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Charity protects lone workers with smartphone device

Guardian 24 : 30 October, 2015  (Application Story)
The Guardian24 smartphone based lone worker system is being used to protect staff at the Royal National Institute of Blind People charity
Charity protects lone workers with smartphone device

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) have turned to Guardian24 to help provide their Duty of Care to the charity’s lone workers by equipping them with the latest in smartphone app technology. The software enables users to quickly and discreetly raise an alarm in the event of an emergency, even when the phone’s keypad is locked.

RNIB have a large number of staff who visit people in their homes and offer support to meet the needs of blind and partially sighted people. However, the majority of these staff work alone. Because there’s no immediate help at hand, lone working staff are immediately exposed to a greater risk of injury, assault or accidents. RNIB wanted a cost-effective solution to help improve their personal safety, especially as some of the staff are visually and/or hearing impaired.

As one of the most well-known and respected charities in the UK, RNIB understands the importance of lone worker protection, both from a standpoint of personal wellbeing as well as the charity’s reputation.

Users of Guardian24’s smartphone application can leave details of their movements and whereabouts via their mobile phone. If a user fails to notify the system when they finish a task, Guardian24 will attempt to contact them. If they do not answer and their safety cannot be verified, Guardian24 will then escalate the incident conforming to RNIB’s personalised emergency procedures.

If a user feels at risk, they can also call for help via the ‘Panic Alarm’ function by pressing an assigned key on their mobile device, even if it is locked or in standby mode. This will call Guardian24’s dedicated 24 hour Alarm Receiving Centre. Using the GPS capability of the phone, the lone worker can also be easily located. All recordings are saved and can be used as evidence in court if required.

The application, an easy install on all major smartphone operating systems, comes with a wealth of options including GPS tracking and locating.

Because no hardware is involved, the service is cost-effective. There are often budget challenges, especially for charities who aim to apportion the majority of income on their core objectives. With Guardian24’s smartphone application, there’s no upfront cost and only a minimal service subscription to pay - a point that’s not lost on Glenn Hurst of the RNIB Supplier Management Team.

“There will always be budget challenges in getting something like this approved. So, the more cost effective the solution, the better it is for all.”

However, it’s also finding the right balance for lone worker provision based upon the employee’s needs, as Glenn explains, “Some of the staff at RNIB using this service are visually and/or hearing impaired.  This service meets their needs as well as providing an excellent, easy to use lone worker reporting and monitoring tool.”

Guardian24’s Marketing Director, Will Murray added “Every organisation in the UK is required to fulfil a legal and moral Duty of Care towards their employees. Safe working arrangements for lone workers are no different to organising the safety of other employees. RNIB recognise this and have thus acted accordingly by adopting a lone worker protection solution. And with over 35,000 active subscribers to our service, RNIB can rest assure their lone worker’s safety is in expert hands with Guardian24.”

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