Hi-Crush Inc. Protects Remote Workers From Safety Threats With AlertMedia
- Duty of CareProtects employees while on the job, ensuring they are aware of all potential hazards and how to avoid them
- SafetyKeeps field-based employees safe, connected, and up to date on the latest safety and security threats
- EfficiencyEnables safety managers to rapidly notify all affected employees of relevant threats with just a few clicks
- VisibilityMonitors, analyzes, and automatically alerts employees and safety leaders to emergent, relevant, nearby threats
- IndustryOil & Energy
- ProductsEmergency Communication Software, Global Threat Intelligence
- Primary UsesEmergency, Operations, Inclement Weather, Business Travel
Real-Time Visibility Into Emerging Threats for Remote Employees
Founded in 2010, Hi-Crush Inc. provides premium monocrystalline sand and last-mile logistics operations. Hi-Crush Inc. is headquartered in Houston, Texas but has operations across a broad geographical area. It is a fully integrated, strategic provider of premium monocrystalline sand—a specialized mineral that is used to enhance the recovery rates of hydrocarbons from oil and natural gas wells—and last-mile logistics operations.
Hi-Crush aims to innovate and simplify sand supply operations and is dedicated to responsible and efficient proppant production with minimal environmental impact. It is comprised of four divisions specializing in turnkey solutions for the dynamic well completion needs of its energy and petroleum customers. Its integrated services include Hi-Crush proppant supply and midstream distribution management; Pronghorn advanced logistics and wellsite operations; NexStage silo equipment sales and leasing; and PropDispatch proppant management, logistics dispatch, and inventory monitoring software.
With operational sites located in multiple states across the U.S., Hi-Crush needed a better way to protect and communicate safety and security threats to its remote, field-based workers. After implementing AlertMedia’s emergency communication software and local threat monitoring solution, Hi-Crush now has real-time visibility of emerging threats and which employees are potentially impacted. This allows Hi-Crush to rapidly communicate these threats to its dispersed workforce, thereby improving safety, protecting vital business operations, and fulfilling the company’s duty of care.
Protecting Dispersed, Field-Based Workers When Emergencies Strike
This ever-growing company recognized it needed a more effective, efficient way to communicate with field-based employees—primarily front-line managers and workers at its remote sites—during emergency situations such as fires, severe weather events, and security risks.
Prior to AlertMedia, Hi-Crush relied on safety personnel, leads, and site managers at each operational site to monitor and alert employees to local and site-specific emergencies, which was typically done through one-on-one text messages. There was no consistency in communication, messages were often prone to falling through the cracks, and it put pressure on safety managers by having to constantly stay up to date on all potential dangers facing the sites and the people who worked there. With some sites having upwards of 150 employees, the process was also inefficient, and the information was often already outdated by the time everyone received the message.
Rocco Meraglia, Hi-Crush’s Vice President of Health and Safety, adds, “When I came on board to lead our health, safety, and security efforts, I conducted a gap analysis to analyze the risks and threats we faced at our operational sites around the business units. With multiple sites spread across numerous states—many of which are vulnerable to severe weather events such as tornadoes, floods, and snowstorms—we knew we couldn’t continue to keep our people safe without a more modern, standardized approach to emergency communication.”
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and surrounding areas in 2017, it impacted both Hi-Crush operations and employees based out of Hi-Crush’s Houston headquarters. The magnitude of the disaster reinforced to the Hi-Crush management team that it was time to take action. Meraglia adds, “The Houston flooding was a wake-up call that we needed to standardize and improve our emergency response and communication procedures—and do it with urgency. We immediately began exploring our emergency communication technology options.”
Streamlined Communications Reach Impacted Employees in Minutes
After evaluating a number of options, Hi-Crush selected AlertMedia as its provider of emergency communication systems for its ease of use, outstanding customer support, and innovative product features and capabilities. With the ability to create dynamic groups, for example, Hi-Crush’s administrators can easily segment employees based on specific criteria—such as by location, department, or job title—to quickly identify the right recipients for any notification.
"When our sites in Wisconsin were in areas covered by a tornado warning, we were able to leverage the mobile app, along with the system’s pre-built notification templates, to send a warning in less than a minute to all affected employees that they should immediately cease operations and go to their designated muster points."
Being able to connect with employees across multiple communication channels—including AlertMedia’s easy-to-use, full-featured mobile app—has also been instrumental in ensuring reliable communication. Notes Meraglia, “Our operational sites are often situated in remote and isolated environments where field workers might only have cell phones, making the ability to communicate over multiple channels vital to ensuring message deliverability.”
All employees are encouraged to utilize AlertMedia’s native mobile app—available for both iOS and Android devices—and all administrators regularly send notifications using the mobile app on their phones and tablets. Health and Safety Analyst Greta Gearing reveals, “When our sites in Wisconsin were in areas covered by a tornado warning, we were able to leverage the mobile app, along with the system’s pre-built notification templates, to send a warning in less than a minute to all affected employees that they should immediately cease operations and go to their designated muster points.”
And while the platform was purchased with the expectation that it would primarily be used to inform and update employees on severe weather events, the organization soon realized the wide variety of emergency scenarios for which the multi-channel, two-way emergency communication system could be utilized.
“Recently we had an active shooter incident in downtown Seattle where I am based, making lockdown of our building a necessity,” said Rocco Meraglia. “In these types of rapidly unfolding situations, you really see how important it is to be able to communicate quickly and clearly. Being able to identify who has received and read any given notification—and who is safe or who might be in need of assistance—are invaluable to assessing employee well-being and guiding our emergency response efforts.”
Threat Intelligence Proactively Protects Remote and Traveling Employees
Following the successful implementation of AlertMedia’s emergency communication software, Hi-Crush soon expanded its relationship with AlertMedia, adding its threat intelligence premium features. Given the company’s dispersed and often remote workforce, it was becoming impossible for Hi-Crush to manually track and analyze all of the threats that could impact every employee, at any given moment. To improve the company’s journey management processes—especially given the company’s expanding geographical reach—Hi-Crush now relies on AlertMedia to ensure its traveling workforce stays safe prior to, during, and after travel.
AlertMedia’s innovative threat intelligence solution is backed by a team of expert analysts who monitor thousands of data sources to identify, vet, and geolocate unfolding events. Its powerful threat assessment engine then performs calculations to identify any relevant threats and impacted people based on Hi-Crush asset and employee locations and automatically alerts Hi-Crush’s safety leadership team in near real-time. This threat intelligence allows Hi-Crush to keep a pulse on unfolding events that may impact employee safety and security without having to constantly monitor local and global news outlets, Twitter feeds, weather alerts, and other threat sources to stay ahead of potential threats. With this information, the system then automatically identifies those impacted and sends them an alert—or allows the Hi-Crush safety team to rapidly deploy pertinent, time-sensitive messages and send targeted notifications pre-populated with threat details in just a few clicks.
“Over the course of my career as a health and safety professional, I’d estimate that 85 percent of the major safety incidents and fatalities I’ve seen have been the result of human error or behavior. AlertMedia’s threat assessment engine allows us to take the manual element and subjective decisions out of threat monitoring and analysis, minimizing our exposure to risk and improving safety outcomes.”
Those Who Prepare for the Worst Are Ten Steps Ahead in a Crisis
With AlertMedia’s modern emergency communication and threat monitoring solutions, Hi-Crush is confident it has a solid emergency preparedness and communication plan in place should a crisis occur. Given the organization’s broad geographical footprint and large, dispersed workforce, Hi-Crush can protect its employees and operational sites from any critical event they may face. Adds Meraglia, “I’m a firm believer in expecting the best but preparing for the worst. Knowing we have AlertMedia’s technology and expertly trained specialists behind us every step of the way is a huge relief. With AlertMedia, we can expand our business into new geographical areas and markets while still keeping employee safety and security at the forefront.”