Lanes goes digital to boost lone worker safety
Drainage engineers at Lanes Group plc are benefitting from extra safety protection when they work by themselves during unsociable hours. The company, the UK’s largest independent drainage specialist, has invested in Skyguard, a digital personal safety service.
Drainage personnel can be issued with a Skyguard digital fob that detects if a person collapses or remains still for a specified time, indicating they could be in distress. If this happens, the system alerts a national Skyguard call centre. It also allows the fob holder to contact the call centre if they feel at risk. The system can identify the location of the fob to within a few metres, allowing Lanes Group, the emergency services, or both, to respond quickly to any emergency.
Paul McParland, Group Health, Safety, Quality and Environment Manager at Lanes, said: “The safety and wellbeing of our staff is our paramount concern. We want to give our operational teams extra peace of mind when operating as lone workers. “Each of our 22 depots has at least two Skyguard fobs, which can be allocated to our out-of-hours personnel. Our drainage engineers are trained to stay safe in all working environments and not to take undue risks. “However, we recognise that unexpected incidents can happen. Our work continues 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and can take our personnel to isolated locations. “Skyguard gives our lone working personnel an additional layer of safety, and assurance that help will be at hand if they get into difficulties.”
The Skyguard fob can identify a sudden movement, such as one associated with a person collapsing, and when a person is still for an unduly long period of time. It first emits an audible signal to the fob wearer to check if the person’s actions are planned. If the wearer does not respond, the fob alerts the Skyguard control centre. The system has two-way communication, allowing call centre staff to listen to the fob wearer, or talk to them, if that is possible. Skyguard then follows a procedure agreed with Lanes which can, if necessary, involve alerting the emergency services.
Skyguard is one of a range of security and personnel safety initiatives being introduced by Lanes as it continues develop safer systems of work. Paul McParland said: “This will help with a range of challenges, including concerns about sudden illness, or incidents leading to injury, to our teams facing anti-social behaviour which, unfortunately, can happen.”
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