Many companies associate lone workers as employees who work away from their base, but leading tool manufacturer, Hilti, realised that lone workers can be equally vulnerable when working alone in a retail environment although the company has ‘under the counter’ panic buttons.
As a responsible employer, Hilti acknowledged that it had a duty of care to its staff and wanted to ensure their safety so Hilti decided to provide them with lone worker devices. The company’s initial choice of device proved unsatisfactory as the batteries needed frequent recharging, the units were unreliable and often self-activated. When searching for a device-based solution provided by a company approved through audit against BS8484, and with the additional benefit of being the only lone worker device to be awarded ACPO’s Secured by Design (SBD) status, Stuart Lamb, National Hilti Centre Manager, chose Identicom® as part of a SoloProtect lone worker protection solution from Connexion2.
“We looked at other devices on the market but chose Identicom as it is simple to use and is backed by Connexion2’s excellent pricing structure and service”, said Stuart Lamb. “In addition, the fact that the company and its solutions featuring Identicom, have been audited and approved against BS8484, the new British Standard for Lone Worker Device Services, provides us and our employees with additional reassurance”.
Hilti now has 39 Identicom units, with 25 being used by personnel working in its 21 stores and 14, equipped with GPS, for mobile workers who travel from store to store.
In March 2010 USDAW (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers – including the shop workers union, key representatives from local and national government, police, and retail employers) reported that there were over 13,000 physical attacks in 2009 as well as hundreds of thousands of retail staff facing verbal abuse routinely.
Unlike ‘under the counter’ panic buttons which are more costly to install and often cannot be reached if the shop worker is away from the counter stacking shelves or checking on product, the Identicom is always to hand and operable whether the worker is opening or closing premises, inside the store, outside on a banking run or in transit to or from the store. It provides an innovative solution to the problems of verbal abuse and physical assault by enabling the shop worker to discreetly summon help at the touch of a button, without breaking eye contact with an aggressor, regardless of where they are and without the expensive of installing a wired infrastructure. The product also facilitates the recording of credible audio-evidence, which is admissible in court proceedings helping facilitate a criminal conviction at a later date.
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