A successful first year delivering lone worker safety
Your Housing Group (YHG) has more than 28,000 homes across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands. The portfolio ranges from general properties for social and affordable rent, through to retirement living developments and innovative private rental offers. YHG has expertise in regeneration and in providing homes which help people to live independently at different stages of their lives. Indeed, the company runs a number of supported housing units for young people and families which prevent these people from becoming homeless.
The group supports more than 700 lone workers with Safe Hub. These workers have different roles throughout the business. They include property agents visiting service users’ homes for face-to-face meetings, people repairing homes and equipment, domestic staff in facilities for older people, and receptionists in housing offices. With Safe Hub, all of these staff can easily connect with our Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) whenever they feel they need support.
SOS Fob & the Safe Hub App increases coverage
YHG chose to use Safe Hub on SOS Fobs, with immediate access to Red Alert, Yellow Alert and Worker Down. YHG had been using devices similar to our SOS Fobs previously, so they already knew what they needed. We responded to the diversity of the workforce, and the locations where YHG operate. We’ve noted that some areas have poor signal, so to minimise the risk from ‘not-spots’, we supply SOS Fobs with multi-network roaming SIMs.
Some SOS Fobs are shared between lone workers in housing schemes for older people – for instance, domestic support staff or night supervisors share devices between shifts. YHG staff have fed back to us that they find it simple to share devices; they can easily update our ARC using a Yellow Alert to indicate who’s using the device.
We’ve also supplied the Safe Hub App on individuals’ work phones. During the year, we’ve seen an increase in the use of the app. This has given workers access to Safe Check, as well as all the features available on SOS Fob.
Rollout and training to get everyone up to speed
We were up and running within weeks of being awarded the contract. The initial challenge was migrating all user data over to our systems – we managed that successfully in the very tight time-frame. We ensured that lone workers’ line managers could use the portal to ensure all the data for escalation processes was up-to-date. We’ve also set up and helped refine YHG’s out-of-hours escalation processes for lone workers.
We concentrated on getting all users up-to-speed with a range of training methods, including webinars, face-to-face training sessions and online tutorials.
Everyone at YHG is on board with Safe Hub
“Lone Worker Solutions provides us with really great service. Lone workers are feeling safer and less vulnerable in their daily working lives; they’re getting used to having the SOS Fob device on them at all times, making lone worker safety part of their everyday work routines. We’re communicating that a fully charged SOS Fob and Safe Hub app on their smartphones are critical pieces of equipment that people need to take with them whenever they go out of the office as a lone worker.”
Janice Potter, Health and Safety Officer at YHG
Janice also cites the importance of buy-in throughout the company’s senior leadership, especially at CEO level. This has been instrumental in making sure that lone workers properly use the technology that’s available to them. YHG has been focusing on the message that Safe Hub is not a monitoring tool, it’s entirely about improving lone workers’ safety. Line managers having access to information on the Safe Hub portal provides real flexibility and allows for active management of worker safety.
Staff are responding really well to that message, knowing they can contact our service team to make changes to their personal data – or the ARC in cases where they need help. Indeed, there have been a number of genuine Red Alerts triggered on Safe Hub, when emergency services have been deployed. But there are many other situations where lone workers are using the ARC as virtual buddy, getting them to stay on the call until they feel safe again.
One year in, we’re really pleased to be delivering a service at YHG that has been so well-received. It’s our business to look after lone worker safety. By allowing our clients to get on with their own business, we can ensure that lone workers feel secure in their everyday working lives.