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Aspire Housing

Housing Association Aspire Housing launched StaySafe to oversee the safety of their lone workers when visiting potentially dangerous neighbourhoods and properties.

Aspire Housing is made up of three strands; Aspire Housing, PM Training and Realise Charity. Lone working is common practice in both the Housing and Charity strands, where employees regularly visit homes and properties alone.

Housing employees visit homes to support clients as well as carrying out repairs and maintenance operations, while lone workers operating in the charity strand meet with and support young people.

Working across a range of environments and often behind closed doors, Aspire recognised that their employees could be exposed to a number of risks on a daily basis. While safety has always been a priority, Aspire identified that the dedicated device they had in place had become outdated and was no longer fit for purpose. As a result, Aspire undertook a review of the other solutions available and decided to trial StaySafe. Trial users responded positively to the new software and Aspire felt that StaySafe provided the most cost-effective and user-friendly solution for their staff.

How StaySafe helped:

  • An easy to use, time efficient alternative to an outdated system
  • Visibility of staff location on a real-time GPS map
  • Accurate and concise reporting to support Health and Safety policy
  • No extra equipment needed – staff already carry smartphones daily
  • Mandatory check-ins prompt users to check-in every 2 hours, letting Aspire know staff are safe throughout the day

Why did Aspire launch StaySafe?

Housing employees have been found to be particularly at risk of violence and aggression due to working with a diverse cross-section of the public and often behind closed doors. Shockingly, according to Inside Housing Magazine, in the UK an assault occurs every 35 working minutes. Out of 346 workers surveyed in 2015 as part of Freedom of Information requests made to every local authority in the UK, 69% reported they had been verbally assaulted within the last 12 months whilst carrying out their duties, with nine taken hostage and 27 attacked through being kicked, pushed or punched.

Aspire’s housing and charity sector lone workers are at risk when visiting members of the public, particularly vulnerable individuals who may be hostile or abusive. To mitigate these risks, Aspire use StaySafe for added reassurance that their workers are monitored and can easily signal for help when operating alone in properties and travelling between appointments.

The Results

HR Business Partner at Aspire, Clare Godbold comments:

Our Lone Workers have a positive feel for the app and find it easy to use and navigate. It is really useful that the app has a range of features and offers all the functionality we need in one place, without assistance from another device. As we have multiple workers visiting many properties and client’s homes, it is important we can keep on top of their safety between appointments through mandatory check-ins. Overall, the app adds reassurance for us and our employees and we are confident that this system offers better value for money than our previous system, which was regularly left forgotten or uncharged by our lone workers.

Aspire were also impressed by the range of additional features the StaySafe app provides. For example, Discreet Panic provides a way to signal for help out of view – from a pocket or handbag. In addition, if a member of staff is confronted by an attacker and are forced to switch off the app, entering a duress PIN conceals that the worker is signalling for help and cleverly behaves as if the app has been switched off and any alerts cancelled.

Hafod Housing

Hafod Housing are a not-for-profit organisation, providing affordable housing, care and support across South East Wales. Managing over 4,000 homes, Hafod Housing rely on a team of lone workers operating over a range of roles; from maintenance surveyors to caretakers and housing officers.

Lone workers at Hafod Housing are largely public facing and are frequently required to make visits independently to properties. Hafod works with some of the most vulnerable people in the community and do not always have the opportunity to meet and assess residents before housing them. Due to the nature of their work, Hafod’s housing officers are at higher risk of antisocial behaviours such as violence and aggression.

Those working to maintain properties regularly use ladders, heavy tools and carry out work on roofs and other potentially unstable structures. The risks they face tend to be more environmental as they are exposed to common workplace risks such as slips, trips and falls.

How StaySafe helped

  • Accurate monitoring through timed sessions and regular check-in intervals
  • Reliable alert options for situations of conflict
  • Precise location data in case of an emergency
  • Convenient and easily accessible smartphone app

Why did Hafod launch StaySafe?

Before using StaySafe, Hafod relied on a dedicated device system to monitor the safety of their lone workers. However, this system failed to meet their needs due to the absence of accurate location tracking which was vital in locating staff working alone, behind closed-doors, if an alert was raised.

Staff would also regularly forget to carry or charge these separate devices, which they were required to wear on lanyards. As an extra piece of equipment to bring to work each day, Hafod also found that staff would regularly forget to either charge the device, bring it to work with them or take it away with them before moving offsite.

Therefore, monitoring often proved impossible, and employees left vulnerable working alone.

Following a review of the market, Hafod shortlisted StaySafe as their preferred safety solution, commending both the features of the solution and the level of customer service, which went above and beyond what they had previously experienced. Hafod also concluded that by switching to StaySafe, there was no need to rely on their staff remembering additional devices, as the app is conveniently already on their phone which they naturally carry with them.

The Results

The App

Since using StaySafe, Hafod feels reassured that they are meeting their duty of care to their lone working staff. Employees can be monitored in situations that previously proved difficult to do so and the wide range of functionality provided by the app ensures there is a reliable way for them to signal for help.

Where signal and data may be limited in buildings and remote areas for Hafod Housing’s employees, StaySafe’s SMS fall-back feature allows workers to maintain uninterrupted sessions. This works through an automatic low signal mode, where the app will seek out any available connection, even at 2G, so that session functions and alerts can continue to be sent via SMS.

The Duress PIN is used by Hafod to mitigate situations where employees could face aggression from clients. If a worker is trapped in a situation where they have instigated a panic alert, but their aggressor forcibly tries to shut down the operation, the worker can enter their unique duress pin. This disguises the alert, making it appear to the aggressor that it has been cancelled. In reality, the duress alert will reach a manager as a matter of urgency.

The Hub

Through the StaySafe Hub, Hafod uses our external around-the-clock monitoring partner, Securitas to gain greater awareness of employee location and safety. The solution has proven time-saving as there is no need for manual monitoring. If an alert is sent by an employee, or they fail to check-in safely, a Securitas monitor will be alerted via email, SMS and in the Hub. The monitor can then open the Hub and immediately locate the employee and respond appropriately, escalating to the correct member of staff at Hafod.

Client Feedback

In addition to the reassurance the company now has in knowing that their workers are safe, staff have also fed back on their heightened sense of awareness of their own safety. This is important for housing workers who need to dynamically assess the environments they enter and deal with any possible risks alone. Being aware of safety and knowing that the company takes their well-being seriously, helps provide confidence that the lone workers can leave a situation if they feel uncomfortable, or call for additional assistance.

We are impressed by the versatility of the StaySafe app and broad range of features which tackle the issues we were previously facing. Switching to the StaySafe solution has proven more reliable, more user-friendly and much more efficient for lone workers and their managers. We now feel assured and wise to where our staff are which is of utmost importance as schedules can change last minute, and our staff are regularly in contact with members of the public that they have never met with before.

When talking to StaySafe, we were also incredibly impressed with the level of customer service and care we received. The StaySafe team were always on hand to answer any queries, provide additional information and even came in to train our staff. They helped make the transition from dedicated devices to a mobile app a smooth one and the support we receive still continues to this day.

-Nerys Eldridge, Project Officer, Hafod Housing Association

Celtic Anglian Water

Celtic Anglian Water use StaySafe’s app and wearable tech to keep Lone Workers safe

Celtic Anglian Water (CAW) is a water solutions company who provide treatment services across Ireland. Part of the Anglian Water Group are regarded as one of Ireland’s largest water service operators, CAW employees work across a range of offices and treatment plants across Ireland and the UK. With measures in place to minimise the requirement for lone working, some elements of work still require employees to attend sites alone, CAW launched the StaySafe app to ensure their lone workers are protected even out of hours.

Read more

Clinton Devon Estates

Clinton Devon Estates is a rural estate comprising 10,000 hectares across East and North Devon and in addition to farming and forestry, operates a range of rural businesses and a portfolio of residential and commercial property.

The company’s lone workers are required to perform off-site duties, which range from independent site visits to using heavy machinery and working at height. Workers are also at risk when travelling between locations (as driving is reportedly the largest killer in the world) whilst staff who are obligated to enter tenant’s houses could be at risk of verbal or physical assault.

Being based in the rural countryside also poses its own safety challenges, due to limited data connection and signal.

Read more

We Are Beams

We Are Beams (Beams) is a UK charity working to support the disabled children, young people and their families across Kent.

As part of their Direct Payment Support Service, Beams is commissioned by the local authority to help families best use the available funding to meet their individual circumstances and needs. The service is provided by a team of lone workers who visit clients at their homes to offer support and advice. Travelling by country roads and working behind closed doors, Direct Payment Case Workers are exposed to both environmental and people risk.

“Dealing with finances can be overwhelming at the best of times. Many of our families employ support workers directly, adding another layer of responsibility or they need to find alternative services which meet their child’s needs to ensure they spend funding in the best way. Lone working allows us as a charity to support as many families in the community as possible to take the stress out of the process. We understand that lone working does come with a set of risks and we want our employees to feel safe and secure as they do so.” – Karen Dorling, Direct Payment Service Manager.

Read more

Turner and Townsend use StaySafe to check-in with staff and monitor their safety out of hours

Turner and Townsend is a construction and project management consultancy, whose lone workers provide a range of services to organisations across the UK. Read more

Business Manukau use StaySafe to monitor the safety of crime prevention managers

Business Manukau is a non-profit organisation, providing services to businesses in the city of Manukau, New Zealand, with two main objectives; making Manukau safer for all, and promoting the city as the best place to shop, work, invest and play in Auckland.

In order to achieve their first objective, a number of crime prevention managers regularly patrol the streets of Manukau, dealing with shoplifters, beggars, buskers and persons displaying antisocial behaviour. The crime prevention managers work alone and often carry out patrols throughout the night. Read more

Dennis Eagle uses StaySafe to monitor the safety of their mobile engineers

Dennis Eagle logo

Dennis Eagle is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of refuse collection vehicles. The company has a number of service centres and contract sites throughout the UK, providing servicing and maintenance of customer vehicles.

Mobile engineers also provide servicing at workshops, customer sites and roadsides across the country. The nature of their work means that direct supervision cannot be guaranteed and work environments can be unpredictable. Read more

Shields Environmental protect lone working telecoms staff

Telecoms supplier, Shields Environmental have switched from a manual check-in system to StaySafe’shields-e logos easy to use app to ensure their staff are safe whilst they work and travel in the field.

Shields Environmental provide services and equipment to the telecoms industry. Their team of lone workers carry out electrical installations on sites across the UK, often travelling between busy cities and remote locations working at height and with electricity. Read more

Calgary Urban Project Society

Not-for-profit organisation, CUPS, use StaySafe on Cat® rugged smartphones for a robust, reliable way to protect their community workers.

Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS) are a non-profit organisation working to support individuals and families in overcoming the challenges of poverty. CUPS provide the resources needed for individuals to get their lives on track and achieve their full potential through three main services; housing, education and health care.

CUPS were previously using a different service to monitor staff safety but felt that it wasn’t enough to carry out their duty of care. While it provided a rough idea of where staff were located, it was not enough to locate them quickly in an emergency. They also found that it wasn’t suitable for all of their lone workers and so only a couple of teams were able to use it. Read more