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Improving lone worker safety at RPS

Founded in 1970, RPS is a leading global professional services firm of 5,000 consultants and service providers. Operating in 125 countries across six continents, RPS offers a wide range of services in the environmental planning and sustainability space, including project and programme management, water services, exploration and development, planning, approvals and training.

Upgrading from a buddy system to cutting-edge technology

The varied nature of the RPS Groups’ services means that they employ many lone workers, such as their ecology consultants within their environment teams. Consultants often spend their days alone, exploring remote areas across the UK and investigating acres of farmland and green spaces.

The remote nature of this particular role means their lone workers are faced with a number of hazards, including slips and trips, and extreme weather conditions. Inconsistent phone reception is also an additional concern for many lone workers and their managers.

For other teams, the risk of verbal and physical abuse from the public is high.

StaySafe helps RPS to ‘be safe, and work safe’ RPS is committed to improving staff wellbeing and protections for all their lone workers.

The StaySafe app has provided an extra layer of safeguarding for their employees. The StaySafe app gives employers visibility of the location and safety status of lone workers in an emergency and allows them to check in safely once they have finished a lone working or travel session. Real-time employee location and status is available to view within a secure cloud-based Hub. If an employee fails to check-in, alarms are raised within the Hub and via SMS, email and phone call so that assistance can be sent straight away. Plus, employees are in complete control of when their location is visible to ensure their privacy is maintained.

Replacing their manual check-in system with the StaySafe app has not only made staff feel safer, RPS are now able to clearly demonstrate to their clients that they take lone worker safety extremely seriously. Every employee now knows that if they need help, it’s there.

Protecting staff with 16% more signal coverage than any other app

StaySafe’s low signal mode is also an added safeguard for RPS’s teams, especially for those who work in very remote areas. Low signal mode is a standard feature within the StaySafe app which allows the app to switch seamlessly between all available connections (from 2G – SMS – through to 5G and Wi-Fi) to ensure the app stays connected. If an employee enters an area with no signal at all, their last known location remains visible in the Hub and missed check-ins will still trigger an alert, even if that employee is still out of range. This feature means StaySafe offers 16% more coverage than any other lone worker app.

StaySafe has also helped employees to feel more confident if they are faced with an aggressor. In some cases, RPS has found that a lone worker simply getting their phone out to press for help has been enough to de-escalate a situation.

Availability on both Android and Apple provides a unified approach to employee safety

“We want our staff to be safe, and to work safely. We are always looking to see what we can do better. The StaySafe app is helping us to achieve that. It is easy to use, and their-friendly customer service is first class. Some of the alternative options we looked at were quite complicated, and, because we have a mixture of Apple and Android users, some would only work for one and not the other. StaySafe works on both and it looks the same on both too”

says Stuart Barnard, Head of Health, Safety, Environment and Quality.

The speed of rollout has been a huge success for RPS. Lone workers are able to get up and running on the StaySafe app within 30 minutes and are now confident they will get help if or when they need it.

StaySafe has helped boost the safety culture at RPS

Every three years, RPS carry out an internal survey where employee safety always ranks very highly. This rating continues to improve as more employees use the app.

Talking about the impact StaySafe has had on the wider business, Stuart explains that

“the StaySafe app has made our safety policies even more robust. Our lone workers have told us that they feel safer and can see that we take their safety seriously. These improved safety measures mean employees see the benefits and we get a more efficient and an even higher standard of work.”

The StaySafe app has also enabled RPS to continue improving their support to employees; something they are passionate about. Following a lone worker incident, the company now tailors their aftercare support for each lone worker. If they feel able to, staff are encouraged to talk to mental health first aiders, as well as their line manager.

RPS believes that giving employees the time and opportunity to talk about what happened not only helps to further improve their safety, it also enables them to get the well-being support they need.

“At StaySafe we are always pleased to see the benefits our lone worker safety solutions bring to large organisations such as RPS. StaySafe offers peace of mind to lone workers who are faced with potential hazards whilst carrying out essential work in remote locations.”

Don Cameron CEO, StaySafe

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