Harlow Council

Harlow Council, a prominent local authority based in Essex, plays a pivotal role in delivering essential public services to over 80,000 residents residing in 37,000 homes. With a workforce exceeding 400 employees, the Council oversees a diverse array of responsibilities, ranging from managing rubbish and recycling collection to administering council tax and housing services.

The Need for Enhanced Protection

As a cornerstone of the community, Harlow Council is committed to ensuring the wellbeing and safety of its residents and employees alike. However, the nature of some services requires employees to work alone, sometimes in difficult situations.

In response to these heightened risks and concerns, the Council has proactively implemented measures to safeguard its vulnerable employees, reflecting its commitment to maintaining a secure and supportive work environment.

Sandra Farrington, Facilities Manager, explains why they implemented Peoplesafe technology, “we have staff who are on call 24/7. With the service, they feel safer in carrying out duties. We also have staff on reception who feel more secure in the knowledge that they have ‘back up’ in volatile situations.”

Harlow Council staff have been equipped with MySOS personal safety alarms. Audited and approved to BS 8484:2022, when activated, an alert is instantly sent to Peoplesafe’s dedicated Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), along with the GPS location of the device.

Comprehensive Incident Management

Here, expertly trained Alarm Controllers will answer the call, gain access to the employee’s Nexus profile and listen in through the device to assess the situation. If it’s safe to talk, they will do so, calmly reassuring the member of staff that they are dealing with the incident.

If the incident requires an emergency response, the Alarm Controller can bypass the 999 service for the fastest possible response. Precise location information from the device and relevant personal details from the employee’s profile help to significantly improve the effectiveness of the response.

All audio and actions from the incident are digitally recorded, ensuring accurate incident documentation that can be used to train Council employees and as evidence in potential legal proceedings.

Fall Detection Functionality

In addition to its alarm function, the MySOS can also be equipped with a fall detection feature. If the user slips, trips, or falls, the device automatically sends an alarm signal to the ARC – vital if the user is knocked unconscious or is unable to raise the alarm manually.

Real-Time Safety Management

Harlow Council, like all Peoplesafe’s clients, can manage their subscriptions using the Nexus portal. This secure interface, accessible online, allows client administrators or end-users to create and update their account details in real time, 24/7.

Each employee’s individual profile can include a wealth of personal information such as appearance, medical conditions, contact details, and escalation instructions. Sandra added:

“Being able to input individual staff details, such as if they have diabetes was also a deciding factor when choosing Peoplesafe”

Devices can even be assigned to a different user (at no additional cost) at the click of a mouse – ideal for clients who share a pool of devices for their shift workers. Any changes are updated immediately onto Peoplesafe’s system and made available to Alarm Controllers during an alarm. Pooling devices for shift workers reduces the overall number of units needed, leading to cost savings while ensuring efficient safety coverage.

What’s more, the portal further empowers client administrators with access to a full suite of activity reports, which can be automated, downloaded, printed, and exported to Microsoft Excel for further analysis.

A visual representation of user activity, satellite and street maps can be generated showing the locations, dates, and times of alarms and position reports for all lone working employees. Again, all information is updated in real-time. Sandra comments:

“To know where employees are at any one time in the event of an emergency is priceless.”


When asked why the Council chose Peoplesafe, Sandra replied:

“aside from the fact that the product is great and suits our needs, from our first introduction at a conference, they were an approachable, helpful team who explained the service in plain English. They were honest and upfront about everything and weren’t pushy at all. They also have a friendly Customer Service team and for all these reasons, I would recommend Peoplesafe to anyone looking to protect their staff.”

Harlow Council are just one of over 100 local authorities nationwide who trust and use Peoplesafe to protect their lone workers daily.

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