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Skyguard’s personal alarms secure nightshift lone workers at Mackie’s of Scotland

Published on 4 March, 2014
Lone workers can raise an alarm by pressing a button on the GPS-enabled device
Skyguard’s personal safety devices provide lone workers with the ability to call for help during any emergency

Food Manufacturer, Mackie’s of Scotland have issued their nightshift staff with Skyguard’s palm-sized personal alarms, to help mitigate risk whilst working alone with heavy machinery.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), over 5,000 injuries in the food and drink manufacturing industry are reported each year. This represents around a quarter of all manufacturing injuries reported. About 16% of the injuries are ‘major injuries’ resulting in broken bones, hospitalisation etc., mostly due to slips, falls from height or machinery. The remainder are ‘over-3-day absence injuries’ mostly caused by lifting and handling, slips and trips and being struck by objects such as hand-knives or falling objects.

Mackie’s, a leading Scottish food brand, approached Skyguard after extensively researching suitable means to call for help quickly and easily in an emergency. After reviewing all options, it was actually a recommendation that eventually swayed Mackie’s. Spokesperson Rhona Wight explains, “We have many links with companies in the local area, so we asked one who they used. They gave us great feedback on Skyguard. We looked into them more, saw they met all our needs, trialled their personal safety devices and went from there.”

Mackie’s of Scotland runs its operations from a 1,600 acre dairy farm in Aberdeenshire, producing ice cream that is sold throughout the UK. The company has a seven per cent share of the total UK ice cream market, with sales of over 10 million litres every year.

Mackie’s employ staff who work throughout the night, both in their packaging moulding room and overseeing the automated cow milking system. With over 30% of all fatal injuries in the industry caused by food machinery and plant use, businesses can never be too careful when it comes to protecting their employees from potential harm.

"It’s very encouraging to see
local companies recommending
Skyguard to their peers, but more
crucial is that these organisations
are taking the Duty of Care to their
staff seriously"

Whilst Skyguard’s personal safety devices cannot prevent accidents and injuries from occurring, it does give users the ability to call for help quickly and easily in the event of any emergency. An employee can raise the alarm by pressing a button on the GPS-enabled device. This allows Controllers at Skyguard’s 24 hour manned Incident Management Centre to see where the employee is, listen in, assess the situation and send the appropriate response. Alarms can also be raised when the device’s ‘Mandown’ feature detects a slip, trip or heavy impact – vital if the employee is unable to call for help themselves.

 As a responsible employer, Mackie’s follow health & safety best practice to ensure all staff are safeguarded from accident and injury. Rhona continues, “We’ve been lucky in the fact that we’ve had no incidents since using Skyguard. However, knowing someone will always be there to help when it’s needed gives our staff real peace of mind.”

“As a company, we were referred to Skyguard by a trustworthy source, and now I’m passing on my own personal recommendation; Businesses in the food manufacturing sector who have workers using machinery should equip them with Skyguard alarms.”

Will Murray, Skyguard’s Marketing Director added, “It’s very encouraging to see local companies recommending Skyguard to their peers, but more crucial is that these organisations are taking the Duty of Care to their staff seriously. Sadly, employees in Manufacturing are almost twice as likely to suffer from injury or death at work compared with the national average; many of which could be prevented by implementing effective Health and Safety systems.”

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