Habinteg Housing (Ulster)
Habinteg Housing Association (Ulster) Ltd is a social housing provider in Northern Ireland. Habinteg plans, develops and manages housing schemes in both urban and rural areas throughout the region and works with a number of partner organisations in providing supported housing projects. The Association has over 1,800 units of housing at over 100 locations across Northern Ireland and 18 partnership projects.
Habinteg employs a number of staff who work remotely away from their offices. These staff primarily work at housing developments, including sheltered accommodation. Due to the sensitive nature of the work carried out, coupled with a lone working environment, employees face the risk of accident or assault without immediate backup at hand. Habinteg decided that a means to call for help was vital for occasions when staff work alone.
Habinteg met with Peoplesafe whilst trialling a number of lone worker protection devices. Keen to see the comparisons, Habinteg issued trial MySOS personal protection devices to their staff as part of a pilot process. Scott Thompson, Planned Maintenance Manager for Habinteg was keen to summarise, “the simplicity of the MySOS device itself was well received by Association staff during the initial pilot period.”
The MySOS is a BS 8484:2022 certified, keyfob-sized personal alarm which allows users to call for help in any critical situation. By pressing the discreet SOS button, users are instantly linked to Peoplesafe’s 24 hour operated Alarm Receiving Centre. Here, trained Alarm Controllers will handle the situation as required. Because the device is GPS equipped, they’ll see exactly where the user is on a map and can call on all of their personal details, including pre-defined escalation instructions.
The two-way audio functionality allows Alarm Controllers to communicate with the user if appropriate. From here, emergency services can be contacted direct (bypassing the 999 system for faster response) and personalised contacts, such as a line manager can be kept informed at all times. All audio captured is digitally recorded and can be used for litigation purposes.
All alarm actions and GPS locations are available to account administrators via the Peoplesafe Portal. This secure, web-based portal enables users to run a wealth of reports, add and amend user details and swap and share devices via an easy drag-and-drop process – a function that Habinteg takes advantage of. “Shared devices are utilised for office based staff who have the occasional use of devices.”
Concluding a successful trial, Habinteg chose Peoplesafe as their preferred choice, along with over 100 other Housing Associations across the UK – including many of the G15 – made up of the largest housing providers in London. Now, Habinteg’s lone workers can rest safe in the knowledge that immediate backup and support is at hand whenever required.