London North Eastern Railway
London North Eastern Railway are one of the UK’s leading train operators, responsible for some of the country’s busiest rail routes.
Providing a crucial link between London, Scotland and the North East, the company runs 155 train services a day, carrying around 19 million passengers every year. It employs a team of over 3,250 staff based in a variety of roles at stations, depots and offices across Britain.
Many of these positions involve lone working at times, sometimes in remote areas. It’s important for measures to be taken to protect employees, as there are a number of dangers they can encounter from aggressive fair evaders to drink-fuelled antisocial behaviour. Indeed, official figures released by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers show that in 2020-21, 58% of public transport workers reported that they had been subjected to workplace violence from passengers.
The railway environment itself can also prove hazardous with fast-moving trains and an increased risk of falls on slippery platforms during bad weather. Last year, 837 station staff in the UK suffered an injury at work, with slips and trips being the most common cause of workplace injury.
To help manage the risks and fulfil their Duty of Care to employees, LNER chose Peoplesafe, issuing MySOS personal safety alarms to staff on the frontline so they can work alone with increased confidence. Following a successful trial period, the company was especially impressed with the devices’ functionality, which allows a fall detection alert to be triggered after a sudden impact or fall, followed by a period of inactivity.
Staff working for LNER use the MySOS as it is small, lightweight and can be worn and activated discreetly. Low-key alarm activation is a necessity, particularly if difficult circumstances arise such as altercations involving passengers. Pressing the SOS button on the unit opens up a two-way audio connection between the user and Peoplesafe’s Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). This enables trained Alarm Controllers to listen in and provide assistance, involving the emergency services if required. Audio can also be recorded and used as evidence in court to prosecute individuals if an offence takes place.
Devices can be issued to individual users or pooled so they can be easily shared between teams. MySOS provides flexibility, allowing the service to be tailored to LNER’s needs.
The device has GPS connectivity so it can be located, even in remote areas out on route. It will also work in places with low mobile coverage when fitted with a roaming SIM card.
One of the major advantages that Peoplesafe’s Alarm Receiving Centre offers LNER is that Alarm Controllers will already know who the user is and where they are, so they will be able to convey this to the emergency services immediately. Alarm Controllers can also pass on the main facts of the incident calmly and make them aware of any relevant information on medical conditions, as listed in the user’s customer profile.
As Peoplesafe is approved by the police’s acclaimed ‘Secured by Design’ initiative and certified to BS 8484:2022 – the latest version of the British Standard for Lone Workers – this enables a faster emergency response than is available to the general public via the 999 system. If the emergency services are not required, MySOS also has two speed dial buttons which LNER can set to call a supervisor or colleague for escalation purposes.
Providing adequate protection for rail staff is essential, especially for lone workers. Establishing appropriate procedures and methods by which employees can get help as quickly as possible is a must when working on trains and in stations.
Customer Solutions Manager, David Field at London North Eastern Railway speaks highly of the distinguished level of protection offered by Peoplesafe.