Tag Archives: Lone Worker Safety

Send For Help recognised in prestigious ‘FT Future 100 UK’ listing

Send For Help (the lone worker protection business providing 24/7 emergency response via personal safety alarms) has been featured in the ‘FT Future 100 UK’ list recently published in The Financial Times and on FT.com. The prestigious list selected by an expert panel led by FT journalists features fast-growing UK companies that are also making an impact on their industry or, indeed, wider society.

The list is built on data from the ‘FT 1,000: Europe’s Fastest-Growing Companies’, in which Send For Help featured in April this year with a ranking at 625.

To make it into the first edition of the ‘FT Future 100 UK’, businesses had to excel in one of four categories: Environmental, Social and Governance, Disruption, Diversity and Consistent Growth. Send For Help was selected for the Disruption category, where the judges took into account measures such as R&D spend as a proportion of revenue and the company’s own pitch as a disrupter.

SendForHelpGroupLogo

Operating through its subsidiary brands Skyguard, Peoplesafe and Guardian24, Send For Help supplies keyfob-sized GPS personal safety alarms and smart phone apps providing 24/7 protection to over 150,000 lone workers.

Send For Help’s Monitoring Centre has direct links to police Control Rooms, so it can bypass the 999 system and receive a faster emergency response if clients are threatened, attacked or are otherwise in some form of danger.

The Surrey-based tech firm has a varied client roster across a large number of private and public sectors, including over 180 NHS Trusts and major High Street retailers, City banks and national pub chains, estate agents, the police service and more than 200 local authorities.

“It’s very encouraging that Send For Help continues to receive national and international awards from such prestigious publications,” said James Murray, CEO of Send For Help. “Our strategy as a disruptive company which delivers innovative services at competitive prices is clearly working. The whole team should be proud of what we’ve achieved.”

*For the full list visit https://ig.ft.com/future-100/2018/

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Send For Help Group ranked in The Sunday Times’ Fast Track 100 league table for second year running

Award-winning lone worker protection provider Send For Help Group has been ranked as one of Britain’s most successful private companies by The Sunday Times for a second consecutive year.

The 21st annual Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table champions the UK’s top performing private companies based strictly on financial performance with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years. Send For Help Group has been placed 80th.

Founded in 2010 by brothers James and Will Murray, the Send for Help Group has prominently featured in the national press throughout the year as a real success story. Business continues to go from strength-to-strength. The company is now independently verified as the largest lone worker protection provider in the world.

SendForHelpGroupLogo

Operating through its subsidiary brands Skyguard, Guardian24 and the recently-acquired Peoplesafe, Send For Help Group uses key fob-sized GPS personal safety alarms and mobile phone Apps to provide 24-hour personal protection for more than 150,000 lone workers and individuals who are at risk.

Send For Help Group showed turnover this year hitting £8 million, up from £6.1 million last year with profits of £2.4 million, representing an increase of 121% on the previous year.

CEO James Murray commented: “We’re delighted to be included in the Fast Track 100 for the second year running. It’s been another busy, yet exciting year for the Group and that’s reflected in this accolade. It’s a real honour to have our hard work and determination as a business recognised. This has been a big year for the Send For Help Group. We added a third brand to our growing portfolio with a successful and seamless transition, expanded our office premises in Surrey and continued to recruit new talent across the company. We will not rest on our laurels, though. Our aim is to always improve, as individuals, as a business and in terms of our service offering.”

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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 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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Guardian24’s lone worker safety app now available on Google Play store

Guardian24 has released its lone worker protection app on the Google Play store. Installing the app directly from the play store provides end users with a quicker and easier download of the app. It also gives the user automatic notifications when a new version of the app is released or when an upgrade is available.

Guardian24 is a lone worker safety service used to protect staff when lone working, travelling to and from work, visiting clients in their homes and businesses and when working in isolation on remote sites. It allows lone workers to log in and out of daily tasks, leaving details of their location and the expected duration (logging an activity).

If an activity overruns, Guardian24 will automatically call the lone worker to verify their safety. If the lone worker cannot be reached, a nominated respondent will then be notified informing them of the overrun activity. At this stage an agreed protocol will be followed to verify the lone worker’s safety and location.

Guardian24's lone worker protection app on the Google Play store

Guardian24’s lone worker protection app on the Google Play store

Should the lone worker feel that their safety has been compromised at any time they can press a ‘hot key’ on their device to summon emergency assistance. At this point, Guardian24 provides the lone worker’s personal details, activity details and live audio to the respondent receiving the escalated call.

The respondent may then call the incident helpline and connect to a live feed through the user’s handset for further emergency audio. This information is invaluable if the emergency services require to be notified.

*To download Guardian24 for Android visit the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.uk.guardian24
**Guardian24 is also available for iOS. To download this version visit the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/guardian24/id743843078?mt=8

Guardian24 supplies security and safety solutions to the UK mobile and lone worker sectors. The Guardian24 subscriber base now exceeds 38,000 users with approximately 400 public and private sector organisations benefiting from the company’s bespoke services.

End user customers include local Governments, healthcare services, housing organisations, central Government bodies, educational institutions, charities and banking, insurance and construction sector companies.

*Guardian24’s services are used via a wide range of devices including BlackBerry smart phones, the Apple iPhone, Android smart phones, Windows PDA, standard mobile phones or specialist lone worker devices. Visit: http://www.guardian24.co.uk for further details

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Skyguard equips Brent Council’s lone workers with personal alarms

Skyguard is providing Brent Council’s front line lone working staff with 24-hour back-up and assistance. The Council’s employees are now able to raise an alarm at any time via the solutions provider’s ACPO-accredited MySOS personal safety device (which offers a simple yet effective way to call for help in any emergency scenario).

Brent Council provides a wide range of community services to the public within its inner London Borough boundary. Some of these services require the Council’s employees to work alone, and occasionally in difficult circumstances.

Conscious of its Duty of Care towards the safety and well-being of all staff members, Brent Council needed a form of personal protection for its lone workers. The requirement was for a small, easy-to-use personal alarm which enables the user to discreetly raise an alarm should they face any difficulties.

MySOS – Europe’s smallest personal alarm – comes fully equipped with the latest mobile phone and tracking technology. At the touch of a button, the Council’s employees can quickly and discreetly call for help.

Upon alarm activation, controllers at Skyguard’s 24-hour Incident Management Centre can see who’s calling for help. They’ll use the two-way audio capability to listen in and assess the situation, talk to and reassure the system end user and action the appropriate emergency response.

The MySOS lone worker protection device

The MySOS lone worker protection device

As the MySOS solution is fitted with GPS tracking technology, controllers can see the user’s exact position as shown via an on-screen map. This is vital for guiding emergency response to the right location. What’s more, all calls and actions are digitally recorded and can be used as legal evidence.

Alarms may be raised when the MySOS’ ‘Man Down’ feature detects a slip, trip or heavy impact. Again, this is vital if the employee is unable to call for help themselves.

Skyguard’s service is fully audited and approved against BS 8484:2011 and, as such, guarantees the highest level of police response when required. Skyguard will also bypass the 999 emergency system, saving what may be crucial minutes in responding to an emergency.

Why Brent Council opted for MySOS

Mike Somers, regeneration officer for Brent Council, explained why the organisation chose Skyguard’s solution.

“Right from the start,” stated Somers, “we found Skyguard’s advice helpful and informative. The sheer helpfulness from meeting with them and the team advising us in terms of what was best for our needs stood out.”

Somers continued: “When it comes to the MySOS devices, they are issued to staff working on housing estates and visiting various site locations. Staff can contact Skyguard’s controllers at any time they are on their visits and the alarm will use various mobile phone network suppliers to ensure they remain in contact. Some lone working products do not have the facility to do this.”

Skyguard’s marketing director Will Murray added: “In the past couple of years, we’ve witnessed a dramatic change in perception as regards the personal protection of employees, notably from local authorities. With legislation continuing to evolve, organisations – be they operational in the public or private sector – can no longer afford to ignore the safety and well-being of their lone workers.”

Murray concluded: “We now work with over 75 Councils nationwide in safeguarding their lone workers. That total includes many long-term customers, and it’s a number that continues to grow on a monthly basis.”

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Skyguard debuts lone worker app for iPhone at Safety and Health Expo 2014

Lone worker safety and security solutions developer Skyguard will be launching an iPhone version of its ‘Skyguard for Smartphone’ software at this year’s Safety and Health Expo, to be held at ExCeL London between 17-19 June.

The app converts an iPhone into a fully-functional personal safety device, and represents an expansion of Skyguard’s range (which already includes software for Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile handsets as well as dedicated devices).

Once installed through a simple download process, Skyguard’s software enables the end user to raise an alarm in any emergency situation by simply shaking the device for a few seconds or pressing an on-screen button.

Trained controllers at Skyguard’s 24/7 Incident Management Centre (IMC) will be able to view the user’s GPS location and registered profile information, silently listen-in and then talk to the user if it’s safe to do so.

Controllers will follow the end user’s personalised emergency procedures which could include escalating the situation to the Emergency Services, Skyguard’s National Response Service or the employer’s own nominated contacts and then guide them to the user’s location.

The new Skyguard app converts an iPhone into a fully-functional personal safety device, and is an expansion of the company's range which already includes software for Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile handsets

The new Skyguard app converts an iPhone into a fully-functional personal safety device, and is an expansion of the company’s range which already includes software for Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile handsets

The ‘Skyguard for Smartphone’ software boasts a number of other safety features such as ‘Voice Memo’, which allows the user to leave a voice message on Skyguard’s system giving details of where they are going and who they are meeting. Should the user raise an alarm, this message will be made available to Skyguard’s controllers, providing them with vital additional information which they can pass on to the emergency responder.

The app also allows the end user to set a delayed alarm for any time period between five minutes and six hours which counts down and automatically raises the alarm to Skyguard’s IMC if not cancelled by the user.

Making good use of business apps

Skyguard marketing director Will Murray explained: “Organisations are increasingly moving towards equipping their workforces with the latest smartphones and making use of business apps to improve productivity. With the addition of iPhone software to our the range, Skyguard can now offer industry-leading safety solutions on every major smartphone operating system. This underlines our ongoing commitment to new product development, in turn allowing customers to choose how to connect to our service based upon their own requirements.”

Skyguard’s entire range of smartphone apps and exclusive dedicated devices will be available to view on the company’s stand (Stand M2155) at the Safety and Health Expo, where staff will be presenting live product demonstrations.

Skyguard also has three high profile clients presenting Case Study seminars on each day of the show in the Lone Worker Protection Theatre – Worcester Community Homes, Peabody and Kent Community Health NHS Trust.

For more information (and to register for the exhibition) visit: http://www.safety-health-expo.co.uk/

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