Suffolk County Council

Suffolk County Council’s workforce of over 5,000 employees serves the needs of the county’s population of 760,000 residents. From social services to infrastructure maintenance, each member of this diverse workforce plays a vital role in administering essential public services throughout the region.

Identifying Risks

As a responsible employer, the Council recognises that the risks faced by employees must be always considered, especially for those working alone. Organisations are required by law to fulfil a duty of care to all staff and are responsible for employee wellbeing.

The key employment sectors at risk identified by the Council were those working in health and social care; children and young people’s services, Trading Standards; transport and highways; and fire and rescue services. Within these departments, employees face diverse challenges, from working alone in hazardous environments to interacting with vulnerable individuals in their homes, highlighting the critical need for comprehensive safety measures across the Council.

Among these departments, highways staff stand out as particularly vulnerable. Tasked with maintenance in high-risk areas, they often operate alongside busy roads, sometimes during late hours with no one in close proximity. In some cases, staff also work around potentially dangerous machinery and face working in adverse weather conditions, naturally making them more vulnerable to experiencing an injury.

Comprehensive Protection

Taking proactive measures, Suffolk County Council has chosen to equip its employees with the comprehensive safety solution provided by Peoplesafe. Utilising MySOS personal safety alarms, employees can swiftly activate an alarm with a simple press of the SOS button, instantly connecting to Peoplesafe’s dedicated 24/7 Alarm Receiving Centre. Here, a highly trained Alarm Controller will listen in and follow bespoke escalation procedures outlined on Nexus, depending on the severity of the situation.

With two-way audio, GPS locating, fall detection as well as a host of other features, the device is fully accredited to the highest industry standard, BS 8484:2022. With this, Peoplesafe has direct access to police control rooms and are able to bypass the 999 system, getting police on scene within 4 minutes in an emergency. 

Enhanced Network Coverage

Suffolk County Council made the strategic choice to utilise roaming SIMs as part of their subscription. These SIMs actively seek out the most robust signal from leading UK mobile networks, significantly minimising the risk of signal loss. This ensures that employees retain connectivity to the Peoplesafe service and can promptly raise an alarm even when operating in remote areas with limited coverage. This is particularly beneficial for highway workers, who often find themselves operating in remote and challenging locations, but can now maintain uninterrupted connectivity to the Peoplesafe service, regardless of their location.

Safety, Health & Wellbeing Advisor, Helen Muddock, commented:

“Peoplesafe’s solution has allowed our staff, particularly lone workers to feel more confident whilst working, which is something we consider really important.”

Versatile Wearable Safety

Designed with practicality in mind, the MySOS can be worn in a range of ways, providing employees with the flexibility to choose the option that aligns best with their preferences and job demands.

Whether clipped onto a belt, secured around the arm with an armband, or worn on a lanyard, each method ensures quick access to the device without hindering movement or comfort. This adaptability is particularly crucial for employees in physically demanding roles, such as highways maintenance, where a robust yet unobtrusive safety solution is critical.

Peace of Mind for Employees

With the implementation of MySOS devices, Suffolk Council’s vulnerable employees can confidently carry out their day-to-day roles knowing that if they were to find themselves in a difficult situation, they have support, wherever, and whenever. This proactive approach to safety not only ensures physical safety but improves employee wellbeing and morale.

Helen added:

“Having a device does not negate the need for having robust lone worker and personal safety procedures to reduce and control risks but is certainly an excellent part of the toolkit and is there to ensure staff can summon assistance should it be required.

The deciding factors in choosing Peoplesafe came down to the quality of the devices, the competitive pricing and the service as a whole. We would highly recommend the service to others looking for lone worker protection”.
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