We are delighted to announce that we have been contracted by The Calico Group to protect their community-based staff who work by themselves or out-of-sight of colleagues, often in challenging circumstances. The new protection system, Safe Hub, will be deployed across SOS Fobs, which Calico deemed the most appropriate device for their staff needs. The system offers state-of-the-art emergency and reactive support.
The Calico Group’s purpose is to improve the quality of life for individuals and the wider community across the region. To do this, they provide accommodation for families and older people, housing for disadvantaged young people, for people with addictions, women’s refuges, supported housing and services for homeless people. In each of the departments, Calico staff work directly with service users who may be vulnerable or who have challenging needs. To ensure the safety and monitor the wellbeing of staff working in the community, Calico wanted to provide team members with an efficient lone worker protection platform.
Competition and assessment
After a competitive tender and trial period, Calico selected Lone Worker Solutions (LWS), as their partner of choice. LWS has developed a BS8484 Gold certified system called Safe Hub which works across dedicated devices, as well as mobile and desktop apps. The system monitors staff 24/7 through a direct connection with Mitec, the state-of-the-art Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), run by Mitie, the strategic outsourcing company.
Thomas Berry, Calico’s Health & Safety Manager, chairs the Health & Safety Representatives Committee, a team of 15 volunteers from across The Calico Group. The Committee meets bi-monthly to discuss issues around worker safety. This team were tasked with trialing two competitive devices and providing their feedback via a questionnaire. Ease of use and relevant functions were two of the primary areas of investigation and the Committee’s recommendation led to the selection of Lone Worker Solutions’ SOS Fob.
The committee selected SOS Fob as the best device for workers who wanted an easy to locate emergency function. SOS Fob is a lightweight, compact and waterproof lone worker device; it features an SOS button with 2-way audio, and a motion and shock sensor which can automatically raise an alert if a fall is detected. Both of these functions use GSM (Global System for Mobile communications), which transmits mobile voice and data services. Designed to be user-friendly and convenient, the SOS Fob has a standby time in excess of 10 days, rechargeable battery, and micro USB charger.
Wide ranging services, wide ranging lone working roles
The Calico Group places an emphasis on supporting their staff teams just as those teams support the group’s clients. The nature of the work that Calico undertake means that lone workers come from across the Group:
Calico employs a Responsive Repairs team of professionals across the construction trades who take care of the group’s 4,600 properties.
Neighbourhood Officers work directly in the community, responding to tenants’ needs, while Floating Support Officers help vulnerable adults and people experiencing a difficult period in their life.
Bury Rough Sleepers is a rapid response team who work throughout the night to help rough sleepers access a place of safety.
The team at SafeNet provide women’s refuges in three locations across the region, where staff support women who can be escaping from domestic violence.
Acorn Recovery Projects is a team that works with people recovering from alcohol or drug addictions in Stockport, Oldham and Burnley.
The Elizabeth Street Project is a hostel for up to homeless people who have been referred by local councils.
Calico also provides sheltered accommodation in individual flats for clients aged over 55.
This essential and challenging work can present unpredictable scenarios even for highly trained and experienced staff.
Thomas Berry, Calico’s Health & Safety Manager, commented “Our lone workers attend Personal Safety Training, and we take the view that nothing is so important that we can’t take the time to do it safely. But, the very nature of our work means that challenging and unpredictable situations can and do occur. That is when the added security and peace of mind offered by the SOS Fob comes into its own.”
Calico found that the primary features of the SOS Fob – emergency and reactive support – exactly met the varied needs of its wide-ranging staff.
Reactive support: Worker Down
SOS Fob has a built-in motion sensor. Safe Hub monitors the movement of the device sensing impact and non-movement thereafter. If for example, the handset hasn’t moved for a length of time this could indicate that a lone worker requires emergency help, perhaps after a fall or incident. Safe Hub then automatically raises an alert with the Mitec ARC, and the lone worker’s location will be identified using GPS. If the person cannot be contacted via his or her handset emergency services can be quickly dispatched to the worker’s location.
Emergency Support: Red Alert & Yellow Alert
Our alert call functions are fast and simple features of Safe Hub that work with any device with a speed dial facility and are particularly suited for the SOS Fob. There are two levels of alert: Yellow and Red.
Yellow Alert -- allows workers to leave a voice message advising that they are entering a potentially hazardous situation, the platform automatically tracks their GPS location. Red Alert – in an emergency, or if the worker wants the added assurance of being in direct contact with the ARC; they simply press and hold the SOS button to raise an alarm. They are now directly in touch with a Mitec ARC operative who will immediately have access to their personal profile and location. The operative will hear what is said and will follow pre-agreed escalation procedures, such as alerting colleagues or contacting the emergency services.
“Already feedback has been positive; our team members have found the SOS Fob very easy to use. In particular, workers value the Yellow Alert feature; it makes a positive difference to users to know that when triggered the Yellow Alert is recorded and acknowledged.” Thomas Berry, Health & Safety Manager, Calico Homes
As well as supporting lone workers, the platform also helps Calico’s managers by providing an accurate cross-device snapshot of current and historical system activity. This helps managers to identify which team members are actively using the platform, and where additional support may be needed. This level of precise and timely reporting helps promote a culture of health and safety. And, crucially, helps ensure compliance with UK Health and Safety Executive requirements by facilitating thorough auditing and good corporate governance.
“Because Safe Hub and SOS Fobs are easy and intuitive to use, the system puts end-users first. This allows our clients to make sure each of their workers has a device they are comfortable using and that fits their particular risk scenario." George Stavrinidis, CEO Lone Worker Solutions
Contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today
Post by Rob Gilbert.
Chief Sales Officer at Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). Rob is responsible for introducing new clients to the benefits of Safe Hub, and ensuring their experience is straightforward, simple and truly effective. His consultative, customer focussed approach means our clients have full access to every possible resource to achieve lasting, best-of-breed solutions and service excellence.
About Lone Worker Solutions
At Lone Worker Solutions, our business is about protecting employees, managers and shareholders from the risks associated with working alone. This includes the potential hazards faced by staff who work by themselves, remotely, or out-of-sight or earshot of colleagues. When it comes to safety we don't believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, instead we tailor our solution to each organisation's exact needs.
About Safe Hub
Safe Hub is an award-winning BS8484 2016 Gold Certified package of emergency, proactive and reactive protection for lone workers. Safe Hub supports lone and remote workers on the widest possible array of devices including Android, Apple and Windows smartphones, BlackBerry, standard mobiles, PCs, intrinsically safe devices, specialist personal safety devices and satellite phones.
Calico Homes owns and manages approximately 4,600 homes in Lancashire. We aim to make a difference to the quality of life of individuals and the wider communities in which it works. We provide accommodation for families and older people, plus student housing, supported housing and services for homeless people.
Find out more at www.calico.org.uk
This post has been updated to reflect recent changes and improvements to the naming of Lone Worker Solutions' platform and the safety features that it provides. Prior to 2018, Safe Hub was called LoneWorker Manager, Safe Check was called Heartbeat, and Group Alert was called Broadcast Messaging. These updates reflect advancements in the platform and help to improve end-user comprehension.