Cleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 8th June 2023 Issue no. 1068
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Council pairs safety app with wearable V.BTTN device to protect lone workers
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, a local authority in County Durham, has partnered with lone worker safety specialist StaySafe, to ensure that lone working employees can get help in an emergency at the push of a button through the StaySafe Lone Worker app on their mobile devices, or via the wearable V.BTTN device.
This combination replaces the council's previous lone worker device which staff found difficult to use, and which did not offer a discreet way to call for help.
"We already had a lone worker device in place, but it wasn't user friendly and didn't have a wearable device to activate," says Paul Leonard, control room manager at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. “It was quite problematic too if one of our lone workers was attacked, so now all our lone workers have the app and the V.BTTN.
Using both the app and V.BTTN provides a flexible option for lone workers, who may not always have easy access to their phone when visiting clients or driving between appointments. The V.BTTN can be attached to a work belt, stuck to the car/van dashboard, or hidden on a bra strap/pocket to ensure staff can still check-in at all times.
The V.BTTN is connected to an employee's smartphone via Bluetooth. Employees can then click or hold the button to check-in or send their employer a panic alert. It also works as a non-movement alert, automatically triggering an alarm if a fall is detected.
"I've introduced the wearable device as a matter of course; everyone who is setup on the app is given the V.BTTN too," adds Paul.
The council now requires employees to check-in at preset intervals to ensure they are safe. Most of its lone workers set four-hour sessions within the app when they are out in the community, and must check-in every hour during that session via the app or their V.BTTN. This ensures that the council is getting confirmation on a regular basis that its staff are safe and, should an employee fail to check-in when expected, steps can be taken immediately to ensure their safety.
"The check-ins come in and we can see where our lone workers are, so if they raise an alarm we can escalate it and, if needed, get help to their exact location."
The app offers comprehensive protection, and the addition of the wearable V.BTTN means that employees can raise an alarm discreetly without touching their phone. This avoids further escalating a potentially dangerous situation.
Don Cameron, CEO at StaySafe, says: "We work with a lot of councils and know the risks their lone workers face. Pairing the app with the wearable V.BTTN means that employees can check-in, or signal for help easily and discreetly, which is incredibly important when staff are working in unpredictable situations.
“StaySafe currently protects the lives of thousands of employees within both major brands and small businesses, in more than 40 countries.”
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