Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
18th May 2022 Issue no. 607
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Council pairs safety app with wearable V.BTTN device to protect lone workers
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, a local authority in County Durham, has partnered with lone worker safety specialists StaySafe. Lone working employees can now get help in an emergency at the push of a button through the StaySafe Lone Worker app on their mobile devices, or via the wearable V.BTTN device.
This combination replaces the council’s previous lone worker device which staff found difficult to use, and did not offer a discreet way to call for help.
“We already had a lone worker device in place, but it wasn't user friendly and didn't have a wearable device to activate. It was quite problematic too if one of our lone workers was attacked, so now all our lone workers have the app and the V.BTTN,” says Paul Leonard, Control Room Manager at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.
Using both the app and V.BTTN provides a flexible option for Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s lone workers, who may not always have easy access to their phone when visiting clients or driving between appointments. The V.BTTN can be attached to a work belt, stuck to the car dashboard, or hidden on a bra strap/pocket to ensure staff can still check-in at all times.
The V.BTTN is connected to an employee's smartphone via Bluetooth. Employees can then click or hold the button to check-in or send their employer a panic alert. It also works as a non-movement alert, automatically triggering an alarm if a fall is detected.
“I've introduced the wearable device as a matter of course, everyone who is setup on the app is given the V.BTTN too,” adds Leonard.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council now requires employees to check-in at preset intervals to ensure they are safe. Most of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s lone workers set 4-hour sessions within the app when they are out in the community, and must check-in every hour during that session via the app or their V.BTTN. This ensures that they are getting confirmation their staff are safe on a regular basis throughout the day and, should an employee fail to check-in when expected, steps can be taken immediately to ensure their safety.
Leonard adds that, “the check-ins come in and we can see where our lone workers are, so if they raise an alarm we can escalate it and, if needed, get help to their exact location.”
The majority of the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s lone workers are based within social services and housing benefits and make regular visits to clients’ homes. Nearly all of the council’s lone workers will make home visits, and whilst many of them will be repeat visits to families under long-term care and support plans, lone worker safety cannot be guaranteed, with unknown factors such as other visitors being present.
For Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s enforcement officers and debt recovery teams, tensions are already high, and the risks to lone workers can be even higher. With many of the council’s lone workers at risk of physical attack, a robust lone worker safety solution is vital.
The app offers comprehensive protection, and the addition of the wearable V.BTTN means that employees at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council can raise an alarm discreetly without touching their phone. This avoids further escalating a potentially dangerous situation.
“We work with a lot of councils and know the risks their lone workers face. Pairing the app with the wearable V.BTTN means that employees can check-in, or signal for help easily and discreetly, which is incredibly important when staff are working in unpredictable situations,” says Don Cameron, CEO at StaySafe.
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