What they say
Health & Safety Manager - NEC New Zealand Limited
We had been trying to solve our lone worker issue for over 12 months and had researched a number of devices and solutions including satellite, radio and mobile phone apps with no confidence of success. We were at a point of frustration and had realised we were knocking at the door of a new industry in NZ and the really good, adaptable, professional systems we were looking for just were not available. In August 2015 we saw an advertisement in the Safeguard H&S Magazine promoting Guardian Angel Security. Bingo, finally someone who understood the challenges. We engaged Guardian Angel to look into our lone worker circumstances and provide us with solutions including monitoring and escalation options. Two months later we had the cellular duress devices in place with our staff fully engaged and trained, processes in place and monitoring with escalations active. Guardian Angel have been responsive and proactive to deal with and we look forward to implementing phase two (hybrid solution) in the early part of 2016.
Health & Safety Advisor | Human Resources
Our legacy system to control risk to our remote and isolated staff was no longer sufficient in looking after our changing business needs. We also highlighted the need to keep up with developments in technology, mitigating the need for manual check ins and job call ins.
We had been grappling with the question of what would be a better solution for some time. Eventually we went to market with an RFP. Guardian Angel Security were appointed the provider with their proposed SatAngel solution; a fully managed and monitored satellite solution. We knew cell phone cover was an issue in many areas our field staff operate in and we were not prepared to take the risk of relying on a cell based solution, so for us, it would give us Peace of Mind that our staff would always be able to get assistance from the Guardian Angel monitoring and managed response, and they would be able to communicate regardless their location.
Guardian Angel worked with the Health and Safety team to socialise the solution with first the steering group and then the end users and their managers. They also delivered the solution use training to all users. The end result was a solution that has embedded without the many issues that can occur with new technology. While it’s still early days, we are confident we chose the best solution available to suit our varied roles and risks, and the best provider to deliver and support it.
Health & Safety Manager
Continuous Improvement Manager - Sacred Hill
When Sharon Ayres of Sacred Hill Vineyards started the search for a technology solution which would protect Sacred Hills lone workers she wasn’t quite sure where to start.
Their vineyard team were frequently driving between the different sites and visiting far reaches of the properties alone. Cell cover is inconsistent on one property in particular.
After conducting a vineyard review, the risks regarding working alone were identified, a practical solution was sought. Sharon spotted an advertisement in the Safeguard H&S publication. It was for Guardian Angel Security who specialise in solutions for Lone Worker protection. She got in contact with them.
Guardian Angel are hardware agnostic and can supply and monitor solutions on satellite, radio or cellular networks but one solution which they had been finding a lot of success with was EGIS. An Australian designed and manufactured device. While it’s cellular based, the design of the antenna, chipset and modem has shown it requires less signal strength than placing a mobile phone call.
The cell based solutions are cheaper and easier to run and have more functionality so it’s the best option if it all possible. Sharon checked the Vodafone and Spark network cover maps on their websites and found that Spark would provide the best cover. Guardian Angel provided a test EGIS device for Sharon to visit the properties with. Breadcrumb and 60 second polling reports were run to check if the device dropped out of cover anywhere and if so, for how long and where. There was a couple of smaller drop outs of 3-4 minutes but upon checking with Spark partner M2M One, it was concluded that there was a lot of data use of the network at that time, and while the poll using GPRS didn’t get through, there’s a high chance a SMS would have. The EGIS device sends the activation via IP and SMS, and will keep sending a duress activation with location details every 30 seconds when in alarm mode until it’s restored. So the risk was minimal.
Having concluded that the Spark network with the EGIS could be relied upon on at all the Sacred Hill sites, Sharon set about ordering a device for each of Sacred Hill’s lone workers.
The EGIS device has a duress button for manually raised alarm. It also has a man down and no movement function which can be programmed to automatically raise an alarm if the device is horizontal for 30 sec period, or has had no movement for 10min (delays are programmable). The user wears the device on their waistband so they will feel the device vibrate and start to make noise to warn them if it’s about to raise an alarm. The alarm can be deactivated by moving/straightening the device. The EGIS also autodials the monitoring station on alarm. This provides another path of communication should the SMS/IP alert not get through and it also means the operator can ascertain exactly what the emergency is and keep Emergency Services updated. The operator will stay on the line with the user until help is at hand. The call is recorded at the monitoring station.
For Sacred Hill it was decided that the man down and two way voice function was an important feature to keep their vineyard team safe.
One vital piece of a successful solution is to ensure staff are onboard and comfortable with the technology. They need to understand the technology as well as the limitations and use of it. They need to be assured it’s going to be used for the correct purpose. All of this can be achieved through thorough processes and procedures. Companies need to have very clear policy on who can access the information and what information can be accessed. Once this is explained to staff in training and they are shown what can and can’t be accessed, it usually sets the tone for a successful project. In training the staff are asked to activate their device. This ensures the staff understand how hard they need to press the button. What it feels like to press, what the sounds are, how the vibrations feel and how fast the monitoring centre is on line with them. This provides solid trust and credibility in the solution. It enhances the company culture for staff to feel that the business really does care about their safety and are prepared to invest in the technology to protect it.
The monthly testing, which Guardian Angel operators undertake with the users, is also vital. The operator will contact each Sacred Hill user every month to ask them to test their device. This ensures the information we have on the user is up to date, that they are comfortable pressing the button, confirms the device GPS is accurate and everything is coming through appropriately to the monitoring centre software. Every month when we test with our lone workers we come across someone who hasn’t had adequate training due to staff changes, or a device which isn’t being turned on and used correctly and a myriad of usually people instigated issues. This gives us an opportunity to fix and make sure that when they really do need this to work, when there’s a real emergency, it will work. Having had to use it monthly, It will be “top of mind” for the users to reach for the duress button if they need to, without thinking. We know everyone reacts differently under stress. We try to make sure no matter what the personality, the environment or the danger, we aim for best chance of success covering all the “what ifs” we can.
Simply giving staff a “gadget” will not ensure safety. In fact it’s possibly more dangerous. The training, monitoring and monthly testing will ensure success.
The Sacred Hill vineyard team will be monitored by Guardian Angel, now with one easy solution with only one provider to deal with who knows all the pitfalls and what hardware would be best fit for purpose for the safety of their staff.
Sacred Hill will have Peace of Mind that their team are never alone.