We’re used to talking about our devices, apps and safety features in broad brushstrokes, to make potential new clients aware of the range of Safe Hub and its approach to lone worker safety. But sometimes it helps their understanding to hear about the details of our successful deployments. It’s just over a year since we deployed Safe Hub at Your Housing Group. So we thought it was the ideal opportunity to review how we went about setting Safe Hub up for them, and how our partnership is going.
A new generation of housing provider needs to 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. Your Housing Group 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.
YHG 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.
Using both SOS Fobs and Safe Hub apps increases effective 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. Many workers at YHG have previously been issued with Samsung Android phones. During the year, we’ve seen an increase in the use of the app. This has given workers access to Safe Check, in addition to all the features available on the SOS Fob.
Rollout and training to get everyone up to speed
We were awarded the contract in September 2018 and were up-and-running with Safe Hub fully deployed in the first week in November. 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. We focused on overcoming any initial reluctance in using the devices, by making sure that workers got used to the techniques such as correct battery charging. All SOS Fobs came with a user guide, and all came with the cradle to allow for fast charging.
Everyone at YHG is on board with Safe Hub, to keep lone workers safe every day
YHG made sure that lone workers knew that they could request us to alter the sensitivity of their devices, to reduce the likelihood of false alarms. Similarly, workers are encouraged to wear devices, to reduce the risk of devices knocking against desks or clothing, and most have chosen to use lanyards. YHG gave individual line managers responsibility for acquiring any other accessories which their teams wanted, so some have opted for wearing the SOS Fob on a belt clip.
Janice Potter, Health and Safety Officer at YHG, says “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 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 a 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.
To find out more about how our lone worker safety system works to protect housing lone workers, contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today.
Post by Rob Gilbert
Rob is Chief Sales Officer at Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). He 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-focused approach means our clients have full access to every possible resource to achieve lasting, best-of-breed solutions and service excellence.