Lloyds Banking Group & Colleys Turn to Guardian24 to Safeguard Lone Workers
Part of Lloyds Banking Group, Colleys is one of the largest valuation and surveying businesses of its kind in the UK. With over 300 RICS qualified surveyors, all experts in residential property. Colleys surveyors are committed to providing a comprehensive range of innovative valuation and survey products which necessarily involves staff working alone, often in remote areas and empty properties.
Surveyors by necessity are away from their home base for lengthy periods as they make essential site visits. Following a restructure in 2007, the majority of colleagues moved from being based in local offices to working remotely from “bedrooms and shedrooms” across the UK. Mindful of its safety obligations Colleys recognised that this move to remote working presented a risk. Being exposed to the dangers associated with surveying empty property, construction sites and even disaffected customers is nothing new for a surveyor and operating practices to mitigate those risks are well understood and implemented, however now that they were based remotely they had no effective means of checking in at the end of the day. They felt it was unacceptable to depend on an alarm being raised by the surveyors’ family on their non-appearance at the end of a working day.
Guardian24 met with our team to discuss our needs and explore a number of options. Various systems were explained and demonstrated and we agreed to a trial period of a system based on the use of standard company issue mobile phones. Training sessions for respondents and demonstration accounts were provided in conjunction with the bank’s own security staff and the system was rolled out to all field colleagues.
Guardian24’s specialist staff trainers visited us to provide bespoke respondent training and ensure colleagues who would react to incidents were completely comfortable with operating the new system before it went ‘live’. The monitoring service we chose combines the use of mobile phones with an Alarm Receiving Centre. Colleagues use their mobile phone (which has the benefit of being familiar technology) to log site visits or activities giving an estimated time for completion.
Given surveyors tend to be in contact with the central admin team at various points throughout the day; Colleys have given staff the flexibility to log an ‘all day’ activity which would raise the alarm if a colleague did not return home at the end of the day. Should a surveyor fail to close the visit on the system within the specified time period, an alert is raised with the relevant respondents – during office hours this would be the central admin team, reverting to the banks Security Control Centre during ‘out of hours’ periods. Colleagues with intermittent poor mobile phone signal coverage also have the option to register their home landline for use in setting and closing activities. Colleagues also benefit from the provision of a panic function which sends an immediate notification of assistance required and starts recording of the ambient noise as long as the line remains open.
Since its introduction, Guardian24 has become an excellent safety system which enhances surveyor safety during a lone-working activity. As well as helping the business to fulfil its Duty of Care towards its colleagues, it gives surveyors confidence and security when carrying out inspections in remote locations.
Colleagues did need some time to get used to the working protocol of having to log an activity and remembering to log out of the activity, however we were able to keep the instances of false alarms down to a minimum through various reminder activities such as texts and recurring alarms on mobile phone calendars and timely provision of MI.
Colleys now has a cost effective means of monitoring our lone workers using a sensible method commensurate with the level of risk assessed. We retrieve incident reports from the G24 system including inadvertent time-overruns via simple reports run locally.
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