ForViva Group are a not-for-profit housing association based in the North West of England that manages over 24,000 homes across the region.

The Group is a merger between City West Housing Trust, Villages Housing Association, and construction company ForWorks. With over 500 employees, staff work in a number of roles including neighbourhood officers, operatives, caretakers, surveyors, and income and court officers, which can potentially involve periods of lone working.

Typically, workers will have regular contact with members of the public and some may be required to enter a resident’s property. There are a number of risks associated with carrying out home visits that need to be managed effectively. From time to time, challenging situations may arise on a property visit, for example when carrying out an inspection, or evicting a tenant. For this reason, it’s vital that employees have a dependable method of backup that they can call upon should they require it.

Peoplesafe work with over 100 housing associations in Britain to provide lone worker protection for those that work alone in a variety of different scenarios.

To give staff a subtle and easy way to call for assistance, ForViva has issued MySOS personal safety alarms to their employees.

About the size of a key fob, the MySOS protects its users by allowing them to raise an alarm discreetly. Simply holding down the SOS button on the unit for around 4 seconds triggers an alert, which will activate a two-way audio call to Peoplesafe’s specialised Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). Alarm Controllers can speak directly with the user or listen in, then escalate to the emergency services or an appropriate contact at ForViva depending on what the company’s procedure dictates.

Alarms can be activated 24 hours a day. Devices also have a fall detection feature that will raise an alert should a sudden impact be detected followed by a period of inactivity.

“Having the devices makes staff feel safer and allows them to lone work knowing they can get help quickly if they need to. The GPS is really beneficial as it updates their position so if they forget to leave a voice memo they can still potentially be found.

“The devices are very robust and do not easily break. Staff are friendly and helpful and go out of their way to help with queries. Having our own management system saves us time and allows us to make changes and re-assign devices quickly.

We have used other providers in the past and there is no comparison in terms of cost, service and product.”
Emma Savage, Health & Safety Officer
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