The company is responsible for around 17,656 kilometers of road with over 1,000 employees, some working in remote rural areas. An estimated 15% of Britain’s roads have no mobile signal or only partial coverage. If difficulties arise, phoning for help is not always an option.
In the winter months, conditions can be particularly hazardous out on the roads increasing the risk of accidents and injury to workers. In built up areas staff working alone are vulnerable to verbal and physical abuse from the public when carrying out road maintenance.
To protect their lone workers Ringway investigated various methods and tools, trialing several of these before deciding upon Skyguard’s MySOS personal safety alarm. The devices proved their worth during the trial when Skyguard were called upon to provide assistance as an employee required medical attention. The emergency services were on site within 7 minutes, with Skyguard’s direct access to Police Control Rooms enabling the 999 system to be bypassed.
Shortly afterwards, during a cold spell, Skyguard’s services were required again when a maintenance grit spreader encountered a patch of ice causing the vehicle to leave the carriageway and tip onto its side. Thankfully the driver was not seriously injured and raised the alarm using his MySOS device. Skyguard’s Controllers were able to provide vital reassurance and were in communication with the driver until an Ambulance arrived 10 minutes later.
Andy Day, Operations Manager at Ringway was pleased with the incident response from Skyguard and commented that using the MySOS, “gives an added line of defence to safeguard our employees.”
The MySOS can be activated in a number of ways; via pressing the SOS button on the device or through the Mandown feature, which automatically activates after a sudden impact followed by a period of inactivity – for example if the user falls. Slips and trips are among the most common causes of workplace injury and this is a particular risk for Ringway with employees often working in testing conditions.
Upon activation of an alarm, users are put through to Skyguard’s specialist team of Controllers who will check if emergency services are required and call upon them if necessary. Device locations can be traced using GPS, so even if drivers are out in remote areas their whereabouts can still be pinpointed. Roaming SIMs can also be fitted into the device, which utilises the strongest signal from any of the 4 major UK mobile networks. This significantly decreases the chance of losing signal in areas of weak or no coverage.
Ringway has now issued 450 MySOS devices to staff and having witnessed first-hand the importance of these devices as a lone working safety measure, they plan to roll more out across other lone working roles in the near future.
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