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Personal safety device

The housing association Muir Group has issued frontline lone working staff with a personal safety device. Although Chester-based Muir Group had a mobile phone-based check-in system in place for their frontline employees, the protection it offered wasn’t deemed adequate.

Ian Whitwell, Head of ICT for Muir Group, was tasked with sourcing a BS 8484 approved lone worker product. BS 8484 is the British Standard for lone worker device management. After consideration and field-based trials of various products, Muir Group chose Skyguard. The MySOS product, accredited to the Association of Chief Police Officers’ ‘Secured by Design’ certification, provides the housing association’s lone workers reassurance that they can raise the alarm at the press of a button should they face any potential risk.

Ian says: “We tested a number of Lone Worker devices but Skyguard offered the best all-round solution for our needs. Right from the trial, we were impressed with the customer service team and our dedicated account manager. The device does everything we need it to do and more, and all of this at a price point that couldn’t be beaten. Overall, it’s an excellent solution for Lone Worker protection in a wide range of potential scenarios.”

Each of Muir Group’s Community Housing Officers, Engagement Officers and Maintenance staff are equipped with the MySOS. The device features GPS technology and two-way voice communications, enabling Controllers at Skyguard’s Incident Management Centre to communicate with the user, whilst directing the appropriate response to their exact location. With other features such as Voice Memo (Amber Alert), Speed Dial and ‘Mandown’ fall detector, there’s no more complete, accredited device available in the marketplace today.

Ian adds: “We’ve had numerous alerts raised in the two years we’ve had the devices, and each time the response and escalation procedure from Skyguard has been outstanding. I can’t find fault with any aspect of Skyguard’s service … it’s all excellent!”

Will Murray, Skyguard’s Marketing Director adds: “Our devices are being used by over 50 housing associations, protecting thousands of staff who are at risk from physical and verbal abuse on a daily basis. When faced with a hostile situation, these employees deserve rapid and effective help – our service has proven to deliver this, time and time again.”

Background

Skyguard are audited and approved to BS8484:2011, the latest version, allowing direct access to Police control rooms and bypassing the 999 service. The firm says this guarantees a faster response in the event of an emergency. Most other solutions are only BS 8484 compliant; and cannot guarantee the same level of police response. Established in 1968, Muir Group are a Chester-based not-for-profit housing association that manage over 5,000 properties countrywide with a range of tenants, including supported and sheltered housing.


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