Lone worker protection
Ringway Jacobs, a renowned highway services provider, has become the first UK fleet operation to adopt a video-enabled lone worker service that is designed to better safeguard drivers operating in the field. Ringway Jacobs’ H&S and Fleet departments teamed up with Peoplesafe and SureCam to roll-out the integrated safety solution, by using a mobile phone app that enables the benefits of lone worker protection with those of video telematics. Video-enabled lone worker service David Bon...
Amulet, the specialist security arm of The Churchill Group, launches a new Temp & Vacant service. The nationwide service will provide 24/7, 365 security solutions and has been launched to support businesses that have temporary and vacant properties – an existing problem that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. When the first work from home order was given in March 2020, thousands of properties became vacant overnight. Last June commercial office space had a vacancy rate of 4.5 perce...
Reliance (Reliance High Tech Limited), the UK's renowned independent security technology integrator and provider of Lone Worker Safety and video surveillance solutions, has launched new websites for its Reliance High-Tech and Reliance Protect brands, to reflect the changing needs of its customers, post Covid-19 pandemic. New brand websites The move towards greater business digitisation required Reliance to enhance its customer experience and online support material. The new websites have a com...
In the past few weeks, the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel has brightened, providing new levels of hope that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. Dare we now consider what life will be like after the pandemic is over? Considering the possible impact on our industry, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Which security technologies will be most useful in a post-pandemic world?
Fenix Monitoring, an approved NSI Gold Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), has entered into a new partnership with OPTEX to support its customers in providing state-of-the-art security response services. The business, founded in 2018 by Managing Director, Carl Meason, will harness the reliability and performance of OPTEX’s Intelligent Visual Monitoring solution to extend its services to provide visually verified alarms, enhancing security by capturing genuine alarms while filtering out nuisance...
Police users in the Municipality of Padova have deployed over 300 Sepura SC20 radios for the city’s police force. These are the first Sepura radios to be deployed in the Padova region, with the radios being chosen to replace existing TETRA units after a successful user trial. Radio users will benefit from the SC20’s loud audio and robust design, whilst also being protected by the radios’ advanced functions; Man Down and Lone Worker applications will initially be deployed, whil...
Vismo, global tracking specialist has appointed lone worker industry expert Craig Swallow as CEO, with a focus on developing the company into a globally recognised brand for locating, monitoring and protecting international, local and home workers. With more than 18 years of specific experience and focus in the lone worker security industry, Craig brings to his new post wide ranging knowledge in lone worker service innovation, marketing, business strategy and sales growth across continents. Lone worker space He took his previous company, SoloProtect, from a wearable device idea in the UK to sales in excess of £8m, “Focusing on international growth, customer value and product innovation,” he says, adding, “I believe Vismo is exactly the right opportunity I was looking for to step up and develop a broader range of offerings for a much wider international reach." Vismo is well placed to grow and continue its innovation in the global traveller and lone worker space" "With a client base featuring many of biggest names in the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100, a proven track record globally and its own deep knowledge of tracking technology, Vismo is well placed to grow and continue its innovation in the global traveller and lone worker space.” Lone worker monitoring That innovation includes the Vismo Global Traveller App, inclusive of lone worker monitoring, Vismo’s incident management and mass notification offerings, all of which are available anywhere in the world via the company’s secure portal. Tim Williams, Founder and Chairman of Vismo, says, “As someone who was one of the original creators of the lone worker market in general and oversaw its development for a number of years, Craig is a great addition to our team. We look forward to working with him to help us consolidate and expand our position in North America, the UK and the rest of the world as we help clients meet their duty of care towards their employees wherever they are travelling or working.”
Interface Security Systems, together with Sally Beauty and Whereable Technologies will host a webinar called: ‘5 Actionable Steps You Can Take to Safeguard Your Lone Workers Now’. Recently, a wide range of businesses including retailers, restaurants, banks, hospitality chains, and real estate companies are having to adapt their business models while operating with reduced staff. While lone employees play a critical role in keeping these businesses up and running, they are more at risk of encountering life threats at work. Increasing safety measures In times like these, more attention needs to be placed on increasing safety measures for lone employees. Security professionals are looking at ways in which they can add another layer of protection for their associates when they are working alone, for locations with limited or no existing protection, or to expand security coverage outside a business’ building. This webinar will discuss how to roll out a cost-effective lone worker security strategy to cope with lower staffing levels and the increased risks they are facing. During the one-hour-long event, attendees will learn about: Who is a lone worker and why should businesses worry about them now? How to put in place a lone worker safety policy and why it’s important to do it immediately. How to train lone workers to deal with emergencies and put in place a training What options should be considered when rolling out a lone worker safety solution. Why lone worker safety devices should be integrated with a comprehensive monitoring Key speakers will include: Jim Mires, Vice President Loss Prevention and Safety at Sally Beauty, Jim Van Law, President & Board Member at Whereable Technologies, Matt Smitheman, Sr. Solutions Consultant at Interface Security Systems.
Security and Safety Things GmbH launches its App-Challenge, a contest offering developers the chance to present their solutions to industry players and compete for 3 x 10 000€ in prize money as well as the opportunity to present their winning application on the Security and Safety Things booth at GSX 2020 in September or a similar event depending on the COVID-19 situation. All developed applications will be listed on the company’s open Application Store where they can be purchased by integrators and end users to be deployed in live projects. Participating developers must hand in a proposal for an app solution by May 6th, 2020 that solves one of several use cases in the retail, transportation or manufacturing sector. Suspicious behaviour detection Developers can submit multiple proposals if they’d like to participate in more than one vertical. Use cases include: Retail: Dynamic privacy masking for cashiers Shopping cart analytics Spill detection Shoplifting detection Transportation & Smart Cities: Social distancing and protective equipment (identify groups, presence of masks and gloves) Suspicious behaviour detection Train platform analysis Manufacturing & Logistics: Digitising analogue industrial gauges, water levels and meters Barcode reader (1d/2d) Smoke & Fire Detection Most innovative proposals A jury of experts including Securitas, G4S, Kings Secure Technologies, Bosch, Ateksis, Convergint Technologies, Vision Technologies and Security and Safety Things will review the proposals and select the best and most innovative proposals for each category to enter the App Challenge. The chosen Developers will then receive a reference camera and will have time until the end of July to develop the proposed applications and upload them to the Application Store of Security and Safety Things. The jury will then test all uploaded applications and choose the best three applications and therefore winners of the App Challenge, who will be announced later in August and win prize money of 10 000€. Throughout the whole duration of the challenge, participating developers will be able to benefit from various co-marketing opportunities with Security and Safety Things.
Namib Property Patrols Ltd, the Oxfordshire-based security and protection company, is using employee scheduling and mobile workforce management software SmartTask to streamline operational processes, saving both time and money. The company is using the software for proof of attendance and guard monitoring across its mobile patrol and alarm response operations, which has helped reduce in administration by more than 15-hours a month, while enhancing service delivery to customers. Credible and transparent security services “We strive for quality through technology, so we needed a software solution that would enable us to serve our customers better; operate on tight margins in order to give value for money; and continue to innovate,” explains Joel Shikongo, Operations Director at Namib Property Patrols Ltd. “SmartTask is enabling us to deliver high-quality, credible and transparent security services in the most efficient manner possible.” The simple expandability of the software is enabling the company to take a phased roll-out" SmartTask was selected following a review of the marketplace to replace manual processes that had become time-consuming and no longer met the reporting needs of the business. The simple expandability of the software is enabling the company to take a phased roll-out with plans to adopt additional functionality, such as SmartForms for electronic incident and logbook reporting, in the next 12 months. Alarm response callouts Namib Property Patrols uses SmartTask at around 40 commercial and industrial sites within Oxfordshire to record arrival and departure times for mobile patrols and alarm response callouts. For scheduled patrols, active tags are used at critical and vulnerable points around the customer’s premises, which are scanned by an asset protection officer using a SmartTask-enabled smartphone. These tags can also contain unique messages to communicate specific tasks and patrol requirements. Namib Property Patrols has full visibility of completed work and officer welfare from its head office in Bicester, with the ability to create electronic operational reports at a push of a button. Clients can also log in to an online customer portal to view their individual security activity in real-time and generate bespoke performance reports. Reducing printing costs Our software is already delivering proven results for a wide range of businesses" As a result, the company has been able to dramatically reduce the time needed to compile reports, saving more than 15-hours each month, as well as reducing printing costs by around 50 per cent. “SmartTask is an ideal fit for our brand and values, underpinning our commitment to operational excellence and client satisfaction. The software is not only helping us to streamline our processes and operate more effectively in an ever-evolving world, but also retain and win business by always putting the customer first. SmartTask’s team is always on hand to provide first-rate support and is constantly looking at new ways to improve our service delivery, so they are a highly-valued technology partner,” adds Shikongo. Mobile workforce management solution Paul Ridden, CEO of SmartTask commented: “We have created an employee scheduling and mobile workforce management solution that is highly configurable and feature rich, so is a perfect fit for SME, mid-sized and top 30 security companies alike. Our software is already delivering proven results for a wide range of businesses by helping them to better plan, manage, deliver and report on their security services.”
Arc Monitoring will share their range of services at Security TWENTY 20 Birmingham. Set in the central location of the Hilton Metropole NEC in Birmingham on Thursday, 20th February 2020, the Conference will bring together top security industry speakers and is supported by a large exhibition of cutting-edge security products and services. Doors open at 8.30am allowing access to the exhibition with the conference running between 10.00am and 1.30pm. The exhibition will close at 3.30 pm. Lone worker protection Arc Monitoring will be sharing its CCTV & Alarm Monitoring services Confirmed speakers so far are Arad Parsi of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust talking about lone worker protection, Julian Hurst of Secured by Design and there will be manufacturer updates from Hikvision, BT, HID Global, Seagate and 6S Global. The conference will be chaired by Security TWENTY regular, Michael White. Most importantly if one registers in advance and is an installer, an end user, a consultant, or someone to do with private security, in the police or the armed forces, or a buyer of security services they will be able to attend the Conference for free. Arc Monitoring will be sharing its CCTV & Alarm Monitoring services. This is a chance to discuss face to-face with Arc’s team about the benefits of its CCTV Monitoring, Alarm Monitoring and Keyholding services. Please come along and join Arc to keep yourself up-to-date with its latest innovations.
PPSS Group's next generation of high-performance body armour is taking personal protection to a completely new-found level. Made from Auxilam, a unique carbon fibre composite material, this latest body armour will protect the wearer from even the most vicious and brutal types of edged weapon and shanks imaginable. Utilising a combination of the incredible strength of carbon fibre, the auxetic properties of Auxilam technology and some additional ‘top secret’ assets derived from the specially developed composite structure, this next generation of body armour offers a truly outstanding balance of weight, protection, performance and durability. Polycarbonate-based stab resistant vests Comparing it with PPSS Group’s highly acclaimed polycarbonate-based stab resistant vests, the company is claiming a reduction of 19% in thickness (utilising a 3.9mm carbon fibre composite) and a 6.6% lower aerial density and reduced weight for its latest development. Yet, it will be certified to KR2/SP2 according to the UK Home Office Body Armour Standard, as well as NIJ Level 2 (Stab & Spike) and VPAM K2/D2 meaning it will offer a truly significant higher level of knife, spike and needle protection. Thoroughly field tested, the body armour will be made available from 6th January 2020 Body Armour Thoroughly field tested, the body armour will be made available from 6th January 2020. Government agencies and security companies will be able to choose from an array of different styles, ranging from covert, overt to hi viz overt options. Robert Kaiser, CEO of PPSS Group states “Law Enforcement, Border Force, Immigration, Customs and Prison Officers are being attacked by criminals carrying and using knives, machetes, shanks, blunt objects and hypodermic needles every day.” VPAM certified protection He adds, “Our key objective is to protect those men and women even more effectively. Using the very latest in technology and following extensive research and development, our latest body armour is now offering previously absolutely unthinkable levels of protection. It also offers exceptional, VPAM certified protection from blunt objects, effectively reducing the risks of blunt force trauma injuries e.g. internal bleeding.” The UK headquartered firm has been supplying countless of homeland security agencies in countries around the world with their widely respected polycarbonate-based stab resistant vests over the past ten years.
As the world continues to become more connected, it’s becoming increasingly important to adjust security and safety procedures in the workplace. But today’s ever-evolving office environment can present unique safety and preparedness challenges. No two businesses are exactly alike, with some located in numerous buildings or spread out across campuses, while others have employees that frequently journey from different locations, work remotely or travel internationally. With this shifting environment, Rave Mobile Safety’s recent Workplace Safety and Preparedness survey asked over 500 full-time employees in various industries across the United States about their views on safety at work and emergency preparedness. Preferred safety measures Only 57 percent of respondents indicated that their workplace currently had preparedness drills in place for critical situationsThe survey looked at how employees and companies respond to various workplace emergencies: workplace violence, active shooter, medical emergency, fire, hazmat incidents, weather events and cyberattacks/system outages. Respondents provided insight on the current state of safety in their workplace, as well as how they want to be contacted when an emergency occurs. Though opinions on the preferred safety measures differed between generations and also between on-site and offsite workers, one fact remains consistent: there is much to be done to instil a better sense of safety in the workplace. While the findings show that employees feel safe in their workplace, only 57 percent of respondents indicated that their workplace currently had preparedness drills in place for critical situations. Quick thinking Of the plans currently in place, excluding fire, 57 percent of the other major emergency plans were rarely or never tested. With so few drills in place, employees are left not knowing the best ways to respond to emergencies like weather events or hazmat incidents or if their employer recommends a certain response to situations like medical emergencies. Testing these plans is essential so that all employees, whether they are new to the company or not Even if plans are in place to begin with, not ensuring your employees understand and are comfortable with how to react to certain situations, can put the organisation in harm’s way. Testing these plans is essential so that all employees, whether they are new to the company or not, have the appropriate response top of mind and their actions become second nature during a situation that will likely require quick thinking. Workplace violence Instilling regular practices will only further ensure that responses will happen seamlessly, regardless of the emergency. Beyond the general awareness of drills and practices, most surprising in the responses was the fact that 34 percent of female respondents were unaware of workplace violence emergency plans. This is particularly shocking because workplace violence is the second leading cause of death for women in the workplace, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics. This shows an obvious lack of preparedness from organisations. It’s immensely important that employees to understand the relevant dangers of the workplace, especially when alternative could have a fatal result. The differences between baby boomers and millennials in the workplace is a common barometer showing how the workplace is continuing to change. Emergency plans Workplace violence is the second leading cause of death for women in the workplace, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labour StatisticsWhat may have worked for previous generations must be reworked and adjusted so every generation is made aware of and understands the plans and procedures in place. These changes can help make workplace safety plans fresh and continuously relevant. With that in mind, millennials currently represent the largest segment of employees unaware of emergency plans for major workplace emergencies. 38 percent of this age group are unaware of existing emergency plans, compared to just a 28 percent average of employees over the age of 35. This could be associated with the fact that some organisations are not communicating plans with newer employees or even that organisations that employ a significant number of millennials might not have plans in place at all. Affecting everyday work If the newest generation is unaware of these plans, then it is only a matter of time before Generation Z enters the workforce and is in even worse position when it comes to emergency awareness. The survey results showed that on average, workplaces use two methods of communication for emergencies Feeling safe and secure at work should not be something that workers need to focus on, however more than a quarter of respondents that work remotely said that worrying about safety is exactly what is affecting their everyday work. With that in mind, it’s even more concerning to see that there seems to be a clear divide between current methods and preferred methods of communication during an emergency. The survey results showed that on average, workplaces use two methods of communication for emergencies, with the top two being intercom system announcement/building alarm (27 percent) and email (22 percent). Mass text messages At first, these methods seem to cover both remote and in-office employees, but survey results actually showed that both groups preferred and would be better reached during other methods. While email is the second most common emergency method currently in place by organisations, it actually ranks as the fourth most preferred method at a mere 11 percent. Even with a clear preference towards communication via mass text messages by respondents (39 percent of remote workers prefer this method), less than 20 percent of companies actually take advantage of this technology. This clear disconnect shows that organisations must find what works best for their employees instead of using methods that were previously established or that are just currently being used. Preparedness plans What remains important for organisations, regardless of size or industry, is to keep emergency preparedness plans ever evolving Communication can not only be essential to alert employees to everyday situations, like office closures, but it is also imperative in preventing emergencies to escalate when they do occur. Although this survey discusses the current state of safety in the workplace, it’s that the disconnect between employee perceptions and employer polices that’s the most concerning. Companies need to take steps to understand how their employees would like to be reached during an emergency, as well as how employees would also like to reach out to management to report their own concerns. What remains important for organisations, regardless of size or industry, is to keep emergency preparedness plans ever evolving and well communicated, so your employees are confident in the emergency plans in place. By proactively planning and practicing for emergency events through table top exercises and drills, employers can demonstrate their commitment to employee safety and preparedness and build employee confidence.
Until recently, data laws have differed from one country to the next. This meant that for those organisations conducting business or protecting assets abroad, they needed to localise both their infrastructure and policies dependant on the country they were operating in. However, with the impending arrival of the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which comes in to force on the 25th May this year, all of that will need to change. Data management in CCTV surveillance Surprisingly, despite the fact that much has been written about the impending EU GDPR, very little attention has been devoted to the process of ensuring compliance for the operation of video surveillance, access control and other physical security systems. The EU GDPR dictates that businesses adhere to specific governance and accountability standards with regards to the processing of all data. As this includes such a large scope of data, any public or even private organisation using CCTV to monitor publicly-accessible areas must pay attention, as monitoring the public on a large scale is by default considered a high-risk activity. This includes information that shows who a person is, where they are and any other specifics about them.We have seen organisations defining corporate standards for their physical security systems based around IT standards and technologies According to numerous market research studies, many organisations are yet to take the necessary steps in order to review the new regulations and ensure the necessary changes are made to meet these obligations. To date, we have seen organisations defining corporate standards for their physical security systems based around IT standards and technologies. With the implementation deadline of the new regulations fast approaching, these should be in a better state of readiness, with standardised processes, common organisational approach and technology. Enhancing industry awareness of compliance What’s more, a lot of legacy systems or disparate systems are still out there, and these may still have been entirely commissioned and operated by location-specific security teams. Regardless as to where your organisation stands in terms of technology, it is important to participate in the GDPR review with a greater sense of urgency. The EU GDPR dictates that businesses adhere to specific governance and accountability standards with regards to the processing of all data Tony Porter, the UK’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner, has been incredibly vocal in recent months with regards to making security system operators aware that their activities will be subject to the GDPR and to signpost them to relevant guidance from the ICO. For those actively seeking to ensure their businesses are compliant, his organisation’s independent third-party certification is a great place to start. However, with just a few months until the regulation comes into force, it is unfortunate that his organisation is not yet in a position to confirm this will be sufficient to demonstrate compliance with the EU GDPR. Ensuring regulatory preparedness With this being said, there are still a number of steps organisations can take to ensure they are well-prepared when the law comes into play: Get involved in the GDPR discussion If you haven’t already, proactively initiate a GDPR discussion with your legal team and ask for their guidance. Conduct a gap analysis to identify what works and what might require improvement in accordance with the new regulation. Then engage your consultants, integrators and manufacturers who should be able to advise on appropriate solutions. In the vast majority of cases, it should be possible to upgrade the existing system rather than ‘rip out and replace’.The appropriate use of encryption and automated privacy tools is a logical step Adopt privacy by design Under the terms of the EU GDPR, data that is anonymised or pseudonymised is likely to be low-risk. The appropriate use of encryption and automated privacy tools is therefore a logical step. For example, video redaction that blurs out people’s faces in video unless there is a legitimate reason to reveal their identity can minimise the dangers of having security cameras deployed in public spaces. Seek out certified and sanctioned organisations, such as the European Privacy Seal group ‘EuroPriSe’, a professional organisation whose purpose is to ensure companies meet the ‘GDPR-ready’ privacy compliance standards. Consider cloud-based services Owners of on-premises video surveillance, access control or ANPR systems are responsible for all aspects of EU GDPR compliance, including securing access to the systems and servers storing the information. However, by working with an approved cloud provider it is possible to offload some of these responsibilities. For example, we partner with Microsoft Azure to offer these systems ‘as a service’. This pathway significantly reduces the customer’s scope of activities required to ensure compliance and is highly cost-effective. Yet it is important to realise it isn’t a full abdication of responsibility. You remain accountable for ensuring data is classified correctly and share responsibility for managing users and end-point devices. With data laws changing around the world, businesses need to seriously consider how their security technology investments will help them manage risks in order to keep pace. With the GDPR deadline approaching, it is the ideal time to re-evaluate practices, partner with forward-thinking vendors and adopt technologies that will help meet privacy and data protection laws. This way, businesses can minimise risk, avoid costly penalties and be ready for anything.
In recent years, organisations have transformed the way we prepare, respond to and manage emergency situations globally. Through the rapid uptake of new technologies, organisations can accurately account for their individuals in the event of an emergency and maintain the safety of their employees and visitors. In the event of an emergency in an organisation, an efficient and rapid evacuation is of the utmost importance, as hundreds or thousands of people need to be evacuated as quickly as possible. The objective of the building evacuation is an efficient relocation of people from a hazardous building under imminent danger to safe areas through safe and rapid evacuation routes. Smart building technology While we cannot prevent some situations, organisations can take steps to mitigate risks against their personnel to ensure that their workplace safety comes from a properly designed emergency evacuation plan. To minimise evacuation–related casualties in a building emergency evacuation, smart building technologies can be used to share or relay information in real-time among evacuees. Technology is beginning to dominate many aspects of the emergency management profession. This is particularly evident during disaster response. The role of technology in emergency management is to connect, inform and ultimately save the lives of those impacted by an emergency. In whatever industry you operate in, employee safety and lone-worker protection are critical. The advancement in security technology enables responders to coordinate rescue missions and work efficiently from the minute they arrive. It can help organisations analyse, track and study emergency preparedness so that we can always be learning and developing better solutions — and prepare to keep employee safety as a priority. Challenges to emergency evacuation A primary challenge in emergency evacuation situation is communication. From an organisation point of view, the ability to articulate a situation to emergency responders is of the utmost importance when an incident occurs. A breakdown in communication could be a result of lack of emergency planning. Having a clear Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that staff are well informed of and well-prepared for limits panic and ensures that employees, visitors and contractors arrive safely and as quickly as possible to the outside of the building in the case of an emergency. Your plan must identify your organisation has: A clear passageway to all escape routes Clearly marked escape routes that are as short and direct as possible Enough exits and routes for all people to escape Emergency doors that open easily Emergency lighting where needed Training for all employees to know and use the escape routes A safe meeting point for staff In addition to having a carefully planned EAP, the use of technology in your organisation can only further strengthen your emergency planning efforts. Advancements in emergency management When it comes to considering advancements in emergency management, past procedures must be taken into account to realise how far we’ve come. Think of the stock market - imagine a newspaper published stock prices a day later. Old technologies are like that newspaper: out-dated and obsolete. When an emergency begins, all personnel exit the building and use their staff or visitor badges to swipe safe at designated muster points located at the assembly point Manually recording mustered personnel such as paper-based roll calls, building sweeps and word of mouth are not only slow but are a high-risk, time-consuming and ineffective process. They do not provide 100% accuracy when it comes to accounting for all personnel that were on-site when the emergency began. By 21st century standards, these methods are outdated. Organisations need to use the power of the digital world not just to connect people though social media platforms but more importantly use it to keep our people safe by improving how our evacuation plans are executed. Automated emergency evacuation technology Having an automated emergency evacuation solution can drastically improve emergency communications. In the event of a building evacuation, the most important process is ensuring that all personnel are accounted for and marked safe. Installing a digital emergency evacuation solution improves emergency response drastically Building intelligence gives first responders and the incident commander 20/20 foresight as they approach a fire or other non-fire emergencies in a complex structure, allowing better decision-making as an incident is unfolding and ultimately, better outcomes. Presently, the information that reaches first responders about an emergency is minimal. Installing a digital emergency evacuation solution improves emergency response drastically. Real-time updates can provide critical knowledge to an incident commander and real-time access to building systems data holds the potential to improve fire service safety and response capabilities. When an emergency begins, all personnel exit the building and uses their staff or visitor badges to swipe safe at designated muster points located at the existing assembly point. The transition over to new technology methods is eased by leveraging the use of existing technology in an organisation such as access control cards. As personnel swipes safe, a digital missing list is produced on all smart mustering devices associated with the emergency evacuation. This real-time information provides automatic updates on who is still missing or unaccounted for and pinpoints their last known location. Benefits to the organisation Most organisations understand the value of providing a safe and secure working environment for their employees. By investing in workplace safety and health measures, employers can expect to reduce fatalities, injuries and illness. It can also have a cost savings benefit such as lowering worker’s compensation costs and medical expenses, and health and safety penalties. By investing in new technology, such as a digital emergency evacuation system, it sets the standard of security within your organisation. It fosters better communication within a company and helps to improve workplace safety.
Digital Barriers, a globally renowned provider of edge-intelligent surveillance and security technologies, reveals its collaboration with the Future Farms Cymru project, run by North Wales Police. Real-time surveillance solutions Digital Barriers has equipped a farm in North Wales with its real-time surveillance solutions, to demonstrate the role that sophisticated technologies can play in cutting the cost of rural crime, estimated by the National Farmers Union to have reached 54 million pounds in 2019. Rural areas and farmland can be inherently difficult environments to secure. However, Digital Barriers’ scalable and flexible solutions are designed to work in demanding conditions, such as remote and vulnerable locations. AI-based edge analytics Digital Barriers’ video streaming capability and AI-based edge analytics can provide reliable and secure monitoring Proven and trusted within the military and defence domain, Digital Barriers’ state-of-the-art video streaming capability and AI-based edge analytics can provide reliable and secure monitoring, thereby protecting people, places and assets. The first technology being showcased as part of Future Farms Cymru project is a live streaming body worn camera for the enhanced protection of lone workers. If an incident occurs, the wearer can press the urgent assistance button, which transmits video and a live GPS location back to a designated monitoring centre, providing immediate response. EdgeVis Shield The second is EdgeVis Shield, a combination of easy-to-deploy ground sensors that can be used to secure vast perimeters, including farmland containing high value assets. The autonomous system automatically detects when irregular behaviour occurs around a perimeter, sending alerts and live video, if a trespasser or vehicle approaches. PC Dewi Evans of the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team commented on the announcement, “In recent years, we are increasingly seeing rural communities and businesses being targeted by criminals. Therefore, it is vital that rural businesses employ the right security methods to protect their assets. Criminals need to know that the farm they’re targeting could be equipped with this cutting-edge technology and they will be almost certainly caught.” Countering rise in rural crime Neil Hendry, Vice President EMEA at Digital Barriers, said, “I am happy that our technology is being used on the front line in the fight against rural crime. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected businesses of all shapes and sizes, with farmers struggling to protect themselves against criminal activity.” Neil Hendry adds, “Future Farms Cymru is an important initiative, and we are delighted to be able help shape and support the future food and farming policy, with our robust video surveillance technology.”
Mines are unique operating environments with highly specific health and safety challenges. In particular, underground mining operations typically experience low-visibility conditions and light pollution from flashlights, vehicle lights and reflective strips on equipment and clothing, making traditional surveillance and safety monitoring difficult. These were some of the challenges facing Jiangzhuang Coal Mine in the Shangdong Province of China, which covers an underground area of 43 square kilometres, and produces more than 1.8 million tons of coal each year. The top priority for the mine’s management team is worker safety, and working practices and production are monitored 24 hours a day to minimise accident risks. Aging surveillance system Kong Qingwei, Director of the Jiangzhuang Coal Mine Dispatch Office, says, “We need to respond immediately to unsafe situations in the mine, whether they are caused by environmental factors, poorly performing machines, or employees not following authorised work procedures.” Its aging surveillance system made health and safety monitoring difficult in key areas of the mine Although the mine invests heavily in safety training and equipment for workers, its aging surveillance system made health and safety monitoring difficult in key areas of the mine. “Our previous surveillance system required us to monitor around 30 screens, 24 hours a day, often with sub-optimal image quality caused by low-light conditions or light pollution,” says Kong Qingwei. “This made our jobs extremely difficult and tiring, as well as impacting our ability to respond to safety issues quickly enough.” Maximising worker safety To address its health and safety challenges, Jiangzhuang Coal Mine has implemented an intelligent video surveillance and control system from Hikvision. The Hikvision solution supports crystal-clear video imaging, even in low-light conditions, or where light pollution is created by lights or reflective strips. This quality and clarity of imaging ensures that hidden risks can be identified more quickly and easily, allowing the safety team to respond more quickly and to protect workers in all areas of the mine. Improving worker health and safety In addition to the improved imaging capabilities, the Hikvision cameras incorporate deep learning technologies to identify and respond to health and safety risks in the mine automatically, and in real time. Specifically, the cameras can identify when employees deviate from approved work procedures and send alerts to the safety team to ensure staff can be deployed before accidents occur. The new Hikvision system increases worker safety by monitoring the areas around winches and other equipment" For example, it is prohibited for workers to come too close to winches when they are working due to safety risks, but this is hard to monitor with traditional video cameras. “The new Hikvision system increases worker safety by monitoring the areas around winches and other equipment, and by sending alerts if employees get too close,” says Kong Qingwei. Delivering continual improvement In the first three months of operation, the new Hikvision system identified more than 30 deviations from safe operating procedures. Zhang Liu, Deputy Chief Engineer at Jiangzhuang Coal Mine, says, “In the past, many of these safety risks could have gone unnoticed. However, the Hikvision system has allowed us to identify every incident in real time and to take immediate action to protect our workers, which is a hugely satisfying outcome for us.” As well as alerting the team to potential security risks in real time, the Hikvision system also records the details of any safety incident for later analysis. “As well as accurately capturing deviations from safe working procedures, the Hikvision system supports playback and download functions,” says Zhang Liu. “We can use the insights we record to deliver continual improvement for safety procedures, and, ultimately, to support our vision for a ‘zero-accident’ mine,” he adds. Addressing mining-specific safety requirements The Hikvision solution is configured to support specific mining-safety applications, such as constant monitoring of surface water levels in different areas of the mine. With the Hikvision system, we can manage surface-water levels constantly" “Constant seepage from rock formations means that surface water can accumulate in different areas of the mine, which is a problem in terms of potential flooding, damage to infrastructure, and worker safety risks,” says Zhang Liu. “With the Hikvision system, we can manage surface-water levels constantly and take action to deal with any problems that arise before water levels exceed safe limits,” he adds. Increasing effectiveness for the safety team In addition to surface water management, the Hikvision solution supports improved safety in other potentially dangerous areas of the mine, including inclined tunnels that are used for transporting coal and other materials underground. “The Hikvision system is like an intelligent 'eye' for us in all areas of the mine, helping us to identify potential safety issues in a timely and accurate way and to protect our workers at all times,” says Kong Qingwei. With automated alerts for all manner of potential safety threats, the safety team can be far more effective, with no need to monitor video images constantly. “Instead of looking at grainy images on 30 screens, we can now spend more of our time responding to incidents, supporting workers, and keeping them safe,” says Zhang Liu. “This is a classic example of how automation can help to improve mine safety, while also reducing the tiring workloads associated with manual monitoring of screens.”
TETRA has been widely adopted by several commercial and utility companies across Europe and further afield, including in countries and regions famed for their arctic weather conditions and long harsh winters. With operational temperatures dropping to between -20°C and -30°C in many of the operational environments, Sepura’s rugged TETRA terminals can cope with the challenge of snow, ice, water and freezing temperatures. In particular, Sepura’s SC20 and STP9000 hand-portable terminals are often favoured for use in such environments for their IP67 environmental protection rating that ensures they continue to work after submersion in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. TETRA hand-portable terminals Growth can cause a communications solution to quickly become insufficient and the requirement to implement a new one that is safe, reliable and scalable is paramount. SkiStar Åre were busy preparing for the Alpine Ski World Cup which would increase the need for a flexible system that can handle the capacity a large-scale event requires whilst remaining robust with uncompromised use in the dropping temperatures. Dispatcher system with TETRA base stations Safety and resource management was paramount and so a new dispatcher system was also implemented Safety and resource management was paramount and so a new dispatcher system was also implemented, enabling operator staff to easily monitor and communicate the location and status of users. The new system saw four TETRA base stations strategically placed across 4 Swedish regions, alongside the deployment of 170 Sepura SC20 hand-portable radios, praised by a control room user for sound quality and the ability to make individual calls. The terminals offer intuitive operation and outstanding RF performance and are Bluetooth and applications ready to match their safety and resource management requirements. Managing Safety & Operations at Ski Resorts As expected, daily challenges at ski resorts are often due to weather and environmental elements that have the potential to compromise the functionality and audio clarity of radios used as part of their critical communications solution. But another obstacle to consider is coverage across vast sites, especially if they are split, like the slopes of Tignes. The Société des Téléphériques de la Grande Motte (STGM) in the Rhône-Alpes region, France, replaced their existing analogue system with a TETRA communications solution comprised of mobile terminals and rugged Sepura hand-portable radios featuring the Man-Down safety feature from Sepura partner, Sysoco. SRG3900 vehicle-mounted gateway terminals Sepura’s SRG3900 vehicle-mounted gateway terminals allow STGM to extend coverage into mountainous areas, particularly those affected by ‘black spots’ and climate conditions which are not covered by the infrastructure. Interoperability between TETRA and analogue networks is allowed, permitting cross-network communication to maintain links with analogue users across the two sites. Read the full story here. Idre Fjall is a world-renowned, year-round ski resort that offers over 40 ski runs and 82km of cross-country trails to the 600,000 plus annual visitors. Alongside the challenges posed by weather conditions, environmental factors and keeping visitors safe around the clock, the resort also hosts international events and their critical communications systems therefore must not falter on reliability, usability, audio or connectivity even in prolonged usage. Lone-worker and man-down safety features Sepura and partner Swedish Radio Supply established a solution consisting of a trusted TETRA infrastructure With the Ski-Cross World Cup and Speed Ski World Championship under their belt, it was imperative to boost communications to optimise safety for staff and visitors. In order to achieve this, Sepura and partner Swedish Radio Supply established a solution consisting of a trusted TETRA infrastructure and a fleet of STP9000 hand-portable radios. The rugged terminals offer the resort exceptional battery life, IP67 environmental protection rating, lone-worker and man-down safety features and a minimum operational temperature of -30°C. They were found by users to be intuitive, easy to use and unbeaten for audio quality and overall reliability. Clear, uninterrupted communications Sire-Kvina, one of Norway’s largest power companies operates seven hydro-electric power plants using watercourses in the South-west Norwegian mountains. When implementing a new TETRA communications system, Sire-Kvina chose Sepura STP9000 hand-portable radios for their powerful and robust ability to keep connectivity across their 15-site network, continuing to operate in Norway’s typically harsh winters. The company has a strict 90% uptime objective for production facilities and must by law be able to maintain internal communication for 72 hours even if regular supplies are cut out, they therefore must ensure that their communication system is reliable and provides a lifeline for their teams in a range of demanding environments from mountain tops to tunnels deep inside the mountains. Company employees are now successfully equipped with high-performance radios that offer a front-facing loudspeaker for clear audio alongside large colour display screens; ideal for viewing images, maps and text in Sire-Kvina’s demanding operational conditions. Implementing TETRA radios Like Sira-Kvina, Sogn and Fjordane Energy (SFE) have a distribution network that extends over high mountains and deep valleys operating 26 power stations. Previously using analogue systems for decades, the energy provider sought an alternative robust communication solution to successfully take them through daily routine work as well as emergency situations previously experienced. Implementing TETRA radios, utilising Norway’s Nodnett TETRA network was a natural progression for SFE Implementing TETRA radios, utilising Norway’s Nodnett TETRA network was a natural progression for Sogn and Fjordane due to the applications offered with a digital connection, which the users so desperately needed. SFE have since been able to increase restored network capacity and availability which has in turn increased security for the company, with Kåre Teigland, Head of Information and Communication Technology at SFE endorsing the coverage as “very reliable”, so much so that they would not expect any issues during a storm. STP9000 hand-portable radios The Norwegian Road Administration (NRA), part of the Directorate of Public Roads, is responsible for maintenance, expansion and control of Norway’s public roads and relies on a robust communication solution to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently. The NRA previously relied on analogue communications which worked well overall but suffered in areas with limited signal range, mostly affecting areas such as tunnels, in which there was no coverage at all. Having upgraded their system and terminals through Sepura partner Wireless Communications AS, Sepura’s STP9000 hand-portable radios now provide complete coverage, even across the mountainous regions and extending to those all-important blackspot tunnels. Sophisticated communications system The sophisticated communications system is the first of its kind for the administration and with a radio installed in each car, the Haukeliester traffic centre now has direct contact with all the operating vehicles. Access to a co-channel used by emergency services has also been obtained, allowing communication between organisations in case of an emergency. Read the full story here. From the challenges of operating in extreme environments and sub-zero temperatures to coverage and capacity, Sepura’s hand-portable and mobile TETRA terminals continue to prove themselves as a rugged and reliable communications solution. Advanced safety features, advanced positioning capability and clear audio are intrinsic to every radio, meeting a range of business and mission critical user needs.
Aston University, Birmingham, is transforming security and safety with the introduction of SafeZone for students and staff on campus and those travelling globally. The SafeZone solution, from CriticalArc, will put users directly in touch with the university’s security control room using their mobile phone, enabling them to request help, trigger an emergency response, receive rapid notifications in the event of emergencies and benefit from a wide range of customer-care services. SafeZone was selected following a detailed comparison of alternative systems, says Mark Sutton, Head of Security and Emergency Planning at Aston University. Resource management capabilities “While some alternatives offered individual features that were attractive, none of them combined all the functions and benefits in the way that SafeZone does,” he says. What we are investing in is a comprehensive solution that allows our security team to engage much more closely with students and staff" “What we are investing in is a comprehensive solution that allows our security team to engage much more closely with students and staff, and to work in a more integrated way with the university’s various departments and within its senior management structure. It also gives us important additional functions including lone worker protection and resource management capabilities.” The technology works by letting Aston’s control room operators pin-point the locations of individuals who elect to check-in using a simple app on their smart phones, including staff, students, service users and members of the security team. Reporting suspicious activity This app makes it easy for students, staff and school’s using the system to communicate directly with security responders, calling for help, asking for advice, reporting suspicious activity etc. And in return security teams can send out alerts and safety instructions to groups or individuals, in specific locations, as individuals or by specified user type. Notifications can range from helpful advice to alerts regarding specific threats. Officers responsible for emergency response management can also monitor activity patterns of those who choose to check-in, seeing where people are gathering during an incident for example. And they can co-ordinate resources, keeping track of where known first aiders are, or seeing exactly how team members are deployed, minute by minute. Significant placements programme The benefits of SafeZone bring together features found in an assortment of systems – including lone-worker protection - making them available in a unified, scalable package. There are also new options for users to collaborate with the growing global network of SafeZone system operators. At Aston University stakeholders such as the students’ union, staff and department heads have been fully engaged in the roll-out of the new system At Aston University stakeholders such as the students’ union, staff and department heads have been fully engaged in the roll-out of the new system. “Safety is a big issue, particularly for city centre campuses,” says Mark Sutton. “Prospective students and parents want to know how well we look after our community, so we see SafeZone as an important new benefit.” Aston also has a growing international reputation and a significant placements programme, with students and staff travelling around the world to work. Safety monitoring With the ability to ‘geo-fence’ any location in the world that has a signal, the university’s security team will now extend the same level of customer care and safety monitoring to all users, whether they are on campus, in accommodation blocks or associated sites around the city, or working abroad, says Darren Chalmers-Stevens, Managing Director EMEA and APAC for CriticalArc. “We are delighted to be working with Aston University’s security and emergency response team to help them provide the best available monitoring and protection for all their people, in all situations and wherever they are. In addition, they are benefiting from a wide set of extra functions which would otherwise have to be purchased separately - including lone worker protection and health & safety compliance.” There are also important, emerging benefits which CriticalArc is developing alongside its community of users, confirmed Darren Chalmers-Stevens. “These were discussed during our recent two-day user group conference in February.”
Integrity Security Group is using SmartTask’s SmartForms to gain added visibility and dramatically cut down on its administrative burden. Having adopted the employee scheduling and mobile workforce management software last year for the provision of proof of attendance, control room management and staff rostering, the company is now using its electronic data capture functionality to streamline a range of operational processes. Initially, SmartForms are being used for vacant property and mobile patrol inspections as well as daily vehicle checks, already saving more than 15 hours of admin a month. SmartTask SmartForms The SmartForms replace previous paper-based processes that were increasingly difficult to manage by the office-based admin team “We are now using the SmartTask SmartForms to help reduce administration, capture critical work data and enforce health and safety procedures,” explains James Chittil, General Manager at Integrity Security Group. “We are constantly looking at clever ways to take advantage of the software’s rich functionality, so we can continue to simplify and enhance the way we operate.” The SmartForms replace previous paper-based processes that were increasingly difficult to manage by the office-based admin team. All reporting for vacant property and mobile patrol inspections – for both scheduled patrols and alarm activations – are now completed using a SmartTask-enabled smartphone. By electronically capturing all relevant information, including photo evidence, Integrity can quickly provide customers with a status update and details of all undertaken work as well as respond to any identified issues. Vehicle checks and fleet management Meanwhile, daily vehicle checks for Integrity’s fleet of vans are now completed using a specially-developed SmartForm, so the company can instantly see if drivers are complying with this health and safety procedure. Any vehicle-related problems or damage can be raised by the driver and actioned immediately by the admin team to mitigate fleet risk. Mileage data is also captured through the software, enabling maintenance requirements to be tracked and scheduled at appropriate intervals. “The SmartForms are enabling us to dramatically reduce paperwork and remove manual processes. This is making it much simpler for both our security officers in the field and our office-based admin team to capture, collate and communicate essential operational data. This is not only helping us make better use of our valuable resources, but also enhance the service we are providing to customers,” added James Chittil. Paul Ridden, CEO of SmartTask commented: “Our experience within the security sector means we are continually developing new functionality that overcome real-world problems for our customers. This is the reason we are working in partnership with a growing number of security businesses who recognise the value they can gain and the benefits they can achieve from using the SmartTask software.” Integrity selected SmartTask to replace an outdated time and attendance system, enabling it to effectively monitor the whereabouts and welfare of staff Lone worker protection Integrity selected SmartTask to replace an outdated time and attendance system, enabling it to effectively monitor the whereabouts and welfare of staff as part of its commitment to lone worker protection. The company is also using the intelligent rostering functionality to streamline internal planning processes, while the interactive dashboard supported the launch of a dedicated, out-of-hours control room operation by providing a live view of all scheduled shifts and expected or missed check calls. SmartTask is an advanced and simple-to-use employee scheduling and mobile workforce management solution that enables security companies to better plan and manage their workers, so they are at the right place, at the right time. The cloud-based software solution combines intelligent rostering, live monitoring and integrated proof of attendance across both static and mobile teams, making it the ideal tool to improve operational control, enhance customer satisfaction, and support duty of care to staff.
The Polizei Bayern successfully opened its first operations centre in mid-September at its Police Headquarters in Central Franconia in Nuremberg. At the heart of the communication system was the Frequentis 3020 LifeX platform including digital radio connections and the newly developed AudioHub. The headquarters in Nuremberg is the second largest operations centre in the German state of Bavaria. It comprises 21 operator working positions that receive and process between 800 and 1,200 police calls per day. In the event of an emergency, an additional 13 operator working positions can be activated. Dispatch calls successfully Within the first week of operation the system was put to the test during a storm which led to over 900 emergency calls in the space of seven hours Within the first week of operation the system was put to the test during a storm which led to over 900 emergency calls in the space of seven hours. The system proved its stability and operators were able to dispatch calls successfully without issue. "The professionalism of Frequentis during the preparation, implementation and follow-up commissioning of the system gave us confidence in their abilities. All of the aspects important to us as customers were immediately considered and processed by the Frequentis team. Above all, the usability of the system was well received by the operators.", said Anton Beierweck, Head of State-wide IT Procedures at the Police Headquarters Upper Bavaria South. Provides highest protection LifeX was first deployed for Bavarian Police Force in 2015, ahead of the G7 summit. The system was adapted to the needs of the event which required 18,000 emergency services personal to protect government leaders and control demonstrations. The police headquarters of Mittelfranken is the pilot for the rollout of nine additional control rooms in Bavaria through October 2020 "What has been clear from the start of the project is the willingness of the Polizei Bayern to innovate. We are very proud to have met their high requirements in terms of technology and services and appreciate the professional cooperation with the organisation who provides the highest protection and security in Bavaria.", Robert Nitsch, Frequentis Vice President Public Safety. The police headquarters of Mittelfranken is the pilot for the rollout of nine additional control rooms in Bavaria through October 2020. Two more operational centres are planned to be brought on line before the end of 2018.
Round table discussion
The high cost of thermal imaging cameras historically made their use more likely in specialised law enforcement and military applications. However, lower pricing of thermal imaging technologies has opened up a new and expanding market for thermal cameras in the mainstream. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the new opportunities for thermal cameras in mainstream physical security?
Body-worn cameras are becoming more common every day, driven both by needs of the marketplace and technology developments. However, questions remain about the usefulness of the devices, and their future role in promoting safety and security. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of body-worn cameras for the security industry?
Rapid changes in technology span both the consumer and the physical security markets. In the consumer market, technology innovation is nowhere more apparent than in the palms of our hands, where we all hold the latest smartphones and mobile devices. Simply put, the unprecedented power and capabilities of today’s smart phones have changed our lives. No wonder they are also having an impact on our business of physical security systems. Although a consumer product, smartphones increasingly play a role in security. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How are smartphones impacting technologies in the physical security market?
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