Tag Archives: MySOS

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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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 announces lone worker safety and security collaboration with VSG

Skyguard has announced a distribution agreement with VSG in providing lone worker protection across the UK and Ireland.

The agreement will see Skyguard supplying personal safety devices, mobile phone software and client administration tools to link directly with VSG’s 24-hr Alarm Receiving Centre.

VSG is one of the UK’s leading security services suppliers, offering solutions that encompass guarding, systems, remote monitoring, training and background screening. The company is part of the Compass Group UK & Ireland, a leader in the supply of food and support services across 10,000 sites including workplaces, famous sports and leisure venues, hospitals, schools and oil rigs.

VSG has now added the MySOS personal safety device and Skyguard for Smartphone applications to its already impressive range of services. With its ever-expanding blue chip client base and outstanding reputation, there’s no security organisation better placed to promote lone worker protection across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

MySOS and Skyguard for Smartphone

The MySOS personal safety device and Skyguard for Smartphone applications have been exclusively developed by Skyguard. With one button alarm activation, GPS tracking and locating and two-way audio communications, the devices and handsets afford users the ability to call for help quickly and easily in the event of any emergency.

All lone worker connection tools purchased through VSG will connect to VSG’s ARC, which is accredited to National Security Inspectorate Category II ARC Gold standard. As soon as an alarm is raised, controllers at VSG’s ARC will know who is calling and where they are, listen in, assess the situation and send the appropriate emergency response.

James Murray: CEO at Skyguard

James Murray: CEO at Skyguard

Organisations purchasing the service via VSG will also have full access to Skyguard’s Customer Service Centre (CSC) – a secure, online interface that allows client administrators or end users to create and update their account details in real-time. This information is instantly available to controllers at the ARC upon the activation of an alarm.

The CSC also allows personal alarms to be assigned to different users at the click of a mouse. This is ideal for clients who share a pool of devices for shift workers or those who share job roles.

The CSC further empowers client administrators with access to a full suite of activity reports which can be exported for further analysis.

Delivering first class safety and security

Speaking about the partnership, Skyguard’s CEO James Murray said: “We’re thrilled that we’re partnered with VSG who have so much experience and expertise in delivering world class security solutions. VSG’s mission falls perfectly in line with our own and we’re both passionate about delivering first class safety, security and personal protection across the UK and beyond. This agreement enables both Skyguard and VSG to further expand into the lone worker protection market.”

VSG’s head of remote monitoring services, Chris McNally, also spoke keenly of the collaboration. “We’re pleased to add Skyguard’s personal alarms and mobile phone software to our range of services. We wanted a reputable, robust solution to integrate with our ARC. Skyguard’s excellent work with the oolice, the NHS and the wide array of industries that trust them, demonstrates that they are, by far, the best choice for VSG.”

McNally concluded: “It’s a relationship that I’m confident will not only benefit both businesses but also lone workers right across the UK and Ireland.”

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Solent NHS Trust selects Skyguard to protect community-based staff

Solent NHS Trust has chosen Skyguard to protect 700 of its lone working staff after conducting a thorough OJEU tender process.

The Trust provides specialist community and mental health services to local people, principally in the Portsmouth and Southampton area with some services reaching across a wider part of Hampshire.

Due to the nature of the services provided there’s a significant proportion of the Trust’s 3,800-plus staff who work in the community, often on a solo basis.

Recent alarming statistics show that 21% of NHS mental health staff across England and Wales have reported at least one physical assault in the past year.

Simon Zammit, Solent NHS Trust’s Local Security Management Specialist, was entrusted to implement appropriate and effective lone worker protection to ensure the safety and well-being of the Trust’s community-based clinical staff.

Solent NHS Trust has selected Skyguard to protect 700 of its lone working staff after conducting a thorough OJEU tender process

Solent NHS Trust has selected Skyguard to protect 700 of its lone working staff after conducting a thorough OJEU tender process

An EU tender process commenced with the intention of sourcing the most appropriate and cost-effective solution for the Trust’s needs. Upon a thorough evaluation of each supplier’s proposal, due to the combination of its technical and financial bid, Skyguard was awarded the contract to supply 700 MySOS personal safety devices to the Trust.

Simplicity of operation

Skyguard was chosen for a number of reasons. First, the MySOS device’s design and technical specification impressed the award committee. With simple one button alarm activation, an alarm containing the user’s personal details and GPS location is sent to Skyguard’s 24/7 Incident Management Centre where highly-trained controllers will manage any emergency.

Although the device has a wealth of features and functions, the simplicity of operation and the flexibility afforded to users in the way the device can be carried was a big plus point.

It wasn’t just the MySOS that the Trust was impressed with. The protection of employees and those in your care is a serious business, and to be awarded a contract to safeguard high-risk staff requires assurances of the highest level.

Skyguard is externally audited and approved to the highest industry standards – BS 8484:2011, BS 5979 (Category II) and the Association of Chief Police Officer’s ‘Secured by Design’ accolade. Compliance with these standards plus the adherence to NHS Information Governance requirements demonstrated Skyguard’s ongoing commitment to supplying the very best in lone worker protection.

Effective implementation plan

Since the award of the contract, Skyguard has worked closely with the Trust to ensure an effective implementation plan was put into action. Zammit was impressed with the professional support during the implementation, which was tailored to suit the needs of the organisation in training staff and deploying units at the earliest opportunity.

Zammit commented: “A deciding factor in choosing Skyguard was the clear demonstration of the company’s desire to work with the Trust to ensure an effective roll-out. We’ve been proven right in our choice. The service from Skyguard has been very professional, right from the early days during the procurement project through the implementation, where the company has proven to be extremely flexible and helpful, and then into the operational deployment of the service and devices.”

Skyguard’s service has already proven invaluable for at least one Solent NHS Trust community nurse. Upon leaving a visit with a patient, she came across an elderly man having a seizure and drifting out of consciousness. The nurse activated her MySOS device, calling for help while providing CPR.

Skyguard’s controllers were able to manage the emergency, calling and directing an ambulance to the scene, which enabled the nurse to concentrate on keeping the gentleman alive. Skyguard can prove a vital lifeline in many forms – not just lone worker protection.

Allowing staff to focus on their roles

Will Murray, Skyguard’s marketing director, commented: “More and more NHS Trusts are switching to Skyguard because our service is easy to use, reliable and responsive. These are essential qualities when you are facing a potentially life-threatening situation, giving staff confidence and allowing them to focus on their job.”

When asked if he would recommend Skyguard to other Trusts, Simon Zammit commented: “I have already. Simply because the service has been great and provides real reassurance to our staff, while helping the Trust to fulfil its Duty of Care.”

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