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Remotely possible: The advantages of automated monitoring during the coronavirus pandemic

Published on May 01, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic reaches its peak, many of the UK’s operations are on pause. But, for those works that are considered necessary, and when restrictions start to be lifted, new working practices must be adopted to ensure health and safety remains top priority.

As a constantly evolving organisation RSK recognises the importance of continuous improvement and innovation in all that we do. We are always looking to innovate and apply new technologies and approaches to meet our clients’ challenges and drive efficiency. The situation regarding coronavirus only makes us more determined to adapt and to find a solution to our client’s problems. Therefore, RSK, with health and safety always number one, and innovation at our forefront, is well positioned to assist with adapting working practices to ensure that works can continue as close to normal as possible, without compromising the health and safety of your staff.

One way in which we are able to do this, is through using a range of remote technologies that limit human contact and therefore reduce risk to life through contamination. You may have seen recently that RSK, in partnership with Skyports, is involved with drone trials that could enable unmanned aircrafts to deliver medical products remotely. The current coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how significant this could be.

Another piece of remote technology championed by RSK is automated monitoring systems. Such systems can be installed on site to detect structural movement, for example of a wall during construction or remediation works. Providing 24/7 monitoring, 365 days a year, the technology negates the need for an engineer to be on-site full-time, to do this monitoring manually. Ordinarily, this is an attractive option for many, not least because of the cost-savings offered, but this becomes even more useful during the coronavirus pandemic as social distancing measures must be adhered to.


“The automated monitoring system usually takes one to two days to install,” comments RSK Survey Manager Brian Harding. “Then we spend a few days in the office ensuring that it is fine-tuned to the requirements of the site and the client. Once set up, the monitoring system will feedback in real-time, so you can log in at any time and see what’s happening. To save the need for continuous monitoring, automated alarms can be set to trigger levels to alert staff if significant movement is detected, or even issue a ‘stop work’ warning if levels get too high.

“Automated monitoring isn’t an option for all sites,” Brian continues. “But we can assess and advise on the best option for each client and site. Where it is appropriate, the benefits are extensive, and it becomes particularly economical after 8-10 weeks. Whereas an engineer on site might miss movement if it happens out of hours, on a weekend, Bank Holiday or evening, the system operates 24/7, 365 days a year. The real-time monitoring website also gives our clients a hands-on approach to their monitoring results data.”

If you are interested in finding out more, Brian will be happy to provide further information. The team can offer a bespoke package on a site-by-site basis to account for your needs and the site constraints.

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Brian Harding

Survey Manager, RSK

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As survey manager, Brian leads the survey team and has 17 years’ experience in the industry. He has previously undertaken work as a lead surveyor in the gas and pipeline industry and his team works throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

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