Tag Archives: Health and Safety

Security professionals urged to wear body armour offering spike protection

Body armour manufacturer the PPSS Group is urging private security professionals as well as law enforcement officers to ensure they’re wearing body armour that offers a certified means of spike protection.

According to the company’s CEO Robert Kaiser, spike protection cannot be guaranteed with all types of body armour. “Weapons like ice picks, sharpened screw drivers, spiked clubs and hypodermic needles can penetrate the skin if security personnel are not wearing body armour that offers specific protection from such threats.”

Society has changed in recent years and, many would argue, not for the better. Kaiser continued: “Besides a global rise in knife crime, we also have to accept the fact that sometimes incredibly brutal attacks have become more frequent over the past ten years. We can clearly see a change in the type of edged weapons now being used in organised crime and terrorism. Many blades perform very similarly to a spike. They’ve been specifically engineered to injure people using minimum effort, with little or no resistance.”

Attacks using double-edged blades are becoming more and more frequent these days, at least in part because they’re so easy to purchase here in the UK and, indeed, in many other countries. Double-edged blades are exceptionally difficult to combat. Here, certified spike protection is crucial and there’s physical evidence to suggest that a body armour can withstand such threat.

Kaiser is adamant that certified protection from spiked weapons is essential in today’s security industry. “Body armour without certified spike protection will be useless in the event of an attack involving some of these truly horrific spiked weapons,” he concluded. “Supplying or selling body armour without certified spike protection will without any question result in either serious injury or even death to front line professionals at some point in the future.”

The PPSS Group has recently launched a new generation of stab-resistant body armour made from high performance carbon fibre composite. This offers certified stab, spike and impact protection.

*Further information is available online at https://shop.ppss-group.com/

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QED and EmpiricAl partnership brings Computer Vision AI to wider market

EmpiricAI has secured a major new distribution agreement with electronic security distributor QED, its first UK partner, that will see its Computer Vision AI (Artificial Intelligence) solution offered across the UK and Europe.

The announcement comes against a growing realisation that the security industry plays a crucial role not only in the protection of people and places, but also in terms of providing peace of mind for employers and employees alike in a wide variety of workplaces.

QED now becomes one of the first to market with an advanced Computer Vision AI solution. It was developed by EmpiricAI specifically for improving Health and Safety and productivity in business and industry.

Headquartered in Preston, QED is expecting strong demand for its new offer from a range of sectors including construction, manufacturing, corporate offices, retail and other customer-facing branches.

QED was initially attracted by EmpiricAI’s WorkSafe Analytics (WSA) platform because of its functionality and ease of use. WSA uses AI-powered Computer Vision technology to help businesses gain an accurate view of potential risks in the workplace. The software ensures compliance with Health and Safety guidelines.

Integrated into on-site CCTV implementations, WSA is able to carry out real-time monitoring and detection of any non-compliance of social distancing, correct PPE/mask usage and occupancy guidelines. Comprehensive analytics and reporting on compliance at room, building and site-wide levels and their trends over time enables organisations to monitor and improve the effectiveness of their Health and Safety initiatives.

Restoring employee confidence

EmpiricAI’s Computer Vision technology has been shown to restore employee confidence around safety. This is set against a backdrop of research showing that more than 60% of workers report inadequate safety in their workplace when considering all factors, not just the pandemic, which can significantly affect their productivity.

Steve Constantine, QED’s product development director, explained: “This partnership with EmpiricAI has been driven by the need to add more flexibility to our product range to support our partners working in environments where it’s important to monitor compliance with safety procedures. In addition, it also allows us to provide a timely and relevant solution to help address the Health and Safety challenges businesses are facing at the present time.”

Salman Chaudhary, CEO at EmpiricAI, responded: “Our WorkSafe Analytics will complement QED’s customer-driven solutions. We see the partnership with QED bringing the benefits of Computer Vision to a much wider market and especially for those professionals required to adhere to strict Health and Safety procedures. The combination of our advanced technology, backed up with QED’s security offer and proven customer service will make the benefits of Computer Vision much more accessible to customers.”

Technical support

QED provides a next day delivery service and 24/7 online ordering underpinned by “exceptional” customer service and technical support. The business offers advice before and following a sale, with its ethos being to earn the lifetime loyalty of customers.

A dedicated account manager from QED is assigned to all customers, supported by an experienced and knowledgeable technical team of professionals. A bespoke online customer portal is available where customers can place orders, view their order histories, download invoices, request reports and manage company account users.

*For more information on EmpiricAI’s Computer Vision AI WorkSafe Analytics visit www.qedgroup.co.uk

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instaENG offers lone worker protection products access via latest sign-up

Pick Protection, a next generation provider of lone worker protection devices, has signed up with an online disruptor platform which is “revolutionising” how the security service industry works in the current day.

instaENG is a technical services purchasing platform which matches security engineers directly with purchases. Glasgow-based Pick Protection, which offers an holistic suite of lone worker protection products and services that enable safety through technology, will be able to connect with instaENG suppliers through the platform.

User-friendly platform

Tim Henstock, lone worker consultant at Pick Protection, said: “The ease at which the platform connects security service engineers to purchases caught our attention. We loved the idea of a user-friendly platform that transforms how the industry connects and, while we have been performing tremendously well over the last few months, we saw this as an opportunity to grow our clientele even more.”

Henstock continued: “While we already do sell our products and services to some security companies, I believe that instaENG will be instrumental in helping us to build relationships in the longer term with a growing base of customers. We are excited to hit the ground running with it. Health and Safety is very close to our hearts here at Pick Protection and we’re confident that our products can help lone workers feel safer when carrying out jobs externally.”

Further, Henstock observed: “instaENG is a great repository of like-minded companies and is a simple, quick and efficient way of putting our products in front of the right people at the right time. Together, I believe we can address the changing dynamics of the working environment.”

Dynamic platform

Guy Dungworth, co-founder of instaENG, responded: “Pick Protection is a prime example of how dynamic our platform really is. Not only are we able to match the right security service engineer to the right job, but we are also now able to provide access to the security and protection that lone workers may need when on a job externally.”

He added: “We’re incredibly excited to have Pick Protection on our platform and I’m confident that they will be able to secure some great leads through instaENG in no time. It’s fantastic to see the growth of the platform in such a short time and I very much look forward to what the future brings.”

*For more information on Pick Protection visit www.pickprotection.com

**Further detail about instaENG is available at www.instaeng.com

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360 Vision Technology extends VMS control with Digifort integration

360 Vision Technology – the UK manufacturer of rugged HD PTZ, radar and thermal imaging cameras – has announced a technical partnership designed to provide full systems integration with Digifort’s IP-based VMS solution.

Competitively priced and with no ongoing licence costs, the Digifort IP VMS software platform offers high-quality video monitoring and management combined with flexible and secure RAID video storage to suit any size of video surveillance project. In addition, the Digifort VMS can be upgraded to include analytics, LPR, facial recognition, Point of Sale and access control functionality.

Offering fast and simple set-up, the Digifort VMS now includes comprehensive camera SDK integration to the full range of 360 Vision Technology surveillance cameras. Full camera menu and set-up functionality is provided, including PTZ, camera iris and focus control, wash/wipe and auxiliary switching for built-in long-range IR and/or white light LED illumination.

Harnessing the power of network infrastructure, the Digifort VMS and 360 Vision Technology’s camera control can be used to deliver a high-performance, end-to-end surveillance solution for traffic monitoring, border control, public space surveillance, retail security, management and Health and Safety monitoring applications.

“It’s great to be working with, and harnessing, the powerful surveillance capability of a UK camera manufacturer,” enthused Nick Bowden, managing director at the Security Buying Group, Digifort’s UK and Ireland representative. “With the 360 Vision Technology camera range fully integrated into our IP VMS, simple device set-up and user-friendly operation is guaranteed. This will greatly enhance the user experience and maximise system performance.”

Sara Fisher, sales director at 360 Vision Technology, responded: “We’ve worked on a number of significant projects in conjunction with Digifort and customers have been very pleased with the performance of the integrated end-to-end solution. Digifort’s VMS solution makes for a perfect partnership with our range of industrial PTZ cameras.”

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CHAS makes three key appointments designed to strengthen operations

Supply chain risk management expert CHAS (the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) has appointed Alex Minett as head of products and markets and Elaine Bailey and Peter Hepworth, both of whom become non-executive directors at the trusted Health and Safety compliance advisor.

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Alex Minett brings in-depth knowledge of the SHEQ sector in the UK and internationally from a contracting and consulting perspective having established SHEQ strategies for multiple businesses (including blue chip companies) across diverse sectors.

He also has extensive knowledge of construction Best Practice and compliance having worked for 20 years in the construction sector, including on iconic projects such as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Battersea Power Station where he advised on safety measures for the demolition and re-erection of the four iconic chimneys.

In addition, Minett was responsible for establishing the initial SHEQ strategy for Transport for Wales and supported the procurement team within the wider provision of the multi-billion pound franchise with pre-qualification of the bids.

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Alex Minett

Further afield, Minett worked closely with the World Bank and other funders on one of the world’s largest solar farms in Benban and initiated a zero harm approach to safety at the Facebook Data Centre in Lulea. He was also responsible for embedding safe working practices for the construction and delivery of the Saudi Aramco Petroleum Polytechnic in Saudi Arabia.

Now, Minett has overall responsibility for all of the CHAS products both current and new and is closely involved in the strategic position of CHAS within the marketplace and identifying opportunities for growth.

CHAS managing director Ian McKinnon stated: “Alex is an excellent addition to the CHAS team and we’re delighted to have him on board. His insight and experience will be invaluable as we continue to expand our service offer.”

Minett himself commented: “I’m excited to be joining CHAS at a time of marked growth for the organisation. As the founder of contractor prequalification, CHAS enjoys a first class reputation and I’m looking forward to helping build on this as the business evolves and grows.”

Extensive experience

Elaine Bailey became a non-executive director at CHAS with effect from Wednesday 1 July. Bailey has worked extensively across the construction, criminal justice, Government services and housing sectors in the private, public and not for profit sectors and brings 15 years of executive Board experience to the role.

From 2014 to 2019, Bailey served as CEO of London-based Housing Association The Hyde Group where, as well as significantly improving financial and operating performance, she drove a major change programme designed to simplify, automate and improve service delivery.

Bailey also sits on the Industry Safety Steering Group chaired by Dame Judith Hackitt which is charged with scrutinising proposals and progress towards culture change within the construction industry following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.

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Elaine Bailey

Previously, Bailey held senior positions at FTSE 250 outsourcer Serco and is a trustee of Catch 22 and the Greenslade Family Foundation, as well as a Board member of the Andium Housing Association.

Speaking about Bailey’s appointment, Ian McKinnon stated: “Elaine’s successes at The Hyde Group, along with her knowledge and experience of good governance, make her an excellent addition to the CHAS Board. We also welcome Elaine’s commitment to driving cultural change within the construction industry following the Grenfell Tower tragedy through her work as part of Dame Judith Hackitt’s Steering Group.”

Bailey responded: “I’m delighted to be joining an organisation which plays a key role in improving occupational Health and Safety performance in UK workplaces. I’m looking forward to working with CHAS to continue to raise Health and Safety standards right across the UK.”

Digital transformation

Peter Hepworth formerly oversaw a portfolio of businesses while serving as executive officer of the Professional Services division at Capita plc, where his achievements included rationalising 14 separate learning businesses into one organisation and executing the digital transformations of Constructionline and Parking Eye.

He simultaneously served as CEO of AXELOS.com, a joint venture between Capita and the Cabinet Office and the publisher of global Best Practice guidance for IT, project and risk management. In fact, Hepworth was responsible for founding the operation in 2013. He grew the business internationally, expanding the product range and launching a cyber resilience portfolio while regularly liaising at ministerial level. Hepworth also transitioned AXELOS to become a Content-as-a-Service subscription model.

Previously, Hepworth served as managing director of Activision Blizzard UK where he was responsible for transitioning the business to meet the digital future. He has also held senior positions at L’Oréal, Sara Lee and BDO Stoy Hayward. His additional board experience includes having served as a non-executive director of The Fire Service College, Fera Science and eve Sleep. Hepworth is a Chartered Accountant by background.

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Peter Hepworth

“We’re very happy to welcome Peter to the CHAS Board,” enthused Ian McKinnon. “He brings a wealth of experience in digital transformation which will prove invaluable as we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.”

Hepworth informed Security Matters: “I’m excited to be joining the Board of CHAS as it continues its strong growth trajectory. The company has an excellent reputation with an impressive portfolio of digital products and services that can help businesses transform their risk management processes. I’m delighted to have this opportunity to support the further success of both CHAS and its extensive customer base.”

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Security & Safety Things “sparks new era” in video surveillance with commercial availability of supported cameras

Security & Safety Things is “set to reshape innovation in video analytics and computer vision” with the commercial availability of a number of new IP security cameras from a variety of vendors that leverage the Security & Safety Things open and secure Internet of Things platform. This new generation of security cameras will employ the free Security & Safety Things camera operating system, which enables the cameras to run multiple Artificial Intelligence-enabled applications in parallel.

The apps automate the analysis of video data to produce valuable operational intelligence for business optimisation as well as provide easy-to-deploy tools that can aid in re-opening measures from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Organisations of all sizes around the world need flexible and easy-to-deploy solutions that enable compliance with constantly changing pandemic-centric Health and Safety mandates and provide future value to ramp up and optimise their ongoing business operations,” stated Hartmut Schaper, CEO of Security & Safety Things.

He continued: “Companies can now deploy cameras running the Security & Safety Things operating system and use a selection of apps from our Application Store to detect the absence of facial coverings in a retail environment. The next day, that same camera can help the same retailer optimise merchandise placement based on store footfall, in one store or throughout the enterprise, along with further optimisations.”

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First camera manufacturer

This month, Qisda/Topview will be the first camera manufacturer to launch a camera running the Security & Safety Things operating system, followed in quick succession by AndroVideo, who will also start shipping its own Security & Safety Things-enabled cameras in Q2.

Bosch is making its INTEOX camera line available as of July followed by Vivotek and BSTsecurity, who plan to ship a bit later in Q3. The first devices from Hanwha Techwin that run the Security & Safety Things operating system are expected to be commercially available in Q4. Security & Safety Things, Hanwha Techwin, Vivotek, Bosch, Qisda/Topview and AndroVideo are all members of the Open Security and Safety Alliance.

The free Security & Safety Things operating system is built on the Android Open Source Project. It leverages the expanding processing and analytic power of modern IP cameras to exponentially increase the amount of operational intelligence that can be mined from traditional IP-based surveillance footage.

The applications that can be installed on these cameras, both in an on-premise as well as a remote setting, are created by highly specialised third party developers and available through the platform’s open Application Store. This already features more than 50 applications from more than 35 developer partners, with more than 30 additional apps expected to be available the store very soon.

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Typical use cases

In addition to pandemic applications, use cases include the detection of weapons, behavioural analysis, payment systems for garages, drone threat detection and even identifying objects presented for purchase in a cash register transaction for cashier-free retail environments.

Together with some of its camera and system integration partners, Security & Safety Things is already running projects in a live setting. These projects use, for example, heat mapping and queue analysis in retail stores and automated payment processing and license plate recognition for barrier-free traffic.

These types of applications are running in pilots with the parking management solutions provider Peter Park as well as with the leading mobility provider SIXT.

*More information about the Security & Safety Things platform and how businesses can benefit from the platform can be found at www.securityandsafetythings.com

**For an overview of the Artificial Intelligence video apps currently available for the Security & Safety Things-supported cameras, the Application Store may be viewed at https://store.securityandsafetythings.com

 

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IDIS and Galeco Communications NHS project shortlisted for 2020 Safety and Health Excellence Awards

A cutting-edge project undertaken by video surveillance specialist IDIS and Galeco Communications designed to improve protection for vulnerable adolescents and children with mental health conditions has been shortlisted for the 2020 Safety and Health Excellence (SHE) Awards.

The project involved a 150-plus camera system being installed in stages across nine weeks to create what is one of the UK’s safest secure treatment centres for young people with complex care needs, thereby reducing the risk of physical harm to staff, patients and visitors alike.

The Bluebird House project has been selected out of more than 200 entries for this year’s SHE Awards, and is now confirmed as a finalist in the Best Health and Safety Project category. The winners will be announced in September.

Galeco engineers installed 110 IDIS 12 MP IR Super Fisheye cameras as well as upwards of 50 separate 5 MP IR bullet and 31x zoom IR PTZ cameras connected to 32-channel NVRs. All benefit from true plug-and-play set-up, minimising disturbance to patients.

Bluebird House Project - 2

Deployed across three secure wards and two high-level care units, the Super Fisheye models provide comprehensive coverage that’s much more affordably for the end user than the alternative of using three or more fixed lens cameras. Advanced video capture delivers HD scene coverage and allows staff to de-warp in live view as well as playback.

The 5 MP bullet cameras were deployed by Galeco engineers around the building exteriors. At the perimeter, 31x zoom IR PTZ cameras provide clear night-time image capture at distances of up to 200 metres. Each camera is set to perform virtual guard tours periodically during the day and also at night.

Featuring automatic object detection capability, these cameras recognise and automatically track objects, people or cars, alerting CCTV operators to suspicious activity and ensuring that potentially important evidence is always recorded.

DC-Y3C14WRX-12MP FisheyePatient privacy requirements

To meet patient privacy requirements, access to live and recorded footage – and the use of specific video tools – is limited to staff according to their location and role. Individuals can only view and review footage from their own area of responsibility at one of the four designated monitoring stations.

The end result of the project has been improved safety standards and care provision, with clinicians and senior administrators now able to use the new video review tools for training, case review and incident investigations.

“At a time when our fantastic NHS staff are in everyone’s thoughts, we’re grateful that we’ve been able to make a contribution towards keeping doctors, care workers, patients and everyone who works with them safe,” enthused Ali Copland, managing director of Galeco Communications.

The project further demonstrates the value of team working and the application of smart technology to improve outcomes.

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James Min, managing director at IDIS Europe, concluded: “Together, Galeco Communications and IDIS have shown what can be achieved at such a complex site in sensitive circumstances by adopting a genuine partnership approach.”

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Scottish Water safeguards lone workers with 250-plus SPOT Gen3 satellite devices

Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc and a specialist in the field of satellite messaging and emergency notification technologies, has announced that Scottish Water has deployed over 250 SPOT Gen3 satellite messengers to safeguard employees who work on their own in areas with unreliable or non-existent mobile coverage.

Hundreds of Scottish Water employees work in remote parts of the country, often on a solo basis, and manage assets including the reservoirs that supply water to over 2.54 million households and 152,000 businesses. While 49 remote-working teams are already using SPOT, Scottish Water is also offering devices to all other employees registered as lone workers. These employees now have a communications lifeline wherever they are, with small, robust SPOT Gen3 devices that communicate reliably over Globalstar’s Low Earth Orbit satellite network.

Scottish Water has pre-configured the SPOT Gen3 devices with two services. If an employee has an emergency, they can press SPOT’s one-touch SOS button. There’s also a Help button for non-life-threatening situations. Pressing either button automatically transmits the end user’s precise GPS location to Scottish Water’s Internal Communications Centre (ICC). The ICC operators then either contact the Emergency Services or locate a nearby Scottish Water team who can help their colleague.

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Scottish Water chose SPOT Gen3 because of its ease of use and robustness, in addition  to the accuracy of its GPS transmissions. Before deploying SPOT earlier this year, Scottish Water relied solely on a system whereby employees registered their planned movements by phone then, if they didn’t call back by an agreed time, the issue would be escalated through their line managers.

“With winter around the corner, we expect SPOT to come into its own as an important part of our Health and Safety strategy,” said Kes Juskowiak, water operations general manager at Scottish Water. “With reliable satellite communications, we can get help to our employees whenever it’s needed and wherever they might be. SPOT is a lifeline providing reassurance to families and colleagues that each lone worker is in safe hands.”

Scottish Water procured the SPOTs through UK specialist wireless and satellite reseller Global Telesat Communications (GTC), a subsidiary of the Orbital Tracking Corp. GTC recently surpassed the milestone of selling 15,000 SPOT devices.

“With staff welfare moving up the corporate agenda, we’re seeing a significant adoption of SPOT by commercial and non-commercial organisations worldwide,” said Gary King, Globalstar’s EMEA sales manager for SPOT. “By deploying SPOT, Scottish Water is demonstrating its commitment to safeguarding its employees as they go about their work in some of the most remote parts of the UK.”

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New wave of UK universities adopts SafeZone solution from CriticalArc

UK universities including the University of Greenwich, the University of South Wales, the University of East Anglia, the University of Manchester and the University of Central Lancashire are adopting CriticalArc’s SafeZone service for improved campus security.

With more than 25% of universities now using SafeZone across the UK, it has grown from being an innovative technology deployed by pioneering institutions to become a mainstream ‘must-have’ solution for the higher education sector.

SafeZone addresses key challenges for universities by enabling students and staff alike to quickly and easily reach their campus safety and security teams and by allowing first responders to respond to calls for assistance up to 50% faster.

It improves the safety, security and well-being of students and staff, both on campus and off, and raises security team preparedness for a full range of events they may face, including major incidents. SafeZone enhances student satisfaction as well as student well-being and is now helping universities to succeed globally as they work to attract and retain students with safer and more welcoming learning environments.

University Building

Through its advanced Command and Control software, SafeZone OmniGuard enhances team efficiency, with real-time situational awareness making it easier for command teams to see and co-ordinate resources to address incident ‘hotspots’. Safezone also supports heat mapping to enable patrol pattern optimisation and improves workplace Health and Safety, serving as a powerful lone worker solution.

Expanding the team

Announcing the latest wave of adoptions, CriticalArc confirms that it’s also expanding its team with the appointment of two new customer success managers. They will work closely with system users to spread Best Practice, provide support and help deliver maximum benefits from SafeZone.

Sean Edge takes on this important role for CriticalArc in the UK, while Karl Palma will be working with customers in Australia.

Darren Chalmers-Stevens, managing director for the EMEA and APAC regions at CriticalArc, stated: “With the number of SafeZone users now expanding rapidly, we’re investing not only in developing the technology and its capabilities, but also in delivering and sustaining high-level customer support for our growing network of users.”

In tandem with its success in the higher education sector, SafeZone is also being adopted increasingly in other key areas including implementations in the critical infrastructure, transport, utilities, Government and healthcare sectors, with rapidly developing markets in the US, Australia and, indeed, globally.

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Door & Hardware Federation appoints Dormakaba’s Ricky Walker as vice-chairman for Industrial Door Group

Ricky Walker, service commercial manager at dormakaba, has been appointed by the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) as vice-chairman for the Industrial Door Group.

The DHF is a Trade Association for companies associated with locks and building hardware, doorsets, industrial doors and shutters and automated gates. With over 450 members, it’s a valued single source for technical advice, support and training and, importantly, is committed to raising the standards of the industry.

Walker has been a member of the DHF for ten years. He’ll be drawing upon his 18 years of industry experience to work with the association in his role, helping to spearhead the importance of Health and Safety standards for companies and their end user clients.

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Ricky Walker

“I’m very proud to be taking this central position at DHF,” commented Walker. “I’m particularly looking forward to working with people who, like me, are passionate about the industry in which we work. My past industry experience as an engineer, as well as being a business owner prior to joining dormakaba, means I’m well aware of some of the key challenges we face in the industry, such as skills shortages and a lack of fresh talent.”

Walker continued: “At dormakaba, we take pride in the active responsibility we’ve taken to find solutions to these challenges. By working with the DHF, we will be able to deliver training to both apprentices and new starters, while also improving the knowledge of existing engineers and manufacturers. This ensures everyone’s kept up-to-date on the necessary product and installation standards and legislation such that all products are specified, maintained and installed in line with this. We’re extremely keen to promote better, safer industry standards.”

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