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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Why inSite body worn cameras are more than ‘just a bodycam’

Commercial-grade body-worn cameras are often regarded as a standard item of equipment deployed to security personnel – but the growing prevalence of incidents and abuses at high levels impacting highways and transport personnel have contributed to a new level of functionality and innovation.


Standard bodycams are just that – standard! They offer limited functionality meaning they’re not suitable for a more complex usage.


Rather than an item of equipment that is used to record interactions and facilitate after-the-event assessments, cutting-edge body-worn cameras are an asset that enables real-time communication, active threat assessments and even emergency responses in the most severe situations.


Let’s look at how the inSite body-worn camera from Clearway works – and why they’re so much more than a static recording device.


What Are the Advantages of a Next-Gen Wearable Body Camera?


Traditionally, body-worn cameras recorded events and occurrences, using either or both audio and visual records to document incidents. This footage was routinely used to verify whether operational protocols were followed, to verify or discredit accusations of wrongful behaviour, and as proof of illegality in prosecution proceedings.


However, the challenge with a post-dated record of events is that it is inherently only useful when an issue such as aggression, violence or intimidation has happened.


Part of the drive behind the new wave of advanced body-worn cameras is that the professionals, contractors, and operators wearing these devices may need assistance, real-time guidance and the assurance of a support mechanism in place when faced with an on-site issue or emergency situation.


While sold as a commercial solution body-worn camera, this style provides a far greater scope of technology, functionality and capacity. It surpasses the nature of post-incident recording that has proven to have limited applications in high-risk and real-world environments and scenarios.


How Do Real-time Body Camera Devices Reduce Risks?


We’ve mentioned key sectors such as highway workers and construction teams – primarily because these workforces have been subject to ever-increasing personal safety risks and threats from disturbances, protests, and illegal activity over recent years.


In many cases, this conflict is down to perceptions about the cost or purpose of maintenance works, the delays caused that impact traffic queues and commuting times, or purely the inconvenience of needing to navigate around temporary traffic control measures and lights.


Unfortunately, in many incidents, the frustration is directed towards workers and contractors on scene – who are not involved in infrastructure planning, workforce deployment, or the priority of repair works they are dispatched to complete.


With a huge spike in infrastructure work over recent months, the unfortunate side effect is that thousands of experienced workforce members have found that their day-to-day work is impacted by disruption. In the worst scenarios, this can lead to concerns over personal safety, particularly for contractors who are not trained or skilled in conflict resolution.


How Do Body-Worn Cameras Support Field Staff?


The connectivity of a superior body-worn camera means that any individual working on the ground, remotely or alone, has the digital support of a supervisor or monitoring party engaged with their live stream footage at all times.


Road workers are a good example. Operatives will rarely, if ever, have control over the sections of the highway network they are instructed to work on or the duration of the work required. However, they are also often the first point of contact for disgruntled road users who object to the nature or the time frame of the work being carried out.


Supervisors can use body-worn camera footage to supervise events on a live-stream basis, adjust the frequency of monitoring site visits and advise on any issues or problems that crop up in real-time.


Outcomes can include improved efficiency and reduced timescales while also ensuring that businesses are more financially sound, and that any challenges workers encounter along the way are immediately referred to senior decision-makers and engineers to make prompt decisions.


Workers can also rely on live broadcast functions and two-way communications to liaise with team members and supervisors to communicate any problems that arise during the working day. This function can be beneficial for operative check-ins and workforce logs, as well as for sharing information.


Integrating Body-Worn Cameras With Live Monitoring


One of the common solutions used to improve the visibility and control that body-worn cameras offer is to introduce a consolidated monitoring service. The Clearway Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) acts as a devolved security centre staffed by qualified, trained responders.


Workers who are staffing highway zones or construction sites alone or work within a limited workforce can transmit an emergency signal at any point, providing a direct point of contact with professional security responders.


They can also use the same functions to circulate broadcast alerts around the site and to eliminate the potential for health and safety issues to cause further negative outcomes.

ARC operators can review the live footage and walk the wearer through the appropriate protocols, whether that means contacting the police or referring back to the health and safety action plan. They can also liaise with other emergency response services as necessary, ensuring a rapid response is en route in the event of a critical incident.


Rather than being a passive recording device, a body-worn camera can be a direct line of communication, the foundation of a crisis response protocol, and an avenue for lone workers or those in high-risk and potentially volatile situations to contact a responder at any point.


Other Features


The Clearway inSite bodycams offer invaluable advanced functionality to enhance a number of business functions:


Enhanced Communications


Part of the challenge of a large site is that workers may be placed in various locations and need a central way to communicate and share information about risks, progress or other factors that impact the work completed in one shift.


Alongside one-touch SOS buttons, colleagues can activate live communications through helmet cameras and other body-worn devices, enabling them to broadcast communications with the rest of the workforce or open a line to a supervisor or manager


Auto redact


The auto-redact feature generates a new, redacted video to protect personal information and identity. This tool specifically focuses on privacy and security by automatically obfuscating sensitive information like faces and vehicle registrations within the video content.


The feature streamlines the process of safeguarding identifiable details, making it especially relevant in scenarios where privacy regulations and compliance are crucial.


Transcribe


The “transcribe” function allows users to generate a new, transcribed version of a video.


This new version adds subtitles and a transcript. The transcription is produced from the audio within the selected video clip, providing users with a convenient and accessible way to review or share video content. This functionality proves particularly useful for scenarios where text-based documentation of audio content is essential, offering improved comprehension and information retrieval.


Helmet-cams can be used to help with surveys, recording what the inspector is seeing with the ability to transcribe what is being said. This saves time when compiling survey reports.


An interactive map


The “Interactive Map” functionality displays the last known positions of BodyCams on a map. Users can click on a specific device on the map to quickly navigate to it within the surveillance section. Devices that are currently online are visually highlighted in green, providing real-time status information. This feature enhances situational awareness, allowing users to geographically track the locations of BodyCams and seamlessly transition to monitoring specific devices from the map interface.


Several Devices ‘in-one’


Current ‘bodycam’ solutions rely on different devices for various activities. Clearway has amalgamated these into one piece of equipment. Whether workers need to share a quick update, alert colleagues to risk or respond to a request for a progress report, these body-worn cameras augment personal safety, workforce health protection, communications, and managerial oversight – making them significantly more than just a bodycam.

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