Grand Union Housing Choose Peoplesafe

16 Feb 2016

Grand Union Housing chooses Peoplesafe to protect its lone working staff.

Grand Union Housing Group has a strong people focused culture and since its formation in 2008 has established itself as a leading provider of affordable housing and related services managing over 10,000 properties in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and BuckinghamshireGrand Union Housing Group started to look at suitable lone working solutions in 2011 after deciding the system they had in place was not fit for purpose. The original system was basic in that it required each department to keep an ‘in and out’ list, as well as requiring staff who were working away from the office to call in at the end of the day to verify they were safe and wellThis system worked quite well, but didn’t provide immediate back-up should a member of staff need a 999 response.

Following on from a couple of incidents Grand Union Housing Grou[ launched mandatory IOSH training for all staff and reviewed the management of health and safety across the organisation. As a result of this work, a plan was developed which incorporated the implementation of a lone worker system by a team which included Mandy Quarmby, Head of Organisational Development and Katie Nix, Governance and Improvement Officer.

By the end of 2012 three different types of lone solutions had been trialled, but progress stalled and in 2013 GUHG decided to investigate new options. During this period, a member of staff suffered a serious assault which put further impetus on GUHG to act to protect their staff.

During 2013, Grand Union Housing Group implemented the Lone Worker Service Peoplesafe to be used by more than 140 of its front line staff, and also developed a comprehensive Lone Worker Policy and Procedure. Each of the staff using the service has been supplied with the Identicom 877 lone worker devgice, which is worn around the neck and can accommodate the staff identity badge. The device is linked to a call centre and if used correctly, records the location of their workers should an incident occur.

As an organisation Grand Union Housing Group takes staff safety seriously and are taking proactive measures to ensure that their front line staff use their Lone Worker devices and that using the devices becomes embedded into the culture of the organisation. Peoplesafe provide GUHG with weekly usage figures for the lone worker devices which are then reviewed by the Organisational Development Department and passed on to Managers who review any usage concerns with the individual. The Chief Executive also sends intermittent updates in his Monthly Bulletin to encourage proactive usage and involvement .

The Health and Safety of lone workers is now embedded into the organisation and affects all aspects of working practices and procedures. The new systems have benefited their staff in many aspects. Employees now feel safer while carrying out their duties knowing that help is just a ‘button push’ away, they also feel more valued by the organisation.

Alan Humphreys, Group CEO, Grand Union Housing Group commented, “We take the safety of our staff, many of whom work on their own, extremely seriously and have prioritised the roll-out of Peoplesafe technology across the whole group. Compared to previous trials, it has been so easy for staff to operate and provides us with just the service we wnat and gives staff the reassurance they need. We treat it much the same as any other item of health and safety equipment, wherever our staff find themselves working alone.”

The whole ethos of the organisation has developed into one where the safety of its employees comes first and foremost. Grand Union Housing Group has benefited in many different ways, making it a safer place to work not just for individual lone workers but for the whole team in general.

Peoplesafe
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