Yorkshire Coast Homes (YCH) employs a large number of lone workers including Housing Officers for their core Social Housing sector, together with Money Management Officers, Retail and Food & Beverage staff, Repairs and Maintenance Officers, Community Involvement Officers, Arrears Officers and Emergency Responders. Often working alone with tenants, such employees are presented with a high risk of assault or abuse. With the workforce more than doubling in the last two years, the employment of lone workers has subsequently risen.
To mitigate potential threats, YCH sourced Skyguard’s MySOS Emergency alarm, a solution that would be robust and reliable: “When we tendered for an electronic lone worker monitoring system, we were interested in price, reliability, training support and service. Skyguard won on all accounts for us,” comments Andy Turner, Risk and Assurance Manager for YCH.
Skyguard’s keyfob-sized MySOS personal safety alarm, accredited to BS 8484:2016 standards is equipped with the latest mobile-phone and GPS tracking technology. When the user raises the alarm, an alert is instantly sent to Skyguard’s dedicated Incident Management Centre (IMC) along with the GPS location of the device. Specifically trained controllers at the IMC will first listen in and assess the situation before talking to the user and taking the appropriate action. Using the escalation instructions provided, the Controller will, if necessary, directly contact the local police control room, bypassing the 999 service for a faster response. The information relayed is sufficiently detailed to allow the emergency services responding to the incident to call upon the information supplied and start making appropriate preparations before they arrive at the scene. All audio and actions from the incident are legally recorded and can be used for legal evidence if required.
YCH also opted for the MySOS devices to contain roaming SIM cards. Roaming SIMs operate across all the major mobile phone networks, automatically switching to the provider with the strongest signal for that area. If your location is known to have poor reception for one provider, then the SIM will simply switch to the provider offering the strongest signal – eliminating ‘black spots’. YCH can rest assured that their lone workers have 24 hour protection, maintained at all times.
Andy explained the experience YCH have had since implementing Skyguard as their lone worker safety provider, particularly the device’s ease of use: “You always feel like you’re the most important customer with Skyguard. The response to technical equipment queries is instant, delivery times are excellent and the kit actually works remarkably easily which helps users to engage.”
Too often, technology can prove to be complicated and difficult to use, frustrating the user. Although the MySOS alarms are packed with functions and features, its uncomplicated design and one button activation is very simple to use.
By providing employees with Skyguard’s personal safety alarms, YCH are helping to fulfil their legal and moral Duty of Care to their employees as well as increasing confidence in the user, Andy explains: “The main benefit we’ve found is that by providing a Skyguard unit, our staff feel like we care about their personal safety. The units provide peace of mind, are a useful tool for managers and they have been used successfully.”
When stating what attracts them to Skyguard’s solutions, Andy commented: “The reliability is a major factor obviously. The service is simple to set up and easy to use but it needs to work for people to trust it. Skyguard, quite simply, works.”
Having had the devices in play for some time now, Andy concluded: “We care about our staff and Skyguard is one of the ways we demonstrate this. The response from staff has been very positive and we’re delighted with the quality of service we receive.”