Employers have a legal obligation to consider employee health and safety risks. The risks workers face need to be understood and a plan needs to be executed to manage and reduce these risks. Employers should ensure adequate safety measures are implemented to protect workers. In 1974, the Health and Safety at Work Act came into force, ensuring employers have processes and measures in place to protect their employees. Employee safety should always be at the forefront of planning, to make sure the correct procedures are in place to manage and reduce employee risks.
Why do Organisations Implement a Monitoring and Safety Solution?
There are many reasons and benefits to both employer and employee when implementing such a solution. A monitoring and safety solution can be employed in many different situations and environments, to ensure the necessary measures are in place to protect employees.
Many employers have employees working alone, it is estimated there is anywhere between 6-8 million Lone Workers in the U.K. A Lone Worker is defined as someone who is out of direct sight of another colleague, meaning their individual risks are increased as they are working alone. A monitoring solution can also be implemented for those working from home and travelling employees, to ensure employers are monitoring wellbeing and safety.
A monitoring solution is a tool to manage incidents and emergencies, as operation teams are immediately informed if there is an incident with an updated location from the individual. This provides peace of mind to both employer and employee, which in turn increases employee morale and productivity.
How do Monitoring and Safety Solutions Work?
Monitoring solutions use technology to ensure individuals can be located for safety. This can be through different methods such as:
App Based Solution, deployed on smartphones or tablets
Dedicated devices such as Personal Trackers or discreet but connected ID Badges
Satellite Devices if there is limited or no cellular coverage
These solutions ensure there are other technological efficiencies such as ensuring minimal battery drainage and data usage, to make sure the solution can effectively run day to day.
These solutions incorporate features to protect workers, such as a Red Alert features for emergencies, this automatically sends alerts back to dedicated individuals or a monitoring centre to escalate and provide assistance. Ultimately, implementing a monitoring and safety solution ensures there is an effective system in place for employees and employers to rely on.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the shipping industry has come under immense pressure to ensure the commodities are received at the dock on time, as well as ensuring staff are safe. The individual measures different countries have implemented require constant review, as local restrictions of the vessel destination need to be clearly understood. Organisations need an efficient system in place to know the location of all vessels in real-time and to be able to efficiently review the situation with COVID-19 at the destination.
Using the Vismo Secure Portal, vessels can be tracked and viewed in real-time on the map, along with individual locations of staff. This could be staff working on the vessel or at the port destination. Vismo can be activated on smartphone devices as well as satellite devices if there is limited or no mobile coverage. The vessels can be added as a Point of Interest (POI) layer on the Vismo Secure Portal, enabling them to be seen in relation to employees on the map. Other layers can be added to the map such as oil rigs in various locations, these can then be viewed in relation to employees or other assets.
Vismo incorporates live feeds into the Secure Portal, enabling organisations to view world alerts in relation to their travelling vessels. By having this ability to view real-time alerts, organisations can have more transparency regarding incoming situations. When an alert comes into the Secure Portal, organisations can then send out a Mass Notification from the Portal to large groups or people in the specific geographic area. This provides peace of mind to both the employer and employee, knowing they can be contactable in the event of an emergency.
Vismo incorporates daily updates of COVID-19 confirmed cases from Johns Hopkins University. This provides clear transparency to organisations when analysing the COVID-19 situation at their vessel’s destination. The cases can be clearly viewed in any area, as a POI on the map. Enabling organisations to add the POI layer to map to view their vessels in relation to the COVID-19 data. Having this information readily available within one Secure Portal helps with contingency planning whilst also putting the safety of workers first.
It is vital for organisations to take a proactive approach to safety management and implement measures to protect employees and their safety. This ensures workers are better prepared and organisations know staff are easily contactable regarding world alerts whilst also knowing the local situation with COVID-19 at their destination.
As the nights get darker, risks to Lone Workers increase. Do you have extra measures in place to protect your Lone Workers? Implementing a monitored solution can help you better manage the increased risk workers face when out in the community or working alone in general.
The Vismo App & Portal enables operation teams to monitor locations for safety, providing accurate and up to date information to those in the field. The App also incorporates many features to enhance traveller safety including the Red Alert feature which allows a worker to raise an alert if they find themselves in an emergency. Having the ability to discreetly activate an alert within the Vismo App or having timed Check-In’s provides peace of mind for workers out in the community. The Red Alert feature discreetly records audio once activated, to enable security teams to listen and better understand the situation at hand.
Another key feature is the Mass Notification capability from the Vismo Portal, managers can send Mass Messages to either large groups or people in a certain geographic area. If an incident occurs, the Vismo Portal can quickly identify the incident area and send a Mass Notification to those in the affected area. There are many other features of Vismo to protect workers when out in the community, the Check-In feature can inform the security team when the user is entering a high-risk area or leaving a client visit for example.
To protect the privacy of employees, the Vismo App has a Privacy Mode feature. This enables individuals to enter this mode as and when they wish, to protect their privacy. If an individual is in privacy mode and an emergency arises, the Red Alert can still be activated within the Vismo App, to inform the operations team of the situation. Providing privacy to employees whilst also supporting Lone Workers if an incident was to occur.
Employers have a legal and moral Duty of Care towards Lone Workers and protecting them with highly capable health and safety measures is essential for their safety and peace of mind. Implementing Vismo to improve worker safety can provide a clear ROI, help improve employer/employee relations and help protect corporate brand values.
If your organisation needs to increase measures to protect Lone Workers, especially with the darker nights, arrange a demonstration today: https://www.vismo.com/arrange-demo
Vismo enables travelling employees and Lone Workers to be located globally through the Vismo Global Traveller App or on other compatible devices. Many unique features are incorporated into the Vismo Secure Portal to help an employer better manage the safety of its employees, in many market verticals.
Discover some of the best features of Vismo below:
1. Mass Notification
If an incident or emergency crisis occurs, organisations need to quickly update employees with critical information which may be vital to their safety.
Using Vismo, Mass Notifications can be sent out from the Vismo Secure Portal, to individuals, groups or those within or in close proximity to a defined geographic area (i.e. where the incident has occurred). Mass Notifications can be sent through multiple channels so that delivery of critical information is assured. This can include SMS, Email, In-App and automated Phone Calls; focusing on reaching the individual, not just the device.
These messaging channels can be sent simultaneously or consecutively within a set time period, and loop the communications until a response is received and measured.
The Mass Notification feature provides the necessary tools to enable organisations to send out critical information to individuals, receive an updated location and understand their safety status’ through their response then follow the required escalation process. It’s a rapid, easy to manage and cost effective solution for any employer faced with the challenge of managing risk related messaging to a global employee base.
2. Point of Interest (POI) Layers
Organisations may want to view their employees in relation to key POI’s to further understand their location and proximity to a POI, should an incident occur. This would enable organisations to quickly, and specifically react to a situation through identifying the nearest places of safety or other material POIs which may be relevant (e.g. known high risk sites, dangerous storage sites, flood areas etc).
Vismo has integrated POI layers into the Vismo Secure Portal, which can be added to a map to view different areas in relation to the employees. Vismo clients can define and create their own layers to enable them to take account of specific POIs which are applicable to their organisation.
Vismo has incorporated COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University and UK Government, to enable organisations to view employees’ locations in relation to the latest COVID-19 statistics. As the spread of COVID-19 evolves, Vismo can support organisations to keep track of the outbreak in relation to their employees location.
When Lone Workers are undertaking an assignment or task, monitoring their location and two-way communication is vital to help protect workers and help provide peace of mind.
Vismo has introduced Assignments into the Vismo Secure Portal, enabling organisations to create an Assignment and appoint a task to any user. Employees will be alerted when an Assignment has started, and the organisation can set a time frame in which the user must Check-In on the Vismo App. If the user does not Check-In within the given time frame, a Red Flag Alert is activated within the Vismo Secure Portal to notify managers of the account of a potential incident.
The user can alter or extend the Assignment and add notes within the Vismo App, which is then updated in the Vismo Secure Portal, enabling two-way secure messaging. This feature keeps both the Lone Worker and organisation informed of the task at hand, its status and location of the worker and any updates or potential risks.
4. Red Alerts
In an emergency situation, employees need a way of quickly alerting others of an issue, to ensure their safety is being monitored.
The Red Alert within the Vismo App is easy to trigger from a smartphone or tablet with a simple press and hold. When an Alert is activated, email and SMS notifications are sent to the managers of the Vismo account and includes the individual’s last known locations. As the Red Alert is activated, an audio clip between 20 seconds and one minute (definable length) will automatically start to record and is sent back to the Vismo Secure Portal to inform managers of the situation.
This feature provides users with peace of mind and if a situation occurred, a Red Alert could be triggered through the App and the relevant teams are notified to respond to the situation.
5. Privacy Mode
To protect employee privacy without comprising safety, Vismo has integrated a Privacy Mode feature. This enables individuals to enable Privacy Mode as they wish and choose when their device is located, to safeguard their privacy whilst using the Vismo App. However, if an individual is in Privacy Mode and an emergency arises, the Panic Alert may still be activated. Once the Panic Alert has been activated, Vismo will disable Privacy Mode and will report on the location of the device.
These capabilities provide peace of mind to employees that if an emergency occurred, the Panic Alert can be activated, and a location will be visible within the Vismo Secure Portal.
These features enable Vismo to support and protect organisations in various industries globally. Vismo also incorporates many other excellent features into the platform to protect employees and Lone Workers. Features such as geo-fencing capabilities, the ability to create incident areas and set country change alerts, accurate location reporting and many more.
How Vismo was used by one client to successfully locate employees immediately following the recent Beirut chemical explosion.
A large American multinational oil and gas corporation, who has been a client of Vismo for a number of years deploys the Vismo App on Smartphones devices to monitor and protect employees, executives and expatriates when travelling around the world for business. The company has a strong understanding of its legal & moral obligations towards its global staff and a dynamic appreciation of the risks staff can face.
On 4th August 2020, there were two major explosions which killed more than 200 people at the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The disaster was caused by an extensive fire at the port, which spread to the roof of the warehouse which stored ammonium nitrate. As the news broke across the world, it was crucial for the client to locate and ensure the safety of their travelling employees and expatriates within the Beirut area as soon as possible.
Upon notification of the incident, the client used the Vismo Secure Portal to expeditiously locate all travellers in the nearby vicinity of the explosion. Using Vismo Mass Notification, the client was able to effectively communicate crucial information and alert the identified travellers within the Beirut area of the situation, with message response options. Fortunately, all employees within the affected area were in areas of safety and were able to confirm their current status from within the Vismo App.
Using the latest tracking technology, the Vismo Global Traveller App operates in the background of the device, while automatically reporting precise location fixes to the Vismo Secure Portal. The live tracking updates helps automatically eliminate those employees who were not in the area without needing to indivually contact them; imporving organisational efficiencies while freeing up vital resources. This location information was vital in understanding which employees were in the Beirut area and ensured that the client could communicate with and establish the safety of their employees. Not only did Vismo enable the client to locate their employees within the affected area, but it also ensured they had resources to effectively broadcast crucial information about the explosion using Vismo Mass Notification. By Utilising the Vismo solution the multinational client was able to successfully locate, monitor and communicate with all employees in and around the Beirut area following the disaster while meeting their organisational Duty of Care, all from within one powerful platform.
To arrange a demo and discover how Vismo can be integrated into your organisation, please contact:
Vismo is holding two pre-GSX demonstration webinars during September, one focusing on organizations with internationally traveling employees and the other demonstrating how to better protect domestic Lone Workers using Vismo.
Like many organizations, your working practices will have changed due to COVID-19. You may now have more staff working alone or away from the office and are recognising the need for increased security measures to protect the safety of your employees during current and future outbreaks. Join us for a brief no-obligation webinar to understand how Vismo is helping employers like yours to meet their organizational Duty of Care and better protect their employees.
Protecting Traveling Employees – 16th September
This webinar on the 16th September will demonstrate how organizations can react to a local outbreak of COVID-19 and effectively communicate vital information to employees within the affected area using Vismo Mass Notification.
The Lone Worker webinar on the 17th September will demonstrate how your organization can protect domestic Lone Workers through monitoring their location for safety, creating Assignments for workers and supporting employees should they need to raise a Red Alert through the Vismo App.
Ready to discover the benefits of protecting mobile employees? Join the relevant webinar to find out more. These webinars will share our knowledge of the commercial and moral benefits that innovative, forward-thinking employers are experiencing by using Vismo.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 evolving globally and as non-essential travel starts back up in some parts of the world, organisations can benefit from increasing their security measures to ensure the safety of employees’. To protect employees whilst travelling on business and as workers are gradually going back into the workplace, organisations can locate and monitor employees as part of their Duty of Care, helping better inform those workers on matters relating to the pandemic.
In the event of an outbreak of COVID-19, organisations can benefit from being able to easily visualise their employees whereabouts, in relation to where those outbreaks are occurring. Benefits can be clearly achieved by ensuring employee safety is at the forefront of planning. If an emergency situation arises, the organisation will be able to identify the employees location and communicate with them to provide critical information and updates.
Employees can activate the Vismo App from their smartphone or tablets to provide location updates to the Vismo Secure Portal. The App works in the background of the device and has minimal impact on battery life. Managers of an organisation can log into the Vismo Secure Portal to monitor the location updates.
Live data from Johns Hopkins University and the UK Government is integrated into the Vismo Secure Portal, updating COVID-19 data on a near real-time basis. Managers of an organisation can view local outbreaks of COVID-19 cases in relation to their employees’ location. In the case of a local outbreak, organisations can utilise Vismo to search for the affected area and quickly identify employees in the vicinity. From here, a Mass Notification can be sent to the employees to inform them of the local outbreak. These messages can be personalised through the Vismo Secure Portal, incorporating clear instruction on corporate policy and sent to employees within a specific geographic area such as where the local outbreak of COVID-19 has occurred. A Mass Notification can also be sent to a much wider audience, this could be a company-wide announcement to alert employees of a situation or a change to corporate policy relating to the pandemic. Employee response options can be tailored to the situation such as responding ‘I am safe’ or ‘I am unsafe, I require assistance’. These responses will then enable managers to visually view on the Vismo Secure Portal the affected individuals and those who require assistance.
The Mass Notifications can be sent via multiple channels SMS, Email, In-App messaging or an Automated Phone Call. These messaging channels can be sent simultaneously or cascaded through the channels after a set time period, these can also be looped until a response is received.
Example Case Study:
10.24am: A local outbreak of COVID-19 is announced.
10.26am: An organisation logs onto the Vismo Secure Portal and finds the area of the local outbreak and the employees within the vicinity.
10.28am: An ‘incident’ is created on the Vismo Secure Portal and a Mass Notification is created stating ‘Company Announcement: There is a local outbreak of COVID-19 in your area. Please return home immediately. Do you have any symptoms? Symptoms include: a high temperature, a continuous cough or a loss in taste or smell.’
10.29am: The Mass Notification is sent out to everyone in the affected area via SMS, Email, In-App message and an Automated Phone Call.
10.30am: Responses are received within the Vismo Secure Portal with responses from employees.
10.31am: Cases can be escalated to the relevant personnel to follow the organisational guidelines.
As the example above displays, the Vismo Secure Portal can be utilised to identify the initial outbreak of COVID-19 through to notifying employees via the Mass Notification system within a very short time frame. With the COVID-19 outbreak evolving daily, organisations need monitoring and communication systems in place in the event of an emergency. Organisations have a Duty of Care towards their employees and their safety and wellbeing as workers begin to return to the workplace. Implementing a system that identifies COVID-19 hotspots and enables managers of the organisation to quickly send a company-wide announcement to provide employees critical information is vital.
Implementing a fit for purpose monitoring system like Vismo to locate employees for safety purposes and send Mass Notifications in the event of an emergency can help reduce risk within an organisation. It provides employees with peace of mind knowing if an emergency or local outbreak of COVID-19 occurred, employees can be quickly notified and provided further instruction regarding the situation.
To arrange a demo and discover how Vismo can be integrated into your organisation, please contact:
Vismo, Global Tracking Specialist, has appointed Lone Worker industry expert Craig Swallow as CEO, with a focus on developing the company into a globally recognised leader for locating, monitoring and protecting international, local and home workers.
Craig Swallow, CEO, Vismo
With over 18 years of specific experience & focus in the Lone Worker security industry, Craig brings to his new post wide ranging knowledge in lone worker service innovation, marketing, business strategy and sales growth across continents.
He took his previous company, SoloProtect, from a wearable device idea in the UK to sales in excess of £8m “focusing on international growth, customer value and product innovation,” he says, adding, “I believe Vismo is exactly the right opportunity I was looking for to step up and develop value-based solutions for a much wider international reach.
With a client base featuring many of biggest names in the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100, a proven track record globally and its own deep knowledge of tracking technology, Vismo is well placed to grow and continue its innovation in the global traveller and lone worker space.”
That innovation includes the Vismo Global Traveller App, inclusive of lone worker monitoring, Vismo Incident Management and Mass Notification offerings, all of which are available anywhere in the world via the company’s Secure Portal.
Tim Williams, Founder & Chairman of Vismo, says “As someone who was one of the original creators of the Lone Worker market in general and oversaw its development for a number of years, Craig is a great addition to our team. We look forward to working with him to help us consolidate and expand our position in North America, the UK and the rest of the world as we help clients meet their duty of care towards their employees wherever they are travelling or working.”
Vismo was established in York, UK in 2012 and offers the Vismo Global Traveller App, a patented and ASIS Accolade Award-winning global tracking solution designed to locate individuals anywhere in the world. The app is installed on users’ smartphones, tablets, personal GPS trackers, satellite trackers or satellite phones and provides true global coverage. With active users in more than 190 countries, the app is a proven and scalable global solution that helps organisations ensure their employees’ safety.
Vismo’s solutions are used by many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, NGO agencies and a growing number of SMEs and organisations in the public sector, as a Duty of Care towards their employees.
Privacy and Data Protection is an ever-increasing concern for both individuals and organisations. Most recently, these concerns have been highlighted with the roll-out of various government-led COVID-19 tracking applications. Whilst some people are amenable to being tracked, others find it an infringement of their privacy and even as far as a breach of human rights. Vismo takes the privacy of its customers seriously; maintaining your trust is paramount to us. This article explains how Vismo has overcome Lone Worker privacy concerns without compromising the security of personal data.
What is the purpose of a Lone Worker App?
A Lone Worker App is a tracking solution designed to protect employees who work without close or direct supervision. If there is an emergency, Lone Workers are able to alert their employers who can assess the situation and follow the required escalation process. A Lone Worker App enables organisations to meet their legal and moral Duty of Care responsibility in protecting employees’ health, safety and welfare while at work.
How does the Vismo Lone Worker App work?
The Vismo Lone Worker App is compatible with Smartphones and Tablets operating on iOS and Android systems. Using GPS and other technologies from the device allows Vismo to accurately determine a Lone Workers’ location and this information automatically is sent to the Vismo Secure Portal for monitoring purposes.
What Information Does Vismo Collect About You?
To operate correctly, the only information that is required is location data; all other information is optional. Vismo generates a unique anonymised identifier for each device and this identifier may then be associated with certain personal information in accordance with the data handling policy of the individual customer. Registration information will be subject to and protected as per our Privacy Statement. Our Privacy Statement and our practices are designed to provide a globally consistent level of protection for personal information all over the world, even in countries whose laws provide less protection.
Is My Data Secure?
Security and data protection are the upmost importance concern and maintaining your trust is paramount to us. Vismo is hosted by Microsoft Azure Cloud to protect personal information and to maintain its accuracy, encrypting sensitive personal information when transmitting such information over the Internet. Vismo and Microsoft Azure are both ISO 27001 certified; the gold standard for Information Security Management Systems. Vismo adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is the EU law on data protection and privacy policies.
What Happens If a Lone Worker Doesn’t Want to Use a Tracking Device?
Organisations can only encourage Lone Workers to use a tracking app and they must voluntarily consent to be tracked as part of their personal safety and organisational Duty of Care obligations.
To encourage acceptance of tracking devices by Lone Workers, Vismo has integrated Privacy Mode capabilities into the Lone Worker app to protect Lone Workers personal privacy without compromising safety. Privacy Mode allows Lone Workers to choose when to be tracked, whilst keeping the Panic Button feature. If a Lone Worker faces an emergency or situation of duress, they can activate the Panic Button from within the Lone Worker App and this will notify monitoring teams while revealing their location to provide peace of mind for employees as they work alone.
Multi-award-winning global tracking company Vismo has launched Mass Notification and Incident Management Capabilities into the new and improved Mobile Tracking Apps and Secure Portal. Utilising state-of-the-art tracking technology and the latest messaging capabilities, Vismo enables organisations to efficiently communicate critical information to a diverse audience from the Vismo Secure Portal. The additional functionality further demonstrates the commitment the company has to deploy the latest technology to enhance its solutions and better serve its global client base.
In the event of a critical situation or emerging risk, rapidly delivering crucial information to the right audience is imperative to employees safety. Vismo provides a secure, scalable and reliable system to enable enterprises to send two-way notifications to individuals or groups to keep them informed before, during and after critical events.
How does Vismo Mass Notification Work?
Using the Vismo Secure Portal, a Vismo Mass Notification can be created from predefined options or tailored to an individual situation. Mass Notifications are sent to the required audience using 4 channels; SMS, Email, In-App and Phone Calls. Using multi-path Notifications ensures communications can be maintained even in the event of outages or network contention.
Two-way Mass Notifications can be sent with coded response options, allowing employees to quickly reply with their relevant safety status. Notifications can be looped until a response is received from an employee with abilities for employees to update their safety status as they become more aware of the developing situation. Using the Vismo Secure Portal, operations teams can monitor employees responses along with their last known location and act upon it if required.
Combining Mass Notifications with Incident Management
Integrated live intelligence feeds from external sources into Vismo enables operations teams to monitor and manage travellers in incident areas using one platform. Incident Management enables operations teams to identify travellers efficiently in a crisis based on geographical location; informing them of the situation using Mass Notification.
An Incident Dashboard displays the incident location with the identified travellers in the location. All travellers responses from the Mass Notification with their safety status can be viewed here. If a traveller enters the identified incident location, they will also receive the Mass Notification informing them of the situation.
The New Secure Portal and App
At the end of last year, Vismo introduced the new and enhanced Mobile Tracking Apps and Secure Portal and with increased functionality and enhanced user experience. The new Secure Portal introduces intuitive search capabilities of travellers locations including Points of Interest, Geo-fences and landmarks from a single search bar. In addition to the new Secure Portal, Vismo has launched an updated and improved version of its long-standing user tracking Application Global Traveller to provide users with a more consistent, unified and cohesive Vismo platform.
To find out more about Mass Notification and Incident Management in Vismo, including to request a demo, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0) 1904 616666 (UK and RoW) or +1 866 815 9128 (USA).