Trackaphone: Central Government Employee Protection Service
The legislative pressure and moral obligation to provide duty of care for employees working in high risk roles led to us reviewing our practices and internal procedures for dealing with employee emergencies. Initially we reviewed reported incidents and found several situations had occurred that could easily have turned out much worse, had circumstances around the incident been even slightly different. Instances fell into 3 basic categories – Illness, Accident and Aggression and with particular concern over staff working alone and in isolated rural areas. We looked at what we had in place and found that many departments had put their own makeshift procedures in place, some of which were well adopted and some which were not. Some were offering reasonable protection, and some were dangerously providing a feeling of security to the end user but were not fit for purpose. We also found that centrally, systems such as internal 24/7 emergency numbers, risk assessment practices and behaviours were not always robust enough. The main issue was that there was no easily auditable system that could be deployed across multiple departments, and that left our organisation and our employees exposed. With a background of shrinking budgets, we set about looking for a solution. After reviewing various emergency response services offered in the UK and testing many devices we realised that we needed to make a decision, and the ever-changing choice of devices and services was not helping us. What we needed was an organisation that could both offer a service now that was flexible and robust but also able to serve our future needs as we introduced new departments and allowed us to exploit the latest technologies.
TrackaPhone were able to supply an end to end service using a variety of devices including the mainstream devices we were able to purchase through our Government mobile phone contract. This helped keep the costs down thus making the solution available to more people. After testing against other solutions, we were confident that this was not a compromise and in fact using the inherent capability available in many smart phones proved to be a more robust solution technically than many purpose built lone worker systems and was much easier for us to support through our existing IT services. As well as this we decided that having the employee protection system working on the employees phone meant that the end user was more likely to have the device with them when at work, more likely to have the phone charged and they were more aware of mobile network issues, device faults etc through normal use rather than just when the device was being used as an employee protection tool. The 24/7 emergency response service allowed us to rest assured that when our own employees may not be available to assist, they were always there and able to see not just the location of the employee but also to get other vital information to help them offer assistance.
TrackaPhone approached the project by ensuring that we carried out a pilot to uncover any issues that we had not foreseen and then designed the system around our needs. One requirement we had was that we did not want to use the system to track our employees, and TrackaPhone were able to grant us restricted access to the service so that while we could run reports on usage to monitor end user compliance, no personal data or location history was available to government employees except when there was a live incident. Full training, project management and assistance with the implementation and roll out meant the whole project was delivered to our timetable and with the vast majority of our employees using the system live within a week of receiving training. Early issues over user uptake were easily addressed due to the comprehensive reporting tools and we were able to quickly and dramatically improve uptake.
Since the system has been in place we have gone through various device changes in line with our IT device strategy and TrackaPhone have been able to support all these changes. We have had several live incidents where we believe the TrackaPhone service has saved lives, some of which when looked at retrospectively would have been impossible for us to deal with effectively without the location capability and robust processes TrackaPhone put in place. We are very happy with the results and from time to time we have requested changes to the service as we uncover internal changes or practices that were not previously addressed, such as employees working abroad, and the TrackaPhone system remained capable of supporting all our needs. New departments have adopted the system and our documented processes for adding new users works well enabling us to welcome new departments easily and address any nuances they may have.
If you would like to know more about how Trackaphone can safeguard your employees, you can visit their stand D47 at the Public Sector Show, on 26 June at ExCel London.