Tag Archives: Lone Workers

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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Smurfit Kappa synergises lone worker protection across all UK sites thanks to ANT Telecom

The Smurfit Kappa Group plc, the corrugated packaging company, has unified its complete lone worker protection solutions across 19 UK sites with the assistance of ANT Telecom.

ANT Telecom has been working with Smurfit Kappa since 2011 and initially provided lone worker devices across five of the company’s sites to protect employees when working alone. These devices are designed to provide lone worker ‘SOS’ and ‘Man Down’ facilities in both normal and harsh environments whereby end users can raise an alert when the device’s in-built panic button has been pressed or the tilt mechanism activated.

Nigel Elias, UK HSE manager at Smurfit Kappa, said: “The well-being of all of our staff is something we take very seriously and ensuring protection for our workers, especially when they’re working alone, is paramount. ANT Telecom’s lone worker devices have helped reassure our staff of their safety and give them the confidence that, should an incident occur, an alarm is triggered.”

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More recently, Smurfit Kappa wanted to enhance the lone worker solution and protect lone workers across its other sites. “We needed a way of ensuring that an alert had reached the correct response team and had been dealt with in a timely manner, with complete visibility of the alarm’s audit trail,” explained Elias.

In response, ANT Telecom presented its Automated Incident Manager, a critical alarm management platform that integrates with the hand-held lone worker devices. The solution automatically distributes the triggered alarm’s information to designated local response teams and escalates the alarm if it’s not acknowledged, thereby ensuring the incident is dealt with without delay. 

Elias continued: “Alerting selected responders for each location is key for a multiple-site organisation such as ours. The hosted version of the solution was ideal due to its rapid deployment capability. The effectiveness of immediate alerts and scalability quickly prompted our decision to roll out the solution, along with lone worker Protector devices, across 19 of our sites, in turn enabling us to implement a more effective and robust lone worker process across the group.”

Elias went on to state: “Our workforce isn’t wholly comprised of lone workers. Therefore, a challenge for us was educating staff that, when they’re working on their own, they need to be protected should an incident occur. With ANT Telecom’s help and the business’ consultative approach, we’ve built awareness of lone worker safety right across the company. This is something that has helped the business immensely in terms of improving employee morale.”

To reinforce this further, ANT Telecom provided each individual site with a well-structured training initiative for how the system works. Representatives have worked closely with Smurfit Kappa’s staff and continue to monitor the solution across the myriad sites involved in order to ensure that it’s maintained and working effectively.

Klaus Allion, managing director at ANT Telecom, observed: “We’re thrilled to be working with Smurfit Kappa in building a reliable and wide-scale solution across its sites to increase the Health and Safety of lone workers. We’ve provided Smurfit Kappa with an overall solution that puts both lone workers and stakeholders’ minds at ease. Should an alarm be activated, the response time is going to be rapid.”

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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.

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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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ANT Telecom concludes research project on companies’ communications, lone worker and critical alert procedures

Automated communication specialist ANT Telecom has recently completed research designed to unearth a better understanding of how businesses communicate and respond to incidents in the workplace.

Within its research, ANT Telecom looked at the range of devices employees were using to communicate with colleagues, including lone workers, as well as incident reporting and response timings and the resulting impact these factors have on business continuity in the workplace.

From the variety of communications business have available to adopt, a GSM mobile solution was the most prevalent, with 76.92% confirming it as their preferred device to keep upon their person. However, the research also showed that an overwhelming percentage (71.43%, in fact) used their devices for voice only, leaving just 28.57% with the means necessary to receive real-time plant processing updates and critical alerts directly to their device.

This approach is likely to affect machine downtime and product wastages as employees cannot benefit from instant alerts if an incident occurs, which is greatly beneficial to keeping production lines and machinery running smoothly.

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However, real-time information is of no value whatsoever if it’s not used effectively. It’s therefore essential to assess how machine alerts could and should be used to facilitate the quickest response possible.

Machine maintenance

Machine maintenance is also a large part of a company’s communication and its impact on production was also a subject raised in the research. The majority (32%) of those who answered confirmed that it would take between zero and two minutes for an engineer to be notified if a problem occurred with a piece of machinery on the manufacturing or production site, but over 38% stated that this would take more than ten minutes, with 6% confirming it would take over 30 minutes for their business.

Those surveyed were also asked if their alert system automatically distributed machine or processing faults directly to a qualified engineer, who would then attend to the fault, and 73% answered ‘No’. Of course, manufacturing plants have been collecting alert information from machines for years. Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems for remote monitoring and control are a standard component of any operating environment, providing a single view of equipment performance on a large screen in a Control Room.

More recently, these systems have gone mobile, offering operators and maintenance engineers alike the chance to view the red, amber and green alerts on a tablet while on, or away from, the factory floor. That’s great, but the way in which organisations respond to these alerts is still, in the main, archaic.

A red alert could prompt a generic page message to which any number of individuals may or may not respond. Alternatively, an operator viewing the red alert on the SCADA screen has to call the engineering team leader who will access a control panel to understand the true nature of the problem and only then identify and contact a team member to resolve the issue.

Impact on productivity

An overwhelming 88% of respondents felt that machine faults impacted productivity in some way, while 44.44% of those questioned thought that the time taken to detect a fault through to a qualified engineer resolving the issue could be reduced. There are numerous ways in which businesses can address this issue in a proactive manner.

Direct integration between a communication system and a control panel, for example, provides immediate information about the nature of the fault. By designing and configuring a smart workflow, it then ensures the communication system automatically contacts the most relevant team, such as electrical engineering specialists, thereby eliminating a number of time-consuming manual steps. Once the designated team member has received the notification, they can confirm their attendance and, critically, provide updates on the repair resolution.

The results of this research highlight some prominent issues for businesses that must be addressed and acted upon accordingly. In an era where increasing regulatory scrutiny is matched by rapid advances in disruptive innovation, there can be no excuse for companies who fail to take advantage of the best available technology. To optimise such technology, it makes sense to partner with a trusted expert, evaluate your exposure and plan for a safer and more connected future.

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Send For Help listed in London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report

Send For Help has been listed in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report, which showcases the country’s most dynamic and inspiring businesses. Now in its fifth year, the report – which is supported by Prime Minister Theresa May – is a celebration of some of the fastest-growing SMEs in the UK.

The Epsom-based tech firm was selected after outperforming peers in its sector, demonstrating sustained revenue growth of 254% between 2013 and 2016, with its annual turnover reaching a hugely impressive figure of £8 million.

Founded in 2010 by brothers James and Will Murray, Send For Help is the world’s largest lone worker protection provider. Operating through its subsidiary brands Skyguard, Peoplesafe and Guardian24, Send For Help supplies key fob-sized GPS personal safety alarms and mobile phone apps offering 24/7 protection to over 150,000 lone workers and people deemed to be ‘at risk’.

SendForHelpGroupLogo

Its client roster spans both the public and private sectors, with over 160 NHS Trusts, major High Street retailers, City banks, estate agents, the police service and more than 150 local authorities all using the company’s services.

Outstanding 12 months

Inclusion in the report marks yet another incredible achievement for Send For Help in what has been an outstanding 12 months for the company, during which it has ranked in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 for the second year running and recently featured in The Financial Times FT1,000 list as one of Europe’s fastest-growing businesses.

CEO James Murray commented: “We’re honoured to be recognised as one of the UK’s most inspirational companies and to feature alongside some of the UK’s brightest and best SMEs. The past year has been truly remarkable for Send For Help as the group goes from strength to strength and continues its rapid growth. It’s a fantastic time for the business, with a number of exciting developments to come as we look to build on our successes over the next 12 months.”

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Veracity showcasing end-to-end Command and Control solution at IFSEC International 2017

Veracity, a leading provider of solutions that solve real-world challenges in IP video systems, is showcasing a new suite of products at IFSEC International 2017 which neatly brings together the three cornerstones of its business: IP transmission, storage and display.

Following on from its acquisition of security Command and Control software manufacturer icomply, Veracity’s largest-ever IFSEC stand is built around a walk-through Control Room, promoting the company’s integrated security management platform powered by VTAS Pro.

Bringing together new and legacy third party video recording systems, VTAS Pro combines them with other security systems such as access control, LPR, guard tours and building management. This provides a “unified and coherent system” for the management and control of single or multiple sites, allowing system operators to be far more efficient in responding to incidents.

VeracityCOLDSTORE

VTAS Pro is fully-integrated with Veracity’s TRINITY direct-to-storage architecture and, fundamental to that, the advanced COLDSTORE surveillance storage system. It also features a full video and media wall display option which can be reconfigured ‘on-the-fly’ and in response to specific incidents or emergency situations.

Live views may be mixed with playback and media streams such as broadcast news, online data streams, maps or other graphical displays.

This end-to-end Command and Control solution is highly scaleable and supports a large number of operator workstations, with shared incident management and alarm receiving co-ordination. It’s capable of handling thousands of remote sites.

The system can provide integration with access control, building management, intruder detection, VoIP intercom systems and video analytics including ANPR and facial recognition. Several native security functions can be added to the system in a modular, customisable way such as guard tour, lone worker monitoring, dispatch, alarm monitoring and key management.

Veracity will also be presenting its new HIGHWIRE Powerstar Base 4 Encoder Replacement Kit containing a HIGHWIRE Powerstar Base 4 unit, four HIGHWIRE Powerstar Camera units and a 57V DC power supply (region-specific). This product bundle is a simple and cost-effective replacement for legacy analogue video encoders, allowing the end user customer to upgrade to IP cameras by re-using the coax cable and powering the new IP cameras with PoE over coax.

*Veracity will be exhibiting on Stand F1050 at IFSEC International, which runs at London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre in Docklands from 20-22 June

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Axis Security selected to provide range of services for Lambert Smith Hampton

Axis Security, a leading deliverer of bespoke security services, has won a contract with commercial property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) to provide a range of security services for eight of its properties in the North East of England.

The contract incorporates security guarding, concierge services, mobile patrols and key holding – including night and weekend cover.

Marcus Cain, regional facilities manager for the North at LSH, informed Risk UK that the company previously used a number of different security providers, with the new contract forming part of a rationalisation process.

“Axis Security boasts a strong presence in the North East region,” observed Cain. “The company’s clients include the UK’s leading property management consultancies, which gives us confidence that the business can deliver the range of services we require across our own diverse portfolio of properties.”

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Lambert Smith Hampton’s Grey Street offices

Cain added that Axis’ reputation as a good employer is also important. “We have peace of mind that Axis Security looks after its employees and that all officers are licensed with the Security Industry Authority.”

Many LSH properties are multi-tenanted and require flexible, responsive value-add services (for example, providing meter readings of vacant properties). Axis Security completes this particular task using Fast Field technology, giving LSH instant and reliable information to check against utility bills.

“On one occasion,” outlined Cain, “we briefed Axis in the morning regarding a new instruction in the North East region. The mobile patrol service was fully-mobilised that same day, including a meter readings collection for the Estate.”

Other technology employed in the contract includes TrackTik, which provides officer location tracking and enables officers to capture live footage of incidents. Cain believes this is a must-have compliance solution. “Lone worker welfare is an important Health and Safety issue, but the technology also means we can prove to relevant stakeholders that patrols have actually been completed.”

In conclusion, Cain stated: “Overall, Axis is a good fit for our business. They are genuinely responsive and understand that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.”

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