There is no doubt that housing associations provide a vital service to society, but the nature of the job means that staff are often lone working and are vulnerable to abuse and assault.
Protecting lone workers in housing associations is important, as it means they are free to get on with their jobs supporting some of the country’s most vulnerable people. But what exactly are the risks to lone workers in housing associations, and how do we protect them?
Risks Facing Housing Association Lone Workers
Whether your lone worker is a maintenance person, a housing officer visiting individual houses or flats, or a housing officer in a fixed location, such as sheltered accommodation, the risks are very similar.
Often, housing association tenants are vulnerable and have complex needs, which sometimes result in behavioural problems, or substance misuse issues. Obviously, this is not always going to be the case, but providing a proper lone worker solution protects both the lone worker and the tenant.
It is a popular misconception that a lone worker device can only be used to summon the police in the event of an assault, but they can also be used to summon the other emergency services.
If, for example, a housing officer visits an individual property alone and finds a tenant needing urgent medical attention, calling an ambulance is quicker and more convenient if a lone worker device is used, especially in areas of low mobile network coverage.
Housing officers and maintenance people who are mobile are at a greater risk than those who are in a fixed location, as they are harder to locate in the event of an emergency. Having a GPS enabled device does help to overcome that risk.
Not only that, but they are more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents than those who do not travel around. Summoning help is easy and quick through a lone worker alarm, should the worst happen.
How Can Housing Association Lone Workers be Protected?
Choosing a lone workers solution is not always easy for those responsible for the safety of housing association staff. You need a device that is reliable and discreet, but the device is only part of the picture. You need to be sure that when your staff press that button, the response will be sufficient.
Here at First2HelpYou, we pride ourselves on our service levels. With us, you don’t just get a panic alarm, you get a device with tailorable options, and alarm receiving centre operators who are trained, resourced, and passionate enough to treat every alarm as a priority.
Our partner alarm receiving centre is fully certified to BS5979 Category 2 and has some of the best response statistics in the industry. What’s more, they are guided by internal policies and procedures that have been crafted from our vast experience in the lone worker sector, having spoken to tens of thousands of customers to find out what they really want.
Lone Worker Devices for Housing Associations
For lone workers in housing associations, we would recommend the KIT Device. This device is the perfect size. It isn’t so bulky that it is really obvious, and it isn’t so small it would get lost or broken. Plus, its unique shape perfectly fits into the hand, making button presses easy for those with limited dexterity.
It is fully certified to BS8484: 2016, which means it has:
- Amber Alert functionality
- Man Down
- Red alert at the push of a button
- Two-way audio
- GPS locations
- Roaming SIM cards for better coverage
It also can be worn in multiple ways; on a belt clip, attached to a keyring, or popped into our bespoke ID badge holder.
Our ID badge holder is something we are really proud of. We worked closely with a product design consultancy in Yorkshire, LDT Design, to come up with the perfect solution. It lets you have the discretion and convenience of an ID badge style lone worker device with the functionality and easy-to-use features of a fob.
The lone worker alarm sits in a cut-out and the staff member’s usual ID card is slid in the front of the holder, meaning a service user cannot see there is anything other than an ID badge, but the staff member can quickly press the buttons and feel the vibration feedback that indicates someone is listening and assessing the situation. You won’t find it anywhere else on the market.
Get in Touch to Find Out More
We are always ready and waiting to listen to your concerns about the safety of your staff, or even your current lone worker provider. If we can help, we will.