Duty of care for Lone Workers and those working from home

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the way organisations operate, with employees quickly adapting to working from home (WFH) where necessary. WFH throws up challenges, however, even where staff seem to have settled into what is for many a new way of working. A prime challenge is meeting duty of care obligations.

Duty of care is, in general, about workers’ wellbeing and welfare and, related, compliance and good practice by the employer. All employers have a moral and a legal obligation to ensure that all their workers are fully protected from personal physical and/or emotional harm, either on or away from the employer’s premises.

Measures will already be in place to reduce and manage risks to employees in an office environment. However, with WFH, the risks increase because organisations no longer have easy and visual control over the working environment.  

Safety of workers encompasses both their physical and mental health. In terms of supporting workers with their mental health, organisations should ideally ensure they have regular contact with them in order to check their wellbeing and reduce the risk of any employee feeling isolated and perhaps suffering the consequences. Monitoring could be through scheduling regular phone calls or by video chats or other method via an app.

In cases of incidents such as a large increase of COVID-19 cases, organisations will need to quickly contact all employees WFH in the affected locality. App-based solutions can help by sending alerts, via a mass notification feature where appropriate, containing critical information to those at risk, whether they are at home, in an office, or elsewhere, including travelling between places. 

Organisations need to understand if an employee is struggling or needs some extra support. To help both manager and worker, app-based solutions allow discreet two-way dialogues, starting with the affected worker raising an issue or query with the appropriate team leader or manager. An approach like this enables the worker to feel more confident and less embarrassed or stressed about discussing problems, and seek help if necessary.

WFH brings benefits to our personal lives. Many workers experience an improved work-life balance, which can be highly influenced by less commuting stress. This can significantly increase a worker’s spare time in which they would otherwise be commuting; and saves them money. However, some can feel lonely, isolated and less motivated, even as they appreciate some aspects of it. App-based solutions can provide an way for employees to report how they feel, this can enable a conversation to start if the employee feels comfortable with this.

Ensuring workers are supported and protected is key to a happy and productive workforce. Implementing a solution that monitors employee wellbeing, sends alerts if required and has the ability to send mass notifications in case of an emergency could be vital in protecting employees and meeting duty of care obligations.

Vismo makes charitable donation to Unicef

Location monitoring and safety specialist Vismo, has made a charitable donation to Unicef.

Rather than sending Christmas cards and corporate gifts to customers, Vismo made the decision to contribute a donation to support Unicef’s relief efforts in Yemen, to help keep children safe.

More than three years of fighting has pushed Yemen to the brink of collapse. The children there are currently caught up in one of the world’s most complex and destructive humanitarian crises and are paying a heavy price. Currently, 3.7 million children in Yemen are being deprived of their education. No place in Yemen is safe for children.

Unicef is on the ground working around the clock to protect children in Yemen. Since the start of the crisis, they have provided school and distance learning opportunities to over 150,000 children and have also vaccinated 4 million children against polio.

Why Unicef?

Established in 1946, Unicef has been protecting and promoting children’s rights for 70 years.

Unicef is the leading organisation working for children. They ensure more of the world’s children are vaccinated, educated and protected than any other organisation, and have done more to influence laws and policies to help protect children than anyone else.

Yemen is facing a major humanitarian crisis. Right now, 12 million children in Yemen are in danger. A devastating conflict has left children and families in urgent need of food, water and medical supplies. A donation to Unicef can help keep a child safe.

To read more about Unicef’s aid work for children in danger, please go to www.unicef.org.uk

Donations

Individuals can make donations online – https://www.unicef.org.uk/donate/yemen/

About Vismo

Established in 2012 with offices in York, UK and New Jersey, USA Vismo takes pride in providing location monitoring and safety solutions to over 300 clients, helping protect over 450,000 users globally. Vismo uses GPS, Wi-Fi Access Points and Cell Tower ID to locate and protect individuals locally and globally through the Vismo App and with other compatible devices such as personal trackers and Satellite devices. The Vismo App uses highly innovative technology to ensure it uses minimal battery and data usage, providing a great solution to employees, whether they are travelling, lone working or working from home.

Vismo are experts in the Global Traveller, Lone Worker and Home Worker fields, with many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, NGO agencies and a growing number of SME’s and organisations in the public sector using Vismo as a duty of care towards their employees.

The Full Power of Vismo in the Palm of Your Hand

Protecting your mobile employees whilst on the move has never been easier. The Vismo Secure Portal is fully compatible with smartphones and tablets, enabling operational teams to monitor the safety of employees from a handheld device.  

The Vismo Secure Portal has the same user interface and features available on a smartphone or tablet device as on a PC. Meaning if travellers are put at risk, security teams can quickly react and immediately view user’s locations and alerts through their smartphone or tablet, irrespective of their location.

All Features are Compatible

  • Mass Notification
  • Incident Management
  • Location Updates, History and Trails
  • Receive Live Red Alerts (Emergency)
  • View and Edit Geo-Fences

This provides security teams & managers with more flexibility for monitoring the safety of Global Travellers and Lone Workers. Users of the Vismo App can have peace of mind knowing security teams can always gain full access to the Secure Portal if an incident happens. From the device, individuals impacted by an incident can be instantly located and communicated with via Vismo’s Mass Notification feature. These notifications can be personalized and can be set to check the safety status of individuals with custom message responses. Security teams can then easily identify who is at risk and those who need immediate assistance. All the functionality on the Vismo Secure Portal has been highly optimized for smartphones and tablets to ensure individuals are protected at all times.

To find out how Vismo can help protect your mobile employees, arrange a demonstration: https://www.vismo.com/arrange-demo

What an employer needs to know about protecting employees

An Organisation’s Moral and Legal Duty of Care

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.

Start protecting your Lone Workers, arrange a demonstration today: https://www.vismo.com/arrange-demo

Protect employees working on-board ships and vessels with Vismo

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.

If your organisation needs to implement more safety measures to better protect employees, arrange a personalised demonstration today https://www.vismo.com/arrange-demo

The nights are getting darker, have you implemented measures to protect your Lone Workers?

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-Ins 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. The feature enables managers to 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. This provides 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

Top 5 Features of the Vismo Secure Portal

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.

3. Assignments

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.

To arrange a demo, visit https://www.vismo.com/arrange-demo

Beirut Chemical Explosion Case Study

How Vismo was used by one client to successfully locate employees immediately following the recent Beirut chemical explosion.

Company Profile

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.

Situation

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.

Result

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.

Benefits

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:

Email: enquiries@vismo.com
Call  (UK and RoW): +44 (0)1904 616666
Call (USA): +1 866 815 9128
Visit: http://www.vismo.com

Vismo Pre-GSX Demonstration Webinars – Register Today!

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.

Protecting domestic Lone Workers – 17th September

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.

How employers can benefit and protect employees when a local COVID-19 outbreak is announced

Situation

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.

Response

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.

Outcome

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.

Benefits

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:

Email: enquiries@vismo.com
Call  (UK and RoW): +44 (0)1904 616666
Call (USA): +1 866 815 9128
Visit: http://www.vismo.com