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Web Extra: Blackline Safety’s Loner Bridge System

Click to see the Loner Bridge in action

Aug 5, 2015

by Alberta Venture Staff

Blackline Safety

The Innovation: Going old-school with radio frequencies
Senior Exec: Cody Slater HQ: Calgary

You’re working alone, 40 kilometres from the nearest ­person, inspecting a natural gas pipeline and the associated hardware. Suddenly, you’re overcome by gas from a small leak, and you fall to the ground. What happens next?

That’s the question Blackline Safety set out to answer.

Remote workers and their employers had been relying on small satellite tracking devices like Spot, made by Globalstar. While it worked well for recreational users, industry needed something more robust and something that wouldn’t be rendered impotent by a worker’s incapacity. Enter Blackline and its release of the Loner Bridge. “It’s a two-part system,” says chief technical officer Brendon Cook. “The base station maintains a satellite uplink and ­communication with a ­person-worn device via a 900 MHz radio link. That allows the user to walk or drive up to two kilometres away and maintain communication.” The personal device can detect falls or a lack of any motion and requires a periodic check-in via the simple press of a button, all features that will help save lives.

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