Following on from two safety incidents, GUH launched mandatory IOSH training for all staff and reviewed the management of health and safety across the organisation. As a result of this work, a plan was developed which incorporated the implementation of a lone worker system.
Three types of solution were trialled, but progress stalled due to the lack of a suitable solution. GUH continued to investigate options. During this period, a member of staff suffered a serious assault, which put further impetus on the organisation to act soon.
“We have prioritised the roll-out of Peoplesafe technology across the whole group. We treat it the same as any other item of health and safety equipment, wherever our staff ﬁnd themselves working alone.”
GUH found a fit with Peoplesafe and issued more than 140 of their frontline staff with devices. This was in conjunction with a newly developed lone worker policy to encourage understanding and usage. Each of the staff using the service has been supplied with the Identicom 877. This is a dedicated device which is worn around the neck and can accommodate their staff identity badge.
Peoplesafe provide GUH with weekly usage figures for these devices, which are then reviewed by the Organisational Development Department. This information is passed on to managers who review any concerns with relevant staff members. The Chief Executive also sends intermittent updates within his monthly bulletin to encourage proactive usage and involvement.
Lone worker safety is embedded into the culture of the organisation now and affects all aspects of working practices and procedures. The new system has benefited staff in many ways. Employees feel safe while carrying out their duties knowing that help is just a ‘button push’ away. Staff also feel valued by their employer.
Alan Humphreys, Group CEO, Grand Union Housing Group commented: “We take the safety of our staff, many of whom work on their own, extremely seriously. We have prioritised the roll-out of Peoplesafe technology across the whole group. Compared to previous trials, it has been so easy for staff to operate and gives staff the reassurance they need. We treat it much the same as any other item of health and safety equipment.”
The whole ethos of the organisation has been transformed into one where the safety of all employees comes first and foremost.