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Serco equip lone workers with SoloProtect:

Serco plc committed to staff welfare

Serco is a service and outsourcing company and has been delivering essential public services for more than 50 years. Serco makes a difference to the lives of millions of people around the world.

In 2012 Serco Group plc (Serco), announced that it had signed a contract with the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to deliver the COMPASS project, providing accommodation, associated services and transport for asylum applicants in two regions of the UK.

COMPASS, or 'Commercial and Operational Managers Procuring of Asylum Support Services', replaced more than 20 UKBA contracts for accommodation and transport of asylum applicants and their families, improving service standards whilst delivering considerable savings to the taxpayer. Serco is now the prime contractor for the North West and Scotland & Ireland. Responsibility includes initial short-term accommodation for asylum applicants; dispersed accommodation after their application is processed, transportation to and between accommodation, and the related process support to these operations.

With over 220 lone workers attached to the COMPASS team, it was important Serco understood their duty of care to their employees and in Lee Horne - Business Support and IT Manager; and other management colleagues responsible for lone worker safety, Serco had a team committed to staff welfare.

Using the SoloProtect usage reports, it became clear to Lee that Serco were not utilising the device to its full potential; staff were not engaged and the company were in danger of not getting a return on their investment. Therefore, with the aim of raising awareness and lowering the risk of danger to staff, a project was established to maximize the use of the device. It was important for Lee to fully understand the risks that faced Serco lone workers, a list including, but not limited to; working with vulnerable people, evening or night work and driver related risk. Subsequently, with a mix of staff training and on-going communication, the Serco staff began to engage; as a result, the intended device usage increased.

Identicom is designed to look and feel like a standard identity card, ensuring it’s close to hand and discreet to use. It offers protection and is designed to fit a range of personnel and lone worker applications; whether primarily facing 'People Risk' (arising from social interaction - potential verbal abuse and attack) or 'Environmental Risk' (potential for incapacitation, commonly referred to as a 'Man Down' (incapacitation), due to illness or a sudden trip or fall).

This coupled with the BS 8484:2016 accreditation (the first lone worker solution provider to achieve this) and SoloProtect’s elite, EN50518 compliant, in-house Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) provide Serco with unparalleled lone worker protection, a view that Lee Horne strongly agrees with.

‘The safety of our staff, service users and the public is paramount in what we do. The SoloProtect device not only provides a visible deterrent but also gives staff the re-assurance that, if there were an incident, they would get the help that was needed. Our aim is to ensure our staff get home safe, the SoloProtect device helps us do that.’

As well as this, SoloProtect provides Serco’s staff with the knowledge that they are in safe hands when working alone. Serco Housing Officer Chris Mairs believes the device is ‘simple and effective’ and he feels safer knowing the device is close at hand.

‘Although I am confident in working with my Service Users I also understand the need for protection around the unknown or hostile situations, so having the device gives me peace of mind should I ever need to use it.’

By encouraging use of the SoloProtect Identicom device Lee, and other management colleagues responsible for lone worker safety, have provided excellent evidence of supplying superb duty of care to Serco’s lone worker team. They have empowered and duly equipped the company’s employees in order to provide peace of mind and a secure working environment. Serco’s Identicom users also deserve a great deal of credit for embracing change and fully integratingthemselves into new working practises.

Lone working encompasses both social and environmental risk, it affects all industries, plus both full and part-time staff as well as employees at every level of an organisation. The SoloProtect lone worker solution is fully managed, BS8484 and EN50518 approved, and designed to give employers an easy and effective way to protect all types of lone worker - over 200,000 people now use Identicom as their preferred lone worker device.

Article Published 30.1.2017