Mattressman, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of beds, mattresses and bedding, operates 11 stores nationwide with a workforce of around 70 employees. Recognising the importance of employee safety, Mattressman has taken proactive measures to ensure the security and wellbeing of vulnerable employees in every store.

Understanding Retail Risks

Workers in a retail environment are commonly exposed to risks such as assaults, accidents, and injuries. They may be required to open and close the store; handle cash; deal with potentially aggressive or confrontational customers; make deliveries (to store or direct to customers) and support warehouse and distribution operations.

The latest figures showed 76,000 violent incidents towards retail employees in the past year and even more are exposed to threats of violence and verbal abuse. And it’s not just violent behaviour that is an employer’s major concern – according to accident statistics, one of the main areas of risk in the retail sector is injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls.

Challenges with Traditional Safety Measures

Traditional forms of calling for help, such as under-the-counter panic buttons, are limited in their use; they’re only useful if the worker is within reach. Many workers carry out duties away from these fixed alarms, such as opening and closing premises, carrying cash in transit and receiving goods deliveries.

What’s more, upon activation, they don’t record what is happening and there is no one on the other end to listen in and monitor to select the right course of action to take. With such inflexibility in their operation, many crimes can go undetected or only be reported after the incident has occurred.

Addressing Risks with a Comprehensive Solution

Laura Blunderfield, Area Sales Manager for Mattressman was tasked with finding a suitable solution to protect their in-store staff, who sometimes work alone. They wanted a device-based solution that allowed their staff to carry professional backup and assistance wherever they went. Laura explains, “our sales staff could find themselves at work on their own, often before 9am and up to 8pm in some circumstances.”

Laura investigated various devices on the market. However, a live demonstration of the MySOS personal safety alarm and an explanation of how Peoplesafe’s technology service works immediately impressed the retailer; they subscribed to Peoplesafe and issued the technology to cover every one of its stores across the country. The alarms give peace of mind to all employees knowing there’s help on hand at the press of a button.

Dedicated Alarm Receiving Centre

“The device and service provided is just what I need to ensure my staff are safe and supported when working alone. I love the fact that you have a dedicated call centre where there is always a person on the end of the line. I know that if my staff require assistance, and can’t get to a phone, they have constant support.”
Laura Blunderfield, Area Sales Manager

Laura refers to Peoplesafe’s Alarm Receiving Centre, where all alarms are received, monitored, and managed. As soon as the alarm is raised, Alarm Controllers will monitor all audio via the MySOS and triage the call to decide upon the best course of action required. This may include escalating the incident to the police. In this event, Alarm Controllers will bypass the 999 emergency service and will link directly to police control rooms via URN access, providing a guaranteed Level 1 police response and saving vital minutes.

Precise Location Tracking

Because the MySOS is fitted with GPS technology and What3Words integration, Alarm Controllers can also pinpoint the exact location of the user and provide the police with precise coordinates. During any incident, all audio is digitally recorded and can be used as admissible evidence in court if required.

“Thankfully we have had no major incidents, although a few staff members have advised that there have been occasions where they were glad to have the device just in case they needed it.”

Police Approval

Peoplesafe is audited and approved against BS 8484:2022 – the British standard for lone worker device services. It’s also the only wholly-owned, end-to-end employee safety service fully accredited to the police’s coveted ‘Secured by Design’ accolade, guaranteeing national police approval.

“The support and service from start to finish has been second to none. Everyone that I have spoken to has been helpful and polite and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Peoplesafe to other organisations.”
Laura Blunderfield, Area Sales Manager for Mattressman

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