In the rapidly shifting landscape of manufacturing, ensuring safety and security is paramount, particularly when handling robust and potentially hazardous materials like steel. Renowned for its pioneering steel solutions, Hadley Group consistently achieves excellence in product quality and workforce safety.
With a diverse clientele spanning retail, automotive, and industrial sectors, the Group continually pushes the boundaries of research, product development, and machinery design. Stephen Emery, Technical Business Lead, works with a team of over 60 dedicated engineers and technicians – driving not only top-tier quality but also rigorous safety standards.
“By tracing back to the root of any incident, we can understand and establish better ways of working. Our team is dedicated to continuous improvement and refining our processes."
Hadley Group's operational complexities in their U.K. sites include dealing with machinery, handling coils, and managing the movements of forklifts and lorries. These activities, while routine, require a vigilant approach to ensure the well-being of the staff and smooth operations. Furthermore, there’s a need to investigate incidents thoroughly and trace back to the root causes.
"The challenge isn't just about what's happening within our walls but also what might be lurking just outside. We're well aware of external threats like potential thefts, especially given our proximity to public spaces and railways.”
The risk of theft – particularly of scrap materials – is also prevalent, leading to a loss of potential revenue from recycling. Given the multiple access points and close proximity to public spaces, a robust security system is essential. However, their current Windows-server-based camera system was cumbersome, lacking storage and consuming extensive bandwidth.
Seeking a cloud-based solution, Stephen chose Verkada as a holistic approach to physical security – protecting multiple sites under one platform. Teams are notified of key events, empowering them to take a proactive security stance.
"Having a centralised system with Verkada allows us to quickly detect and respond to incidents across all our sites. Our health and safety team is steadfast in reducing accidents. By swiftly addressing even near-miss scenarios, we not only prevent potential major accidents but also enhance our safety protocols. Plus, the ability to promptly review and save footage is invaluable for our recordkeeping and continued improvement."
Additionally, this integrated solution allows for accurate monitoring of site access, ensuring that contractors and visitors adhere to set protocols. Coupled with real-time analytics, teams are supported by a modern system that aligns with the Group's commitment to operational excellence and safety.
Simple to Install, Manage, and Use Remotely
For Stephen, the key attraction of Verkada is the ease of setup and daily operation. He no longer needs to maintain external servers, network, or digital video recorders to retain footage. No VPN or port forwarding is required to enable remote monitoring.
"Our firewall team appreciates the simplicity. They can isolate these systems from the rest of our network without a tedious list of rules. Just adding the order number populates all products and their licenses."
Each camera has onboard storage of up to 365 days with unlimited cloud-based archiving. Preconfigured, plug-and-play devices come online in minutes with a simple PoE cable, reducing the cost of overhead and installation requirements.
Features that help enable GDPR compliance
Verkada’s platform is also designed in such a way as to enable Hadley Group to comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Secure measures and certifications include:
EU-based data center to locally process and store data.
Continuous penetration testing by an independent security firm.
Data encryption at rest and in transit.
A range of NDAA-compliant products.
Successful completion of a SOC 2 Type 2 Audit.
Automatic updates with the latest software and firmware enhancements.
Integrations with Single Sign-On (SSO) providers including: Okta, Onelogin, Google Business Apps, and Azure Active Directory.
Integrations with Multi-Factor Authentication providers including: Duo, Lastpass, RSA, and Google Authenticator.
Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) with easily customisable permissions.
Audit Logs to see who has accessed and made changes to the system.
Prioritising Worker Safety and Reducing Incidents
Given the inherent risks in handling heavy coils, operating machinery, and coordinating vehicle movements, the Group's proactive stance on identifying and mitigating 'near-miss' incidents highlights their dedication to worker safety.
"By focusing on the 'safety pyramid' approach, we emphasise the importance of recognising and addressing even minor incidents, understanding that these can often be precursors to more serious accidents.”
Furthermore, proactive measures are taken to minimise 'near-miss' incidents. By encouraging workers to report any potentially unsafe situations, Hadley Group fosters a culture of vigilance and proactive safety. This continuous feedback loop ensures that processes are refined and risks are mitigated.
"Encouraging workers to report any potentially unsafe situations fosters a culture of vigilance. It's all about proactive safety, where everyone's eyes are open, and every voice matters. Verkada adds an essential layer of security, giving our teams greater visibility and objective video evidence.”
Loss Prevention and Perimeter Security
Beyond safety, Stephen recognises the vulnerability posed by discarded materials. The remnants of operations – including electrical waste, cabling debris, and scrap metals – often find their way into skips, becoming tempting targets for theft. “These materials might seem like 'just scrap' to some, but they have value, both in terms of potential revenue from recycling and the sheer principle of waste management."
The geographical placement of Hadley Group's sites amplifies the challenge. With buildings abutting public spaces – railway lines, parks, and other industrial units – perimeter security is top-of-mind. "It's not just about monitoring the obvious entry points. With our expansive premises neighboring public areas, there's a myriad of ways someone might attempt unauthorized access."
In Verkada Command, he set up alerts for a range of events, such as motion detection, person of interest (POI) detection, tamper detection, and status. When the event occurs, an alert is sent via email or text, so they can quickly review from anywhere.
“We’ve created a secure environment, both internally and externally. Our loss prevention strategy is strengthened with actionable tools such as 'Person of Interest' alerts and the flexibility to access or share footage from any device.”
Monitoring from a Mobile Device, Tablet, or Viewing Station
"When security guards are on patrol, they use the Comand mobile app. It’s very easy to use, and with SSO enabled, they don't have to remember a username or a password."
With Verkada, guards can access real-time footage on-the-move using the Command mobile app, ensuring swift reactions to any situation. For mission-critical monitoring, Viewing Station provides a tailored solution with customisable Smart Tiles to quickly surface the events that matter most.
"The Viewing Station’s flexibility allows me to customize camera displays, their order, and even how they rotate. It's also user-friendly, so our security team can focus solely on ensuring the safety and security of our premises."
Furthermore, Verkada marries high functionality with efficient bandwidth usage. By implementing H.265, the cameras operate at a steady state of 20-50kbps, ensuring minimal bandwidth consumption without compromising on quality. Edge-based processing and AI-driven analytics bring a suite of actionable insights to the table, whether it's People and Vehicle Analytics or license plate recognition (LPR).
Live Audio for Enhanced Awareness
For healthy and safety teams, understanding the complete picture during any incident is crucial. While visuals provide substantial information, integrating real-time audio delivers a deeper context to events as they unfold.
"Live audio offers a deeper understanding of on-site incidents. Beyond visuals, real-time conversations or distinct background noises – like the horn of a forklift – can be crucial for comprehensive incident assessments.”
The use case for live audio extends beyond capturing voices. For instance, forklifts are required to honk their horns when transitioning between zones.
"If there's any dispute about protocols, the audio recording provides undeniable evidence. Whether it's the distinct sound of a horn, a dropped item, or any sudden noises, it gives us a fuller picture of what transpired."
Beyond its immediate security implications, live audio can be used for broadcasting internal events or training sessions without any extra equipment. With a few clicks within the camera settings, both live and historical audio become available for the specific camera. Once active, the user-friendly interface ensures that accessing and controlling the audio feed, whether muting or adjusting the volume, is intuitive.
"What's appreciated is the feature's simplicity and the fact that it doesn't burden our network. This ensures that our operations remain smooth even when we continuously monitor both visuals and audio.”
360-degree Coverage and 24/7 support
"The combination of multiple views and live audio leaves no ambiguity about any incident's circumstances. Having a full record with visuals and sound means there's no room for dispute about what happened."
When incidents occur, the ability to draw from multiple angles ensures a comprehensive understanding. Complementing live audio, the Hadley Group employs Fisheye Cameras within their bays. These devices capture every detail with a 360-degree perspective, ensuring comprehensive coverage in the expansive rectangular bays. "The Fisheyes are invaluable when reviewing footage after an incident. The versatility of transitioning from a 360-degree view to a virtual pan tilt mode for a clearer perspective is priceless.”
Stephen has always emphasised the importance of swift, effective solutions. With Verkada's 24/7 support, he can reach out via phone, chat, or email and anticipate a quick response. This commitment is further exemplified by the expansion of Technical Support Engineering teams globally – including Australia and the U.K.
"The Verkada support team’s responsiveness and expertise ensure that any hiccup is addressed promptly."
Looking Ahead: Integrating Access Control
"We're keen to reintroduce access control in a manner that's both intuitive for users and straightforward for our team. The control box, with its capability to manage multiple doors, is an exciting development. Plus, the recent integration with ASSA ABLOY offering wireless lock technology, promises to cut down on extensive cabling."
Stephen is looking into Verkada Access Control to centralise access management, bring more doors to the cloud, and gain immediate visibility into access-based events. His proactive approach, supported by Verkada's technology, underscores the Group’s dedication to both operational excellence and the safety of their workforce
To learn more about Verkada solutions, request a personalised demo or attend an upcoming webinar.