Tag Archives: BS 8484

Guardian24 attains Secured by Design approval for MicroGuard personal safety device

Guardian24 has been awarded the prestigious Secured by Design accreditation for its specialist MicroGuard personal safety device.

The MicroGuard has met the extremely stringent specifications set by Secured by Design – the official UK police initiative that supports ‘designing-out crime’ through the use of high quality and innovative products and processes.

MicroGuard is also fully approved to BS 8484.

The coveted Secured by Design award provides end users with reassurance that the MicroGuard is effective in assisting lone workers and those at risk in an emergency. The device is one of very few lone worker alarms to be granted police service national approval.

James Murray, CEO of Guardian24, stated: “We’re extremely proud to have been awarded the Secured by Design accreditation. The MicroGuard device is now fully certified and compliant to the highest industry standards. End users can rest assured in the knowledge that Guardian24’s service provision is constantly monitored, assessed and subjected to rigorous external testing.”

Combining the latest GPS, GPRS and fall alarm technologies, the lightweight MicroGuard provides lone workers with discreet and convenient protection at the touch of a button.

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Send For Help Group’s subsidiary companies elected as Committee Members of BSIA’s Lone Worker Section

The Send For Help Group – Europe’s largest lone worker protection provider – has been granted two Committee Memberships of the British Security Industry Association’s (BSIA) Lone Worker Section, representing one for each of its subsidiary companies.

Marketing director Will Murray has been re-elected as representative for Guardian24 while Ben Hawkins, who leads the company’s Incident Management Centre, has been newly appointed to represent Skyguard.

The BSIA’s Constitution dictates that Section Committee Member Elections are held on an annual basis via secret ballot among Section members. A maximum of eight places are available on the influential Committee, seven of which have been occupied thanks to the recent vote.

The Committee’s role is to set the Section’s strategy and vote on key decisions on behalf of the wider Section membership. Committee Members can also play an important role in the development and revision of industry standards as part of British Standards Institution (BSI) review panels. This is the case with the Send for Help Group’s two Committee Members who sit on the BSI panel which is currently redrafting BS 8484, the British Standard for Lone Worker Device Services which is due for publication in 2016.

Will Murray

Will Murray

The Send For Help Group’s CEO James Murray commented: “I’m delighted that both our subsidiaries are represented on such a prominent Committee, which is testament to the high esteem they command within the industry. The UK is leading the world in the lone worker protection market, and the BSIA’s dedicated Lone Worker Section is the leading group within the UK driving this forward. Having such a strong representation within this influential group is invaluable to the business in terms of maintaining its position at the forefront of the industry.”

Ben Hawkins

Ben Hawkins

Murray concluded: “I congratulate my colleagues on their appointments and I’ve no doubt they will continue to play an instrumental role both in terms of raising industry standards and developing the market.”

About Send For Help

Established in 2010, Send For Help is the investment vehicle of technology entrepreneur Jan Murray who founded the PC World superstore chain and Internet Technology Group plc.

James Murray

James Murray

Through its subsidiary companies, the Send For Help Group is the largest lone worker protection provider in the UK, on the European stage and, indeed, globally. Comprised of the Skyguard and Guardian24 brands, the Send For Help Group has a combined subscriber base of 70,000 end users operational across a diverse range of vertical markets.

The senior management team boasts over 40 years’ collective experience of working in the lone worker protection sector. Drawing from this specialist expertise, the Group’s constituents have invested in cutting-edge technology to develop exclusive personal safety products, a purpose-built Incident Management Centre, high quality software and infrastructures.

*Further information is available at: www.sendforhelp.co.uk

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Send For Help Group acquires Bluechip Technologies to become “Europe’s largest lone worker protection provider”

The Send For Help Group has acquired Bluechip Technologies Ltd (trading as Guardian24), which now makes the Group the largest lone worker protection provider in Europe. Combined with its existing subsidiary Skyguard, the Group has a subscriber base totalling 70,000 users across a diverse range of public and private sector vertical markets.

Formed in 2010, The Send For Help Group was established as the investment vehicle of technology entrepreneur Jan Murray to enable the acquisition of Skyguard. Murray has an established track record in emerging hi-tech industries, having launched the PC World superstores chain and also the Internet Technology Group (which was the largest sale of an independent ISP in the UK).

The latest deal has enabled the Group to take advantage of a number of synergies. Guardian24’s subscribers will be migrated to Skyguard’s state-of-the-art Incident Management Centre in Surrey for alarm management and emergency response. The purpose-built facility is manned 24/7 by Skyguard’s highly-trained controllers and accredited to the highest industry standards: BS 8484, BS 5979 (Category II) and ACPO’s Secured by Design scheme.

The two companies will also share new product development and technical expertise, augmenting their existing portfolio of dedicated personal safety devices, smart phone applications and mobile phone solutions.

Foundation for future growth

The Send For Help Group’s CEO James Murray commented: “This acquisition makes the Group the biggest provider in Europe’s lone worker protection industry and by some margin. The deal provides us with a solid foundation for future expansion and further acquisitions.”

Murray continued: “Thanks to our well-established brands we are industry leaders in the key lone working sectors, from the NHS and the police with Skyguard through to the social housing and charity sectors with Guardian24. This deal allows us to reinforce our leading position at a time when the market is experiencing a period of consolidation.”

The Send For Help Group’s senior management team has over 40 years’ collective experience of working in the lone worker protection industry. Drawing from this specialist expertise, the company has invested in cutting-edge technology to develop exclusive personal safety products, software and infrastructures.

For more information visit the website: www.sendforhelp.co.uk

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VINCI Facilities boosts lone worker security by selecting Skyguard’s MySOS solution

Part of the VINCI construction group, VINCI Facilities has chosen to roll out Skyguard’s personal safety service in order to mitigate potential risks for all of the company’s lone workers.

VINCI Facilities provides bespoke solutions and services to a variety of traditional vertical sectors including housing, education and healthcare. The company fully understands the potential risks faced by its dedicated lone workers. For example, VINCI’s resident liaison officers work alone and visit domestic properties across a wide array of locations from rural areas through to inner cities.

On that basis, Josephine O’Connor – business and community investment manager at VINCI Facilities – set about sourcing a BS 8484-compliant and approved lone worker personal safety service to support and protect the company’s lone working employees.

“Our officers encounter people from all walks of life,” stressed O’Connor. “They may find themselves alone and faced with awkward situations where there are known areas of high-risk.”

Following extensive research and after much deliberation, VINCI Facilities awarded Skyguard the contract to provide 24-hour emergency back-up for all lone worker personnel through its fully-accredited MySOS personal safety device.

The MySOS – which fits easily on a set of keys or may be carried on a belt holster – allows end users to raise an alarm at the press of a button should they feel threatened or deem their personal safety to be compromised. That alarm is immediately sent to Skyguard’s own purpose-built Incident Management Centre where trained controllers will listen-in, locate the end user, assess the situation and take appropriate action (including potential escalation of the scenario to the emergency services).

The MySOS personal safety device developed for lone workers by Skyguard

The MySOS personal safety device developed for lone workers by Skyguard

When tracking options are enabled, the MySOS device will also automatically record and transmit its GPS locations at set intervals. Alternatively, manual activation is realised by the press of a button on the device.

Locations may be viewed on a map with grid references – and in real-time – via Skyguard’s Customer Service Centre online portal.

Two-way communication and GPS location

In commenting as to why Skyguard was VINCI Facilities’ preferred choice, Josephine O’Connor stated: “The real-time link to the emergency services and the fact that the Skyguard controllers can hear what’s happening are real comforters. In a genuine emergency situation, the controllers will despatch the appropriate services to assist our lone workers. This is the degree of assurance we wanted and exactly why we chose Skyguard.”

O’Connor continued that theme by stating: “The offering of two-way communication, GPS location and emergency despatch all in one device ensures the complete safety of our staff in areas of risk. The fact that Skyguard links directly to the emergency services and that recordings are admissible in court were the deal-makers. On top of that, the security of knowing that we control all of the parameters via Skyguard’s Customer Service Centre and that we can tailor the response for every scenario from mild risks through to emergencies is ideal.”

Skyguard’s Customer Service Centre portal allows client administrators or end users to create and update their account details in real-time on a 24/7 basis. Clients can input their own emergency procedures tailored to their organisation and department or personalised to each employee.

“The Customer Service Centre portal gives us the management data we need to be able to keep the lone working staff safe,” asserted O’Connor. “It also details the geography of my teams. This has the added benefit of enabling me to better manage their time and afford an enhanced service to our clients.”

In conclusion, O’Conner said: “We have set procedures to follow in ensuring the Health and Safety of all our employees and customers. There was one incident where a staff member felt vulnerable. By using the MySOS, it gave that individual added confidence to better handle the situation knowing they were not alone.”

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BSIA issues new guidance document on lone worker protection devices

A new guide has been published by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) to help end users of lone worker devices or smart phone apps understand exactly when to summon help by using their device.

Published on Monday 6 October to coincide with National Personal Safety Day 2014, the two-page guide outlines a number of threat situations and recommends the appropriate action to be taken.

Designed to provide a means to call for help for those individuals working alone or without direct supervision, lone worker devices and smart phone apps provide essential peace of mind for many of the six million individuals across the UK who qualify as lone workers (including those in the healthcare, transport and retail sectors).

Connecting employees with an emergency response system that has direct links to the police, lone worker solutions range from applications on smart phones through to dedicated GPS/GSM devices connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) whose operators receive and manage alarm calls and quickly request attendance on scene from the emergency services or summon other forms of response if required.

Two-fold approach to lone worker protection

Patrick Dealtry, chairman of the BSIA’s Lone Worker Section, commented: “Almost by definition, lone working can be both intimidating and at times dangerous. The protection of lone workers involves a two-fold approach, not only to provide safeguards but also to offer reassurances to the individuals involved.”

Dealtry continued: “In order for lone worker devices to operate effectively, it’s important for end users to understand exactly what constitutes an emergency situation and use their devices accordingly. Lone worker devices should only be employed in situations where individuals face a direct threat of assault, or if they’ve suffered an accident. Using these devices to summon help in situations where there’s no direct threat, for example to report an act of shoplifting, theft or threats to other people can actually compromise the emergency response.”

Patrick Dealtry: chairman of the BSIA's Lone Worker Section

Patrick Dealtry: chairman of the BSIA’s Lone Worker Section

Educating employers and employees on the value of using lone worker solutions is the key aim of the BSIA’s Lone Worker Section which recommends the use of devices or smart phone apps certified to British Standard BS 8484 and monitored by an ARC certificated to BS 8484 (Part 6) and BS 5979 (Cat II).

Promoting and ensuring personal safety

The new BSIA guide represents the latest in a series of documents produced by the Trade Association to help both employers and employees understand the role that lone worker solutions can play in protecting vulnerable employees.

Rachel Griffin, director of personal safety charity The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, explained: “Lone worker devices can play an important role in promoting and ensuring the personal safety of employees, but all-too-too often we hear from lone workers that they’re unsure of how best to use their device or what it’s really for. The new guide stresses the importance of such solutions and provides simple instruction on how and when to use them.”

Rachel Griffin of The Suzy Lamplugh Trust

Rachel Griffin of The Suzy Lamplugh Trust

*‘Use of a Lone Worker Device or App’ can be downloaded from the BSIA’s website. For more information on the BSIA’s Lone Worker Section visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk/lone-worker

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Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre awarded BS 8484 certification

Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre, Community Safety Glasgow (CSG), has been awarded the BS 8484 accreditation for its capability to monitor lone working alarms.

BS 8484 is the Code of Practice for the provision of lone worker device services. Being awarded this accreditation ensures that, should a panic alert be received by CSG, operators can bypass the 999 system and go straight to the appropriate police Control Room, in turn receiving the highest level of police response available.

Speed of response can be critical in potentially life-threatening circumstances as precious time is saved when despatching the appropriate response.

Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) not audited and certified to BS 8484 are reliant on dialling 999 in an emergency and cannot guarantee a timely police response. Being accredited to BS 8484 means that, when a lone worker raises a panic alert on their personal safety solution, the police will respond with the highest level of response available as they will know the alarm emanates from an accredited ARC and is likely to be a genuine request for help.

Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre has been awarded BS 8484 certification

Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre has been awarded BS 8484 certification

BS 8484 is also intended to minimise the number of false alarms received by the response services. On a Guardian24 lone worker solution, once a panic alert is raised, a live line of audio recording is opened which allows the ARC operators to listen in live and hear what’s happening during the panic alert situation. This enables the ARC to establish the severity of the lone worker’s situation and verify if it’s a genuine request for help or otherwise.

This is essential to gain police support by reducing false alarms and unnecessary demands on their response resources. An additional benefit of the live audio is that if a genuine alert is raised, the recording of the audio can be used as evidence in court.

Lisé Fisher, operations manager at CSG, commented: “We’re delighted to be awarded National Security Inspectorate accreditation for BS 8484. This is a welcome addition to our monitoring portfolio and strengthens our position as a Gold Standard Category II ARC. The standard states that the ARC must be satisfied the alarms originate from personal safety devices certified to BS 8484 and that the suppliers of the devices are also BS 8484 certified. This is why CSG partners with Guardian24.”

Being awarded the BS 8484 accreditation shows that CSG is a reputable and certified ARC. The standard can be used by prospective clients as a benchmark against which lone worker security and safety services may be measured.

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Updated MWMP lone worker management platform launched by Connexion2

Lone Worker security and safety solutions specialist Connexion2 has released an updated version of its MWMP lone worker management platform.

Now “even more responsive” to customers’ requirements, the MWMP has new functionality and an updated user interface for optimum flexibility across desktop PCs, laptops and tablet devices.

The platform is a tool designed specifically to improve the management of lone workers based across a range of remote locations, offices or within the community. It also serves to further connect the disciplines of workforce management and lone worker protection in an affordable, time-effective package, in turn making it easier for managers to co-ordinate personnel and respond to new information both quickly and efficiently.

However, the updated MWMP is not just a tool for management. Lone workers with a GPS-enabled Identicom device or Identicom mobile application on a smart phone can now share information about their activities across their team or lone worker community. This can be used to assist lone worker safety as well as improve on a range of operational or social functions.

Connexion2's MWMP management platform for lone workers

Connexion2’s MWMP management platform for lone workers

Benefits for the end user

Customers are able to use a mixture of Identicom devices across a team that’s appropriate to the level of risk or job function and integrate them with MWMP as part of a lone worker solution from SoloProtect.

This allows teams of workers to be supplied with a quality solutions package that includes devices, 24/7 alarm monitoring support and training for all users.

A real innovation on the updated version of the platform relates to the reporting options available to the lone worker manager: a raft of useful information can be accessed quickly to streamline the process of reporting around remotely-based personnel.

The Identicom lone worker device continues to be manufactured by Connexion2 in the UK and is employed across a wide range of user applications and industry sectors.

Designed primarily to reduce the impact of worker accidents and instances of verbal abuse and attack directed at lone workers, Identicom was the first device of its kind to be awarded Secured by Design status from ACPO and retains its ability to be supplied as part of a BS 8484-centric solution.

What’s new to MWMP?

• Better reporting: The new ‘Dashboard function’ lets the end user gain quick and accurate reporting on device usage by viewing a single page. This includes details of check-in status, the number of status checks, GPS positions logged and details of speeds being travelled.

• It’s now easier to digest information about a whole team – a manager can use the ‘Checkerboard’ to view up-to-date information on who’s currently working and when they were last in communication with the platform. It also allows users in the field to be filtered by their device type or a range of device status options including: Checked In or Out, Location Tracking On or Off, Low Signal, Low Battery, Moving or Not Reporting.

• Lone workers can now play a much larger role in supplying information of value across the platform. The ability to upload pictures regarding job notifications or criminal activity, tagging of specific risks or the highlighting of points of interest to share with others – the platform has moved away from simple tool for a lone worker manager and is now a point of reference for a lone worker community.

• The platform has an improved interface to optimise the user experience across a range of device formats.

• Multiple breadcrumb trails of worker movements can now be displayed on a single map view.

Updated MWMP represents a “genuine progression”

“The updated MWMP represents a genuine progression in terms of what the platform can deliver to improve operations for a business employing lone workers”, said Craig Swallow, Connexion2’s managing director.

“The power to share information with colleagues has dramatically increased. The new reporting options provide managers of lone workers with a multitude of options, thereby dramatically reducing their reporting burden around mobile workers.”

View some short videos showcasing the updated MWMP on Connexion2’s YouTube channel.

Here’s a video of the Checkerboard function on the MWMP platform

If you’d like to know more about the updated MWMP platform, or arrange a trial, contact Connexion2 on 0844 856 6606 (select SoloProtect Sales – Option 2) or e-mail: info@connexion2.com

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