The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has turned to Guardian24 to help the organisation make good on its Duty of Care towards the charity’s lone workers by equipping them with the latest in smart phone app technology. That software enables all solution end users to quickly and discreetly raise an alarm in the event of an emergency scenario, even when the phone’s keypad is locked.
The RNIB deploys a large number of staff who visit people in their homes and offer support to meet the needs of blind and partially-sighted individuals. However, the majority of these staff work alone. As there’s no immediate help at hand, lone working staff are immediately exposed to a greater risk of injury, assault or accidents.
The RNIB wanted a cost-effective solution to help improve individuals’ personal safety regimes, particularly as some of the staff are visually and/or hearing impaired themselves.
As one of the most well-known and respected charities in the UK, the RNIB fully understands the importance of lone worker protection, both from the perspective of personal well-being as well as that of the charity’s own reputation.
Users of Guardian24’s smart phone application can leave details of their movements and whereabouts via their mobile phone. If a user fails to notify the system when they finish a task, Guardian24 will attempt to contact them. If they don’t answer and their safety cannot be verified, Guardian24 will then escalate the incident (thereby conforming to the RNIB’s personalised emergency procedures).
If a user feels at risk, they can also call for help via the ‘Panic Alarm’ function by pressing an assigned key on their mobile device. They’re able to do so even if the device should be locked or in standby mode. This will call Guardian24’s dedicated 24-hour Alarm Receiving Centre.
Using the GPS capability of the phone, the lone worker can also be easily located. All recordings are saved and may be used as evidence in court if required.
The application is easy to install on all major smart phone operating systems and is supplied with a wealth of options including GPS tracking and locating services.
No hardware is involved so the service is extremely cost-effective. There are often budget challenges, particularly for charities who aim to apportion the majority of income on their core objectives. With Guardian24’s smart phone application, there’s no upfront cost and only a minimal service subscription to pay.
That last point isn’t lost on Glenn Hurst of the RNIB Supplier Management Team. “There will always be budget challenges in getting something like this approved,” said Hurst, “so the more cost-effective the solution, the better it is for all concerned. However, it’s also about finding the right balance for lone worker provision based upon employee needs. Some of the staff at the RNIB using this service are visually and/or hearing impaired. This service meets their needs as well as providing an excellent, easy-to-use lone worker reporting and monitoring tool.”
Guardian24’s marketing director Will Murray added: “Every organisation in the UK is required to fulfil a legal and moral Duty of Care towards their employees. Safe working arrangements for lone workers are no different to organising the safety of other employees. The RNIB recognises this and has acted accordingly by adopting a lone worker protection solution.”