered with ALCO-Safe to incorporate breathalysers with advanced reporting capabilities into its offering.

Rhys Evans, MD at ALCO-Safe, says alcohol testing is a ‘natural extension’ of time and attendance solutions, particularly in industries such as 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,” he explains.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in organisations moving away from handheld breathalyser equipment that controlled access to the worksite.

To address this, ERSBio and ALCO-Safe worked together 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 places 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.

Zander Els, special projects consultant at ERSBio, says as ALCO-Safe is a local manufacturer with local support, years of market experience and quick turnaround times, partnering with them made sense from a development perspective.

“We are using the Lion ALCONTROL, which can operate on bi-directional and man trap style turnstiles, to prevent employees from entering the premises while intoxicated,” Els adds.

The ALCONTROL can be used in any environment for operator-free breathalyser testing. It can be mounted on a wall 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.

No more buddy clocking

The fingerprint or facial biometric technology helps organisations make sure their employees are who they say they are, and are sober, preventing a practice called ‘buddy clocking’.

With this technology, instances 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,” says Els.  These reports can be issued to security, safety and HR personnel on a daily or monthly basis, and the information used to pinpoint trends and identify repeat offenders.

“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.”

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