Hafod Housing are a not-for-profit organisation, providing affordable housing, care and support across South East Wales. Managing over 4,000 homes, Hafod Housing rely on a team of lone workers operating over a range of roles; from maintenance surveyors to caretakers and housing officers.
Lone workers at Hafod Housing are largely public facing and are frequently required to make visits independently to properties. Hafod works with some of the most vulnerable people in the community and do not always have the opportunity to meet and assess residents before housing them. Due to the nature of their work, Hafod’s housing officers are at higher risk of antisocial behaviours such as violence and aggression.
Those working to maintain properties regularly use ladders, heavy tools and carry out work on roofs and other potentially unstable structures. The risks they face tend to be more environmental as they are exposed to common workplace risks such as slips, trips and falls.
How StaySafe helped
• Accurate monitoring through timed sessions and regular check-in intervals
• Reliable alert options for situations of conflict
• Precise location data in case of an emergency
• Convenient and easily accessible smartphone app
Why did Hafod launch StaySafe?
Before using StaySafe, Hafod relied on a dedicated device system to monitor the safety of their lone workers. However, this system failed to meet their needs due to the absence of accurate location tracking which was vital in locating staff working behind closed-doors alone if an alert was raised.
Staff would also regularly forget to carry or charge these separate devices, which they were required to wear on lanyards. As an extra piece of equipment to bring to work each day, Hafod also found that staff would regularly forget to either charge the device, bring it to work with them or take it away with them before moving offsite.
Therefore, monitoring would often prove impossible and employees left vulnerable as they worked alone.
Following a review of the market, Hafod shortlisted StaySafe as their preferred safety solution, commending both the features of the solution and the level of customer service, which went above and beyond what they had previously experienced. Hafod also concluded that by switching to StaySafe, there was no need to rely on their staff remembering additional devices, as the app is conveniently already on their phone which they naturally carry with them.
Since using StaySafe, Hafod feels reassured that they are meeting their duty of care to their lone working staff. Employees can be monitored in situations that previously proved difficult to do so and the wide range of functionality provided by the app ensures there is a reliable way for them to signal for help.
Where signal and data may be limited in buildings and remote areas for Hafod Housing’s employees, StaySafe’s SMS fall-back feature allows workers to maintain uninterrupted sessions. This works through an automatic low signal mode, where the app will seek out any available connection, even at 2G, so that session functions and alerts can continue to be sent via SMS.
The Duress alarm is used by Hafod to mitigate situations where employees could face aggression from clients. If a worker is trapped in a situation where they have instigated a panic alert, but their aggressor forcibly tries to shut down the operation, the worker can enter their unique duress pin. This disguises the alert, making it appear to the aggressor that it has been cancelled. In reality, the duress alert will reach a manager as a matter of urgency.
Through the StaySafe Hub, Hafod uses our external around-the-clock monitoring partner, Securitas to gain greater awareness of employee location and safety. The solution has proven time-saving as there is no need for manual monitoring. If an alert is sent by an employee or they fail to check-in safely, a Securitas monitor will be alerted via email, SMS and in the Hub. The monitor can then open the Hub and immediately locate the employee and respond appropriately, escalating to the correct member of staff at Hafod.
In addition to the reassurance the company now have in knowing that their workers are safe, staff have also fed back on their heightened sense of awareness for their own safety. This is important for housing workers who need to dynamically assess the environments they enter and deal with any possible risks alone. Being aware of safety and knowing that the company takes their well-being seriously, helps provide confidence that the lone workers can leave a situation if they feel uncomfortable, or call for additional assistance.
“We are impressed by the versatility of the StaySafe app and broad range of features which tackle the issues we were previously facing. Switching to the StaySafe solution has proven more reliable, more user-friendly and much more efficient for lone workers and their managers. We now feel assured and wise to where our staff are which is of utmost importance as schedules can change last minute, and our staff are regularly in contact with members of the public that they have never met with before.
When talking to StaySafe, we were also incredibly impressed with the level of customer service and care we received. The StaySafe team were always on hand to answer any queries, provide additional information and even came in to train our staff. They helped make the transition from dedicated devices to a mobile app a smooth one and the support we receive still continues to this day.”
-Nerys Eldridge, Project Officer, Hafod Housing Association