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Water authority workers given personal safety alarms

Skyguard : 14 December, 2015  (Application Story)
Field workers at Sutton and East Surrey Water authority have been provided with Skyguard MySOS for protection in emergencies
Water authority workers given personal safety alarms

Sutton and East Surrey Water has entrusted Skyguard, a European Personal Safety Service, to protect their lone working meter readers, inspectors and water samplers, enhancing their safety whilst carrying out duties.

Providing water to over 282,000 homes across east Surrey as well as parts of South London, West Sussex and Kent, Sutton and East Surrey Water covers a wide area, much of it rural.

With water samplers and inspectors often working alone, they can be vulnerable to trips, slips and falls. Should an unfortunate incident or accident occur, having no immediate help at hand can leave the worker vulnerable to a worsening and critical situation. Sutton and East Surrey Water decided that a suitable, flexible, yet cost-effective lone worker solution was needed to ensure the safety of their staff.

It was also agreed that lone working customer liaison officers, who regularly enter customers’ homes alone, should also be afforded the same level of backup and response, thus providing them with an essential means of communication in the event of an incident – such as a physical assault.

Sutton and East Surrey Water understands that protecting their employees, whether they work alone or not, is paramount to providing them with a safe and secure environment in which to operate. The failure to ignore the Duty of Care to employees can lead to business-crippling fines, court orders and even custodial sentences for serious cases of neglect.

Before committing to equipping their staff with a means of protection, Sutton and East Surrey Water took advantage of Skyguard’s free trial. A sample of end users tested whether Skyguard’s MySOS solution was suitable for their use.

As Karl Reid, Health, Safety and Security Manager for Sutton and East Surrey Water states, “The staff that carried out the trial have said Skyguard’s MySOS personal safety device was easy to use and very effective.”

The MySOS, is a keyfob-sized, state-of-the-art personal safety device that enables the user to call for help at the touch of a button. As soon as the alarm is raised, controllers at Skyguard’s fully accredited Incident Management Centre know who is calling, their exact GPS location and can listen in via the 2-way audio functionality of the MySOS to find out what is happening. All alarm data and calls are recorded for evidential purposes and and appropriate response is handled accordingly. Should it be required, controllers will summon the relevant emergency response, bypassing the 999 system if deemed necessary to ensure a timely resolution.

Should a user slip, trip or fall and are unable to manually raise the alarm, a ‘Mandown’ sensor within the device will activate the alarm and Skyguard will be immediately alerted to a potential problem - vital for those working in conditions that might expose them to such hazards.
All reports and incidents can be viewed via Skyguard’s secure online Customer Service Centre Portal, allowing client administrators full control over the service’s users, devices, reports and activity. All changes via the web-based platform are made in real-time and include the option to switch or even pool devices between users.

Karl Reid went on to explain why Sutton and East Surrey Water chose Skyguard’s MySOS, “It’s simple and easy to use, plus it gives staff the feeling of security. If a system is difficult then staff just won't use it. Just by having it on their person makes them feel more confident.”
Karl also spoke highly in regards to Skyguard’s continued support throughout setting up their contract.

“The response from the After Sales Team, whether it be Customer Support or the Technical Team has always been very polite, efficient and timely. As an administrator for the service, the Customer Support team have been invaluable.”

Skyguard’s Marketing Director, Will Murray added “With legislation continuing to evolve, organisations – no matter what industry, can no longer afford to ignore the safety and wellbeing of their lone workers.

“As a result, we now work with over a wide range of well-known utilities providers in safeguarding their lone workers, including many long-term customers and it’s a number that continues to grow.”

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