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ABP is first in the UK to trial Rombit’s safety wearables

17 June 2022
Damian Bemben

ABP trials the Rombit safety wearables at ABP Port of Garston, Liverpool

Associated British Ports (ABP) is the first UK ports group to invest in innovative wearable safety devices. The wearables are designed by the leading safety solutions company Rombit. ABP’s IT innovation team worked closely with Rombit and Rombit’s official UK partner Net4 on this trial. Although the wearables had been extensively tested in busy mainland European ports, like Antwerp, their use by ABP is a first for any organisation in the UK.

ABP’s extensive work to optimise safety across its ports resulted in the lowest number ever of Lost Time Accidents in 2021, and continuous improvement in workplace safety is a core value shared by ABP and Rombit. Building on the existing PPE (high visibility clothing, eye protection, safety helmets, protective boots and gloves), this new technology provides connected workers with a new level of protection. Following a successful trial of the Rombit safety devices at ABP’s Port of Garston, Liverpool, the design was refined to adapt to ABP’s specific requirements and will be rolled out further.

The new safety devices, which are worn on the wrist, arm or ankle, and attached to machinery, have a wide range of uses including lone worker support, collision avoidance and evacuation in case of emergency. For example, when a vehicle fitted with the Rombit anchor and a port operative with a Rombit wearable are too close to each other, the devices will vibrate and light up, alerting both the driver and the pedestrian to avoid a potential collision.

The speed of reaction to lone workers in an incident is critical to minimising the danger. In case of an emergency, a lone worker can use the device to request help. Similarly, the device can alert the system if the lone worker has a fall or shock, or if no motion is detected at all for a specified period of time. This enables a swift assessment and reaction to a situation helping to minimise risk.

As Mike McCartain, ABP’s Group Director of Safety, Engineering & Marine said,

“At ABP, we put safety at the heart of everything we do, and we continuously invest in innovative ways to sustain our exemplary safety record and the confidence of our staff. We are delighted to be the first company in the UK to work in partnership with Rombit and trial these cutting-edge new safety gadgets in our ports, supporting the development of this useful technology.”

Evert Bulcke, CEO of Rombit said,

“Cocreation is at the heart of operational success. In working with Rombit, and steering the product to meet port logistics requirements, ABP proved a very valuable partner. The result is an IoT safety solution that saves lives while minimising false positives and negatives.”

Notes to editors:

About ABP (

ABP, the UK’s leading ports group is Keeping Britain Trading with 21 ports and other transport related businesses, creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo.

We are driving growth, contributing £7.5 billion to the UK economy every year and supporting over 200,000 jobs. Our current investment programme promises to further increase our contribution to regional economies around the UK.

ABP is also an essential partner for the Offshore Wind industry, providing Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for over 50% of the sector’s activity, as well as investing in infrastructure to realise future renewable energy generation.

ABP in numbers:

  • ~ 90 million tonnes of cargo handled each year
  • 5,000 hectares of port estate owned
  • 1,000 hectares of open storage
  • 1.4 million square metres of covered storage
  • 87km of quay
  • > 1.5 million vehicles every year
  • ¼ of the UK’s rail freight generated
  • > £55 million investment made in low emission and renewable energy generation technologies

About Rombit (

Rombit is committed to making logistics and industrial operations safe and efficient. The technology company, headquartered in Antwerp, develops software and hardware solutions. Rombit was founded in 2012 and employs 60 people who work on customised projects and off-the-shelf products.

The product division, launched in 2020, markets the Rombit brand internationally with offices in the US, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. The company quickly became known for a wearable application for tracking employee Covid contacts.

Rombit works together with Net4 as their official UK partner. Net4 is a UK based technology solution specialist providing sales, installation, support and integration for Rombits worker safety solutions.

Contact Rombit:
Stephanie Verbruggen
Marketing Manager
+32 4 94 45 91 19

Contact Net4:
Beth Malia-Taylor
Head of Operations
0208 1940822.

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