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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

Three Reasons to Invest in Lone Worker Safety

It is currently estimated that 22% of the working population can be considered lone workers. With increasing pressures on businesses to enhance profits and productivity, and an increase in automation and new technologies, this number continues to grow year on year.

While lone working allows organisations to operate in a more efficient manner, it brings with it a new set of health and safety challenges. Lone workers are more vulnerable to the risks of violence, abuse, accident and injury since any risks they face, are faced alone.

But should organisations be taking extra care when protecting their lone working staff? This guide outlines three business reasons why you should take lone worker safety seriously; legal, moral and financial.

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The hidden costs of poor health & safety

When discussing the costs associated with poor workplace health and safety, direct costs such as fines and legal costs tend to take centre stage. While fines given to a business following a safety failing are designed to have a significant impact on the business, there are a multitude of ‘hidden costs’ that many forget to consider. Yet these hidden costs can also have a significant, and in many cases, ongoing financial impact on the business.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

The rise of the lone worker app – is it time to make the switch?

Dedicated devices have been around for a long time and are a great way to offer personal protection to at-risk employees. However, with the advancement of technology and availability of smartphones, safety apps can offer a new and efficient way of providing protection.

With more and more businesses switching to smartphone technology to keep their staff safe, we take a look at some of the reasons why apps are gaining popularity.

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Check-in calls vs. check-in technology

Manual check-in calls are one of the most common methods used to monitor the safety of employees who work alone. Check-in calls are commonly scheduled at timed intervals throughout the day or before and after entering a work site.

While manual check-ins are perceived to be low cost and low resource, there are a number of challenges that arise when relying on check-in calls alone. Read more