StaySafe Business, which uses smartphone technology and has been specifically designed to protect users at risk of accident or attack when working alone, has been launched. The Business app has been developed as a first line of protection for lone workers and provides a way for employers to comply with HSE guidelines. Through an online Hub, the app allows users to let their colleagues or managers know exactly where they are when help is needed urgently, even if they are unable to use their phone due to accident or attack.
Users set up a secure Safe PIN the first time the app is used. They then enter details of meetings or journeys into the app, and set a timer for how long they expect this activity to take. Once the session begins, the phone’s GPS location is updated on average every two minutes, closely tracking the user’s location. Five minutes before the time set for activity to end, the phone will begin to beep and vibrate to remind the user that they need to cancel the alert or extend, or safely end their lone working session. If they do not, then an alert will be triggered in the Hub and emergency contact(s) will receive a message via text and/or e-mail to inform them that the user may be at risk, complete with their last known location. Once a lone working session is started, the app will continue to notify emergency contacts even if the phone is switched off or damaged, or if its battery dies.
To make the service equally easy for users’ emergency contacts to manage, the StaySafe app automatically informs nominated contacts when sessions are started, extended or and manually stopped, so that they are aware of when an alert might be expected.
A panic button feature also allows users to discretely raise the alarm should they suddenly be put at risk, which immediately sends an alert and GPS location to emergency contacts. As an additional safety feature, a ‘Duress’ PIN can be entered if the user is forced to cancel the alert by an attacker. Whilst giving the impression that the app has been deactivated, entering the Duress PIN will send an alert.
Two other features are currently available in the StaySafe Business solution – Low Battery and No Movement, which will also trigger alerts in the Hub.
Graham Mills, Managing Director of Safe Apps Limited, and owner of Technics Group, created StaySafe in collaboration with mobile solution developers One Result after recognising the need to protect his own lone-working surveying staff. He commented: “Surveyors, like many lone working professionals such as property professional or care workers, are unfortunately at greater risk of coming to harm than individuals who do not work alone. Our surveyors carry smartphones at all times, but we were aware that in some circumstances they might not be able to use their phone to call for help”
“StaySafe was developed so that employers such as myself could be immediately aware if any member of staff was possibly at risk, and in a worst-case scenario, their exact location should assistance be needed”
“The app is not only designed to give lone workers greater security, but also to provide those with a duty of care towards them with peace of mind and greater ability to provide assistance.”
The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) guidelines¹ on the risk of lone working clearly sets out the responsibility employers have for the safety of their lone working staff, stating: “Employers need to investigate the potential hazards faced by lone workers and assess the risks involved both to the lone worker and to any person who may be affected by their work. Employers should ensure that measures are in place to control or avoid such risks.” These guidelines also require employers to put procedures into place to monitor lone workers to help keep them healthy and safe, and state specifically that procedures for emergencies must also be established.
StaySafe as a business is also able to provide the following services as part of its Lone Worker solution – consultancy, audits, procedures & policies, training, bespoke technical development, installation and integration, and 24/7/365 monitoring and response services through a strategic partnering relationship.
Notes to Editors:
¹ Source – HSE publication ‘Working alone, Health and safety guidance on the risks of lone working’
For further information, please contact:
Jeff Carroll – Business Director on 0777 163 7001, firstname.lastname@example.org
Graham Mills – Managing Director on 0783 651 7229, email@example.com