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. Lon...
Everbridge, Inc., a pioneer in critical event management and enterprise safety software applications to help keep people safe and businesses running, announced a partnership with RiskBand, a provider of wearable, live-monitored safety devices for organisations and their workers. The alliance is part of Everbridge’s strategy to reach the broadest set of workers, including those that may not always have ready access to a mobile phone, such as a hospitality employee, in-home healthcare provid...
FIREX International, alongside the co-located IFSEC International, Safety & Health Expo and Facilities Show, has announced that the Protection & Management series of events will be moving to a new dateline of 19-21 May for the 2020 edition at ExCeL, London. FIREX International 2019 dates unchanged Gerry Dunphy, Exhibition Director, FIREX, explains: “Major business decisions are made at FIREX every year, and the event has been in huge growth in its home in London, as we anti...
Employee turnover is a problem for many companies, especially among younger employees who have not developed the philosophy of employer loyalty that was common in previous generations. Nowadays, changing jobs is the norm. The idea of spending decades working for a single employer seems almost quaint in today’s economy. However, excessive employee turnover can be expensive for employers, who are looking for ways to keep their brightest and best employees happily toiling away as long as poss...
A transformative personal protection and emergency response solution developed jointly by CriticalArc and RAA, one of South Australia’s largest mutual organisations and most trusted brands, has been shortlisted in the ‘OSPA’ Outstanding Security Performance Awards run by ASIAL, the Australian Security Industry Association. RAA SafeZone Lone Worker App The RAA SafeZone Lone Worker App is an innovative partnership that delivers multiple benefits for people working in Australian small-to-medium businesses (SMEs) and not-for-profit organisations (NFPs). For the first time, outreach workers in healthcare and lone workers operating in remote environments have access to high level personal monitoring and response protection previously available only to organisations with significant resources and infrastructure. The RAA SafeZone Lone Worker App allows Australia’s smaller employers to ensure response to worker emergency incidents without MPAS technology The smart phone application brings together CriticalArc’s internationally proven, cloud-based security and safety systems – that incorporates the SafeZone comprehensive solution - with RAA Secure Services’ world-class Monitoring Emergency Response Centre, which provides A1-rated triage and response around the clock. Mobile Personal Alert System (MPAS) Thanks to this partnership, the RAA SafeZone Lone Worker App now allows Australia’s smaller employers to ensure response to worker emergency incidents without the need for cost prohibitive MPAS (Mobile Personal Alert System) technology. The offering enables organisations to demonstrate comprehensive duty of care, particularly where outreach workers may be vulnerable visiting private homes, or in sectors such as agriculture, mining, oil and gas where lone worker safety is a vital concern. Lone worker safety RAA SafeZone customers are also finding that improved worker care is helping them attract and retain the best talent, says Robert Christie, CriticalArc’s Technical Operations Manager, Asia Pacific. “Safety at work is certainly a big concern for employees and their families,” says Mr. Christie. “Now RAA Safezone is helping employers do more than just comply with Worker Health & Safety rules, it’s letting them demonstrate that they really care by providing the best available monitoring and protection for all their employees, in all situations.” Offsite monitoring and emergency response As an example of the RAA Safezone Lone Worker App in action, some of Australia's most dedicated homelessness support workers - those at Adelaide's Hutt Street Centre - are now monitored and cared for by the solution, with offsite monitoring and emergency response facilities enabled by the easy-to-use SafeZone app on their smart phones. The application now enables staff to raise an alert, or to set a pre-emptive ‘check in’ timer and get immediate help and support if they feel unsafeThe application now enables staff to raise an alert, or to set a pre-emptive ‘check in’ timer and get immediate help and support if they feel unsafe. This is proving particularly popular with the Hutt Street Centre’s Case Navigators while working in the community in the parklands of Adelaide or the homes of clients. Workers safety Shane Corker, Business Development Manager, Secure Services for RAA, welcomed the OSPA award honour as a recognition of the positive effect the RAA Safezone Lone Worker App would make to Australian workers and their families. “We are delighted to be part of this innovative partnership with CriticalArc and to be offering a fantastic service that’s already making such a big difference to people’s lives.”
Send For Help Ltd., one of the largest lone worker protection firms in the world, which provides 24/7 emergency response via personal safety alarms, has been featured in the 'FT Future 100 UK' list, recently published in the Financial Times and FT.com. The prestigious list selected by an expert panel led by FT journalists, features fast growing UK companies that are also making an impact on their industry, or wider society. FT 1000: Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies list The list is built on data from the ‘FT 1000: Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies’, in which Send For Help featured in April this year, ranked at 625th. Send For Help was selected for the Disruption category To make it into the first edition of the FT Future 100 UK, businesses had to excel in one of four categories; Environmental Social & Governance, Disruption, Diversity and Consistent Growth. Send For Help was selected for the Disruption category, where the judges took into account measures such as research and development spending as a proportion of revenue, and the company’s own pitch as a disrupter. Fob-sized GPS personal safety alarms Operating through its subsidiary brands Skyguard, Peoplesafe and Guardian24, Send For Help supplies key fob-sized GPS personal safety alarms and smartphone apps providing 24/7 protection to over 150,000 lone workers. Send For Help’s monitoring centre has direct links to police control rooms, so it can bypass the 999 system and receive a faster emergency response if clients are threatened, attacked or are in danger. Lone worker protection The Surrey-based tech firm has a varied client roster across a large number of private and public sectorsThe Surrey-based tech firm has a varied client roster across a large number of private and public sectors, including over 180 NHS trusts and major high street retailers, City banks and national pub chains, estate agents, the police and more than 200 local authorities. Inclusion in the list marks the latest of a series of awards that the company has won in the last 12 months. In April, the business featured in the FT1000 list of Europe’s fastest growing companies, whilst in May the company was listed in the London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ report. This month, the company also featured in BDO’s Best in Business ‘Ones to Watch’ league table of the top performing businesses in the South East. These accolades follow the company’s inclusion in The Sunday Times ‘Fast Track 100’ list for the second year running. "It’s very encouraging that Send For Help continues to receive national and international awards from such prestigious publications. Our strategy as a disruptive company which delivers innovative services at competitive prices is clearly working and the whole team should be proud of what we’ve achieved," said James Murray, CEO of Send For Help.
Edesix, providers of Body Worn Cameras (BWC), will be showcasing its integration to leading Video Management Service (VMS) platforms at IFSEC 2018. VideoManager software ONStream integrates Edesix's VideoManager software with existing VMS, traditionally used to showcase fixed IP camera footage. This software enables ONVIF compliant VMSs to display Body Worn Camera footage, allowing live feeds from wearable cameras to appear alongside CCTV footage, meaning captured video can be instantly shared and viewed by security staff. "Body Worn Cameras have been proven to help improve the safety of those in public facing roles, whilst producing compelling legal evidence when needed," explains Richie McBride, managing director of Edesix. Body Worn Cameras Fixed security cameras connected to a VMS are a powerful tool for monitoring and securing many different environments, from retail floors to distribution centres" "One of the most important recent innovations in the BWC market has been the ability to integrate the cameras with existing VMSs, enabling organisations to unify a site's security and monitoring system, and create mobile and first-person viewpoints whilst adding contextual detail to footage.” "Fixed security cameras connected to a VMS are a powerful tool for monitoring and securing many different environments, from retail floors to distribution centres. This gives security teams the ability to view unparalleled detail of incidents as they unfold. The software furthers the potential of your VMS, protects valued staff, and captures concrete and secure footage for future review. It enables immediate response by security teams and offers reliable footage for later review by supervisors. It also means live streams can be recorded as evidence, which can then be securely shared with third parties, including the police. The service is fully encrypted with audit trails to protect the evidential quality of footage stored." VideoTag VT-100 Edesix will also be showcasing its new and improved VideoTag VT-100 camera, where the incident recorder meets the Body Worn Camera. The VT-100 is a recording device specifically designed to meet the needs of retailers, lone workers and other public facing businesses. It is similar to the VT-50 incident recorder, which was launched at IFSEC 2017, but with the benefits of greater durability and a longer battery life. The VT-100 has been proven to deter aggression, protect staff and provide secure evidential-quality footage on demand The VT-100 has been proven to deter aggression, protect staff and provide secure evidential-quality footage on demand. It is robust and weatherproof, while remaining lightweight, unobtrusive, cost-effective and easy to use. The VT-100 can record up to four hours of continuous footage, requires no extra training, streams live footage if required, and has a standby battery-life of up to six months, meaning users don't need to worry about charging the device often. McBride comments: "We are delighted to announce the launch of the VideoTag VT-100. The beauty of this product is that it bridges the gap between the smaller incident recorder and the more powerful Body Worn Camera. The VT-100 will allow staff in public-facing roles, who are not always part of the security team, to create a safer working environment for themselves and their colleagues. It offers a cost-effective, secure and practical approach to wearable security for incident recording and workflow management."
Send For Help — a lone worker protection firm in the world which provides 24/7 emergency response via personal safety alarms — has been included in this year's prestigious Financial Times ‘FT1000’ list of Europe’s fastest growing companies. The list comprises of the top 1000 companies in 31 countries across Europe that have achieved the highest percentage growth in revenues between 2013 and 2016. Send For Help was ranked 625th on the list — one of just 158 other companies from the UK included — thanks to revenue growth of 254% between 2013-2016 and an annual turnover of £8m for financial year 2016/17. Total staff numbers in 2016 stood at 70 — a rise of 34% over the same period. Employers increasingly recognise the legal, financial and reputational implications, should their staff get injured or assaulted" Affordable technology The Surrey-based tech firm has a varied client roster across a large number of private and public sectors, including over 160 NHS trusts and major high-street retailers, city banks and national pub chains, estate agents, the police and more than 150 local authorities. “It has been a very busy year for Send For Help and to be featured on such a stellar list as this is testament to the hard work and dedication of the whole team,” said James Murray, CEO of Send For Help. “Demand for our services has risen for a variety of reasons. Our technology is cutting-edge, affordable and easy to use. Employers increasingly recognise the legal, financial and reputational implications, should their staff get injured or assaulted as a result of not implementing effective safeguards to prevent it,” he added. Fast emergency response Send For Help was founded in 2010 by brothers James and Will Murray. It operates three subsidiary brands — Skyguard, Guardian24 and Peoplesafe — protecting more than 150,000 people through key-fob sized personal safety devices and smartphone apps, which are linked to an alarm-receiving centre staffed at the company’s headquarters in Epsom, Surrey. The firm has direct links to police control rooms, so it can bypass the 999 system and receive a faster emergency response if clients are threatened, attacked or are in danger.
Following an independent audit by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), lone worker safety solution StaySafe has been approved for the provision of lone worker device services in accordance with the updated British Standard BS 8484:2016. BS8484: 2016 supersedes the original BS 8484:2011, which StaySafe was awarded in 2015, and defines stringent guidelines regarding lone worker devices. A BS8484 accreditation is only awarded to solutions that are deemed to be fully compliant with current safety legislation and practices. StaySafe monitoring service StaySafe is an app and surrounding cloud-based monitoring service which tracks a lone worker’s location via GPS and alerts their manager if they do not check-in within a specified time. The app works on iPhone, Android and Windows and offers a wide range of functions including panic button, check-in, GPS tracking, man-down and duress alerts. If an employee activates the app’s panic button or fails to check in, alerts are automatically triggered on screen and via text and email, allowing an employer to take immediate action. Monitoring can be done in-house via an online Hub or outsourced to one of StaySafe’s monitoring and response partners who offer 24/7 services. British Standard of approval Don Cameron, CEO StaySafe added; “achieving BS 8484:2016 status means we remain one of the handful of lone worker safety devices available in the market that meet the stringent British Standard of approval. It is a core part of our business to be independently recognised as having a solution that is fully compliant and of the highest quality as there is nothing more important to us than ensuring peoples safety”
Since 2013, more than 33,000 red alerts have been handled by Reliance Protect for NHS Framework customers With the new year in sight, Reliance High-Tech is reminding all UK public sector and not-for-profit organisations that they only have until 30 April, 2017, to sign up or renew a contract for its Reliance Protect lone worker safety service package via an exclusive NHS Framework Agreement. NHS Framework Agreement The NHS Framework Agreement was originally introduced in 2009 and renewed in 2013 to encourage the NHS and wider public sector organisations to create safer conditions for staff working alone often in community-based roles. From 30 April, 2017, public sector organisations will not be able to take out any new contracts via this Framework for lone worker solutions. However, any organisation signing a contract with Reliance Protect before the deadline can continue to benefit from the current lone worker solution package for up to another five years, until 2021, safe in the knowledge that Reliance Protect currently supports upwards of 40,000 users on contracts through to 2021. With more than 520 public sector contracts, Reliance Protect is a provider of lone worker protection services. In addition to the 230 contracts held with NHS Trust organisations, the service is benefiting local authorities, social housing providers, charities, education providers, probation services, and central government agencies. Roaming sim card service Commenting, Chris Allcard, Head of Lone Worker Services at Reliance High-Tech, said: “Despite increasing costs, we have bucked industry trends and maintained our 2013 prices over the four years of the current Framework. Aware of the financial pressures facing the public sector, our intention is to keep the current prices fixed for all customers under the NHS Framework Agreement, including organisations who sign new contracts before the 30 April 2017 deadline.” “We will continue to upgrade the service as new technologies come on stream” “We will continue to upgrade the service as new technologies come on stream. We are making major investments in staffing levels and systems support, including a new online customer portal with far greater functionality, features, and benefits. Reflecting changing user needs, we’ve strengthened the service over the four years, by adding flexibility around sharing devices to cater for a more mobile and flexible workforce, along with improved monthly reporting to enhance insights into usage patterns.” “Other new features include a roaming sim card service option for staff in remote areas where mobile phone coverage may be weak, plus a new welfare check system to give staff and managers additional reassurance. What’s more, the team manager and train-the-trainer courses we’ve developed have been extremely popular.”Amber alerts Since 2013, more than 33,000 red alerts have been handled by Reliance Protect for NHS Framework customers. Users have logged more than 3.4m amber alerts, enabling them to provide notifications of potentially vulnerable situations including details of locations due to be visited, the nature of tasks to be performed, and risks identified. The average number of amber alerts per device has risen from six to eight per month over the last eighteen months, demonstrating that the devices are increasingly being adopted as part of the daily routine of working safely. In the same period, Reliance Protect has handled 12,500 requests from users and managers, while almost 2,000 lost, stolen, or damaged devices have been replaced free of charge. More than 33,000 people have been trained in more than 4,300 user training sessions. Furthermore, more than 3,400 devices have been redeployed to ensure new staff coming in have access to a device quickly. Mitigating risk Underpinning this activity has been the delivery of quality service levels. These include swapping out a minimum of 90% of all faulty devices within one working day, resolving a minimum of 65% of queries on the initial phone call into customer support and picking up a minimum of 98.5% of all alarms within ten seconds. “Despite increasing costs, we have bucked industry trends and maintained our 2013 prices over the four years of the current Framework” Offering proven value with the convenience of a fully managed service and guaranteed service levels, the NHS Framework Agreement eliminates the day-to-day burden on public sector employers of procuring, implementing and running their own lone worker protection operations. It offers an easy, cost-effective way for employers to mitigate risk, fulfil their duty of care and create a safer working environment via a service that is fully transparent, constantly monitored and accountable to rigorous NHS benchmarks. The service combines market-leading personal protection devices with the full assurance of swift back up in the event of a threat or concern. Accredited to the most stringent standards including BS 8484, it gives field workers, community-based employees and other public sector staff who may face verbal or physical abuse at work, the peace of mind that emergency support is available at the touch of a button. BS8484 accreditation The NHS Framework Agreement enables any public-sector organisation to procure Reliance Protect services without a drawn-out or costly tender process. The team takes care of the initial implementation and ongoing administration backed by extensive field-based training, e-learning, local team leader engagement and reporting, enabling customers to focus on their priorities while assured that their staff are safeguarded.Reliance Protect is the UK’s most regulated and compliant lone worker protection solution available. BS8484 accreditation ensures the company, its lone worker devices, monitoring and alarm response capability are fit for purpose and enables alarms to be escalated directly through to regional police services, bypassing the traditional 999 route, to generate the highest police response levels where appropriate. BS5979 Category II is critical for any organisation looking to safeguard workers as it is the highest industry standard for alarm monitoring centres. In addition, ISO27001 accreditation ensures that all customer and staff data is securely managed and dealt with in complete confidence.
Many employees who once commuted to on-site corporate offices now spend their time working remotely or travelling between sites Over the past two decades, the workforce has drastically changed. As mobile devices became increasingly affordable and the demand for multiple offices, distributed campuses and globalisation has increased, many employees who once commuted to on-site corporate offices now spend their time working remotely or travelling between sites. In 1997, only 9.2 million U.S. workers (7 percent of the U.S. workforce) were working remotely for at least part of each week. By the end of 2015, the mobile worker population had grown to 96 million people and continues to grow. Mobile workers are expected to surpass 105 million by 2020—meaning that nearly three quarters of the total U.S. workforce will be mobile. With an increasing number of employees traveling and working remotely, the days of a dedicated worker who commutes to and from a single location every day of the week are just about over. Today’s digital workforce no longer works in a corporate office, meaning businesses have new physical security challenges in regards to tracking an employee’s location, which can be necessary during natural disasters or other significant public incidents (an active shooter, for instance). That said, security professionals must take a second look at their policies and procedures for employee safety. To protect employees in this new mobile world, where people, assets and brand reputation threats may face higher than normal levels of safety and security risks, businesses must focus less on securing physical, four-wall perimeters and instead take a global approach to security that focuses on protecting travelling, remote and lone workers. Travel system integration First and foremost, organisations with mobile workforces must integrate a multi-modal communications system into their security plan. While we can never predict when emergency events will occur, mass communications systems allow security managers to notify employees quickly after such events—based on their preferred method of contact—and provide actionable guidance that employees can follow to minimise confusion and stress, which will ultimately keep them safe. While we can never predict when emergency events will occur, mass communications systems allow security managers to notify employees quickly after such events In a traditional corporate setting, notification systems that allow for communication across multiple contact paths would likely have been sufficient to ensure that critical messages were delivered to all employees, as everyone was expected to be in the office. Any incidents occurring outside of the office did not need to be considered. In today’s mobile world, communication systems should be integrated with other systems, such as travel itineraries and corporate travel systems, so that in the event of an emergency incident, organisations can quickly assess if they have any employees in or travelling to the affected areas and warn people heading towards potentially dangerous situations. Ensuring local compliance For organisations with globally distributed employees, contractors, customers, or partners, additional capabilities must be integrated into their security practices. Namely, support for local dialects, languages and preferred communication methods should be integrated into emergency alert systems. During an emergency, it can be increasingly difficult to perform even simple tasks quickly and accurately. Organisations can reduce the difficulty of communicating tasks under pressure and increase recipient comprehension by delivering messages in a local language that is familiar to the recipient. Notification systems must also comply with all local data privacy and security laws to ensure messages are received by employees in different parts of the world. These laws can differ by region and often restrict the transfer of data over country borders. The best systems for today’s mobile world have the capability of storing and segregating contact information in specific data stores around the world, ensuring that this data will not leave defined jurisdictional boundaries, while also guaranteeing that valuable information reaches the necessary contacts during emergency situations. Knowing where your employees are helps identify who you should be communicating with and better refine your response Location-based alerting When a location-based emergency occurs, companies need to make certain that they can quickly communicate key information, directives and important updates to their employees—no matter where they are located—to help ensure their safety. Knowing where your employees are helps identify who you should be communicating with and better refine your response to a specific security incident. Security managers can automatically keep employee locations current, even when they’re travelling or moving between buildings and campuses, by integrating location intelligence into an incident management platform. With strong location data and analytics, organisations have the capability to maintain robust databases of where their employees are, where they’re expected to be and where they were last—and then use that data to send targeted notifications and alerts to the relevant people that are affected by a specific incident. Solutions like Safety Connection enable this location data to be collected from an organisation’s various physical systems, including: Access control and badging systems Wired and wireless network access points Hoteling systems Corporate travel management systems Mobile employee safety Imagine a scenario where an armed man enters one of the office buildings on an organisation’s campus. Usually there are 200 people on campus, but that day 40 people are working remotely, travelling or at home sick. Another 30 employees from other offices are on-site for a sales meeting. Based on each employee’s location and proximity to the intruder, the company’s security team can automate building evacuation and muster directives much more efficiently. With location-based analytics, the security team would know exactly who to send critical information and emergency alerts to With location-based analytics, the security team would know exactly who to send critical information and emergency alerts to and how many people they should expect to receive confirmations of safety from; whether employees are in their assigned location or a location they are visiting. In this case, the security team would focus their efforts on protecting the 160 people who normally work on campus, plus the 30 visiting employees, as they know the 40 people off-campus are out of harm’s way. In our increasingly global and mobile world, organisations cannot afford to limit their critical communications to physical facilities. By ensuring mass communication systems are integrated with travel systems, comply with local data and privacy laws and leverage location-based analytics, organisations ensure that critical messages are delivered and received both locally and globally and can rest easy knowing that their growing mobile workforces are safe.
There are between 4 and 6.8 million lone workers in the UK, and many of us arelone workers at some point in our working lives The Suzy Lamplugh Trust was set up to highlight the risk faced by lone workers and to offer information and advice to reduce the risk of violence and aggression for everyone. It was established following the disappearance in 1986 of 25-year-old estate agent, Suzy Lamplugh, after she had gone to meet an unknown client. This article is based on a presentation given by Rachel Griffin, Director of the Trust, at the Lone Worker 2015 Conference in London. What lessons had we learned over the last 29 years following the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh? Key principles of lone worker safety Assess the risk of the job you’re going to before going out. Know how you’re going to get out before you go in. Ensure someone knows where you’re going, how you’re getting there and back, and what to do if you don’t check in on time. Defusing and de-escalating rather than engaging – keep lines of communication open rather than meeting aggression with aggression. Trust your instinct – if a situation feels wrong then it probably is; make an excuse and leave. There are plenty of definitions of personal safety but it’s important that each organisation defines what it means by personal safety, says Griffin. And it’s not just about physical violence. It’s relatively rare that people get killed at work – there are 0.46 fatalities per 100,000 workers. Mental health is the biggest single factor for days off work – in 2014 mental health accounted for the most working days lost. Such illness can arise solely through verbal abuse at work. Trade union survey on shop workers’ experience Griffin then presented a survey by a trade union showing that 56% of shop workers’ experience verbal abuse in a year, while 4% experience violence. This contrasts with a survey of employers by the British Retail Consortium that has the figures 2.6% and 1.2% respectively, suggesting that shop workers are not reporting incidents to employers. A positive safety culture is important when implementing tracking systems – employees must feel they are for their safety and not to keep tabs on them Current policy is directed at the tip of the safety “iceberg,” says Griffin, with resources aimed mainly at high-risk activities, which means there will be fewer inspections of what are perceived to be lower-risk activities. It’s estimated that there are between 4 and 6.8 million lone workers in the UK, and that many of us are lone workers at some point in our working lives. Griffin’s clients tell her that pressure to work alone is increasing as budget cuts hit. In the housing sector, for example, workers increasingly face other issues that pose risk when they are on their own. Safety culture & tracking systems in organisations If you are introducing tracking or tracing systems, you need to persuade your staff that they are for their safety, rather than management keeping tabs on them. In order to create a positive safety culture in your workplace you should: Agree a definition of personal safety for your organisation. This should include a definition of what constitutes violence and aggression. Listen to your workforce. Your lone workers understand their risks better than anyone, so they should be included in developing policy and procedures. Make reporting easy and blame free. Only when workers feel confident to report will your organisation understand the risks it faces and take steps to manage those risks. Support staff when an incident occurs, for example with an employee assistance programme/counselling. Question the culture of “we’ve always done it this way,” especially in high-risk activities such as home visits. Many organisations see going to clients’ homes to be essential when that service could be more safely delivered elsewhere. Train, train and retrain. Revisit training – including the use of any systems or devices – regularly, so that complacency doesn’t creep in.
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.”
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.
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.
ANSecurity, a specialist in advanced network and data security, has announced a successful project involving all of the NHS operating groups within Lincolnshire that has moved from an expensive legacy remote access solution to a new platform that has dramatically reduced licencing costs while improving access to more sites, across a wider range of devices with simplified management requirements. The unified remote access service deployed by ANSecurity is shared within a community of interest network (COIN) between the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULH), Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) serving over 2000 users at 111 sites spread across the county. The transformational implementation in late 2016 was delivered by ANSecurity for ULH as a multi-phase project to redesign parts of its core infrastructure to improve the flexibility of its secure remote access and reduce costs. ANSecurity’s “Co-Driver” approach means that through the solution design phase and on-going management process, both groups agree to take responsibility for different aspects such as failover testing, configuration management, bespoke training and supporting ULH in meeting its compliance requirements. NAC and SSL licensing servers The project uses a high availability deployment of Pulse Secure ‘Connect Secure’ virtualised appliances that includes a license server to enable the organisations to define additional licenses as either Network Access Control (NAC) or Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connections to ensure future flexibility. The licensing server is based on concurrent users which allow the COIN to scale its licence requirements to better reflect the shift based working patterns within the NHS. The service based offering also includes a two-factor authentication feature that is now available as a smartphone based App to further reduce management overheads associated with handling physical two factor authentication tokens. The move to the shared model will save LCHS an estimated £30,000 and £40,000 a year in licensing and support costs “Our legacy solution was temperamental in terms of reliability and had difficulty working with some of our sites and was not liked by our users,” explains Ian Baldam, Deputy Director of Informatics at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, “The licensing model also meant that it was proving expensive to maintain and grow to meet the needs of our staff. We had looked at what ANSecurity and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust had done for its users and based on a detailed evaluation – it looked like a perfect fit for our needs and our colleagues at LCHS.” Ian Baldam estimates that the new service will generate significant savings in licensing fees alone. The jointly financed service is available to NHS staff across Lincolnshire and provides secure access to administrative and clinical systems such as Datix (incident reporting), Lilie (sexual health), expenses and the employee staff records and network shared drives. The service uses an SSL VPN authenticated by Network Access Control plus local device checking to ensure that users are logging in from devices that have an authorised operating system version along with ensuring each device uses encryption. Access for remote workers “From our point of view, we have a lot more remote workers who need access on the move and the old solution struggled to provide access in a reliable fashion,” explains Dan Dring, Acting Head of IM&T for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, “We are using more IT systems than ever before across the NHS and we need to be able to offer our staff reliable access to all applications 24 hours a day.” Dan Dring calculates that the move to the shared model will save LCHS between £30,000 and £40,000 a year in licensing and support costs. "We hope that other NHS organisations that are in a similar position to us can benefit from our experience" Pulse Secure appliances are deployed at two separate sites for resiliency and maintained by the IT team at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust who lead the project. “ANSecurity has been with us every step of the way in this project and the results have been fantastic,” says Jon Hill, Senior Network Engineer at ULH, “They have given us advice when we needed it, got people on site to help with implementation and training and made sure that we created a service that best serves our needs.” Wider range of supported devices as lower licensing costs Jon Hill notes that alongside much higher levels of satisfaction from users, reduced licensing costs and a wider range of supported devices and sites; management overheads have also significantly reduced. “Across the three organisations, we have fielded just two level 2 support calls in the last month in respect of the remote access services and both of those were resolved quickly with minimal effort.” For the future, Jon Hill plans to adapt the local device checking policies to strengthen its security stance to combat threats such as Wannacry as well as moving the Pulse appliances to a clustered mode to allow it to scale up services to more users as added. “For an organisation striving to make life easier for our staff, while also trying hard to ensure value for public money – it’s these types of projects and partners like ANSecurity that provide tangible savings while offering a real-world benefit that we need more of. We hope that other NHS organisations that are in a similar position to us can benefit from our experience and that other shared secure access services can deliver similar types of results,” Jon Hill adds.
StaySafe monitors the location, safety status of lone working staff whenever they begin a timed session via the app Ericsson is a provider of technology, infrastructure and services to telecommunications operators around the world. As the world’s largest supplier of mobile networks, Ericsson provide mobile and broadband connections to more than 2 billion people globally. Remote communications In the UK, Ericsson has a team of over 500 lone workers who carry out maintenance services across the country. Working around the clock and in remote locations, lone working engineers use StaySafe to check-in with their supervisors while they work. Ericsson have always recognised the importance of monitoring the safety of their lone workers and staying connected whenever they are out in the field. The business has its own in house response team but needed a more reliable way for their employees to alert them in an emergency. Lone worker monitoring StaySafe monitors the location and safety status of lone working staff whenever they begin a timed session via the app. Missed check-in and session expiry alerts automatically alert the employer even when they are unable do so, while a panic button can be used immediately to request emergency assistance. Beginning a session or triggering an alert, allows an external monitor at Ericsson to view an accurate location of the employee through the StaySafe Hub. Due to the simplicity of the StaySafe solution, Ericsson employees were up and running with StaySafe in just two weeks. Training was rolled out to the team of lone workers online; through videos and digital user guides. StaySafe continued to support Ericsson following initial roll out by working closely with the business to develop and customise the solution to fit their individual lone worker needs. StaySafe worked with Ericsson to set up a Hub structure that allowed Line Managers to be responsible for their own engineers but also allow dispatch to have access to alarms, ensuring that someone is always available to respond Structured team monitoring Ericsson engineers work around the clock to carry out essential maintenance. This means that some teams work on call and could be called out to work in the early hours of the morning. StaySafe worked with Ericsson to set up a Hub structure that allowed Line Managers to be responsible for their own engineers but also allow dispatch to have access to alarms, ensuring that someone is always available to respond. Today, Ericsson has a total of 27 Hubs which vary in size and structure and can be easily modified by the business. Low signal mode Engineers often work in remote locations or sites where nearby cell towers are switched off. In order to stay connected in such environments, Ericsson utilise StaySafe’s Low Signal Mode. Low Signal Mode allows the StaySafe app to continue to communicate with the hub via a basic 2G connection. 2G is the most widely available connection in the country, covering 80% of the UK compared to just 69% for Wi-Fi and data. While in Low Signal Mode, session functions and alerts will continue to be sent to the Ericsson Hub even when a data connection cannot be made.
The palm-sized MySOS device allows users to call for help at the press of a button Wood Green, the Animals Charity has turned to Skyguard – a personal safety service, by equipping their lone workers with Skyguard’s award-winning MySOS personal alarms. Ensuring staff protection The charity, which has grown over the last 90 years to become one of the UK’s leading animal welfare organisations, have a range of lone working activities that present an inherent level of risk. This includes employees entering domestic properties on home check-ups to maintenance staff working alone in remote areas. With any form of lone working, a robust policy should be in place to ensure staff are adequately protected when performing their duties. Wood Green decided that adopting Skyguard’s MySOS lone worker alarms provided a vital additional layer of security. Meeting safety requirements Speaking about the implementation of Skyguard, Tom O’Connell, Protection and Welfare Services Manager for Wood Green commented, “With the reputation of being the leading brand of lone working safety devices and response support, I felt confident and assured that we were placing the safety of our staff in professional hands.” “With the easy to use and innovative devices backed up by fully trained, professional response staff the choice really was straight forward.” With two-way audio and GPS, help is never far away and Controllers at Skyguard’s Incident Management Centre can direct emergency response to the user’s exact location, fast Easy and quick operations The palm-sized MySOS device allows users to call for help at the press of a button. With two-way audio and GPS, help is never far away and Controllers at Skyguard’s Incident Management Centre can direct emergency response to the user’s exact location, fast. With the options of ‘Mandown’ fall alarm capability and Roaming SIM cards which operate across all mobile networks providing reception in known black-spots, never has lone worker protection been so comprehensive. Skyguard’s service is fully accredited to the highest lone working industry standards including BS 8484, BS 5979 (Cat II) and Secured by Design. Outstanding device and service quality Tom O’Connell continues, “The devices are discreet and very easy to use which is key when supplying them to a range of staff.” “Skyguard’s service supports our staff operationally and ensures that we are meeting our health and safety obligations regarding duty of care… it’s a win-win scenario.” “The quality of the devices and level of service supplied is outstanding. It provides the peace of mind that we, as an employer, have ensured that our staff are being monitored by professionals when they’re exposed to higher risk activity.” Skyguard’s Marketing Director Will Murray added, “As a responsible employer who understands the risks faced by their lone working staff, Wood Green have put in place all appropriate measures to ensure they have a robust lone working policy. We’re here to provide their employees with fast and effective backup should any of their staff face the risk of injury, assault or accident.”
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