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Site Protection

by msecadm4921

At chemicals firm Johnson Matthey plc, its building in Edinburgh did not have a security management system to secure its sensitive products.

Concerns over contractor and visitor control, restricting movement within sensitive areas around the facility, and accounting for staff quickly in the event of an incident prompted installation of a security management system (SMS).

The site security manager needed to be able muster to account for all site staff at a moment’s notice due to the sensitive nature of Johnson Matthey’s business. Mustering provides an immediate count of all staff and their exact locations. In the event of an emergency, when mustering is mostly used, it saves hours of time over manually counting every employee.

He also needed an intrinsically safe card reader that held up to Sira Test and Certification standards (known in short as Sira, which provides Conformity Assessment Services) to operate in the company’s hazardous or explosive area (known as ZONE 1) and the immediate area surrounding that area (known as ZONE 2).

"Any equipment being used within an intrinsically safe area has to be Sira approved to acknowledge that the equipment is 100 percent safe for use in hazardous areas," said the manager. Intrinsically safe electrical equipment are devices capable of containing an explosion or electrical fault within their own enclosure that will not create a spark which could ignite fumes or gaseous atmospheres within the immediate area. The manager also needed to restrict movement within Johnson Matthey and protect secure areas imperative to their operation. Only authorised employees were allowed in hazardous areas for example.

Johnson Matthey installed a G4Tec Symmetry Professional security management system that includes three PC workstations, about 170 readers and 600 card holders. G4Tec manufactures their own products, and offers both longevity and product continuity over the SMS’s lifetime.

The Symmetry Professional SMS provides access control throughout the east and west wings of Johnson Matthey. Series 671, card and pin combination readers are used on all perimeter doors to provide an extra layer of security. Once securely inside those doors, proximity readers requiring just a card swipe allow employees to move throughout the interior. G4Tec readers occupy all doors in hazardous areas. Card and pin readers are used on all strongroom doors where product stock is stored.

The company utilises the photo ID badging capability within Symmetry Professional to create employee credentials onsite. Designated employees operate the photo ID badging station. A photo is taken of every employee and a credential is printed on a card printer and issued with the employee’s access level automatically programmed on the card. In the event of a lost card, it is immediately recorded in the SMS. Officials are on high alert and monitor if the lost card is being used at any site entry points.

In the event of an emergency in a hazardous zone, the muster option allows instant accountancy for everyone on site. Managers can quickly determine the location of everyone in the building, which could mean the difference between life and death.

The Symmetry Professional SMS enhances security and is a useful management tool in regards to health and safety on site. It restricts access in hazardous areas, provides mustering in the event of an emergency, plus a comprehensive report can easily be produced and printed out detailing all actions, movements and card transactions. Since the initial installation, the system has grown and the staff find it very easy to use.

"The system has proven to be very reliable," said the manager. "We can now restrict movement both on the site and throughout; we now have a much more secure and safety conscious environment to work in."

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