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Connexion2 and the IIRSM (International Institute of Risk & Safety Management) have announced a strategic partnership and are currently in the process of working closely on a range of projects in order to raise the profile of lone worker safety to both businesses and individuals. Founded in 1975, the IIRSM's vision is that health and safety becomes a priority for everybody, with a mandate to provide recognition, information, support and enhancement (RISE) to it's membership, which now spans over seventy countries.
The issue of 'Lone Worker' is still a relatively young industry, and has always had strong links with those in Health & Safety - however, a number of key drivers are moving it up the corporate agenda and increasing the profile across the wider organisation:
1) Insurance costs
Insurance companies are increasingly becoming engaged with the issue of lone worker safety. The deployment of a BS8484 approved solution (more on this later) is a clear indicator that an organisation is attempting to remove business risk and meet its duty of care to staff. Clear differentiators such as the former example hopefully demonstrate a clear way to assess how stakeholders impacting on the costs attributed to an organisation can potentially make reductions where appropriate.
Moving forward, Connexion2 and IIRSM are continuing to engage with progressive insurers who are able to pass on the benefits of responsible corporate governance, specifically in relation to lone workers, in the form of more attractive premiums. We hope to update further across 2012.
The British Standard for lone worker device services gives all specifiers of lone worker solutions a clear benchmark against which to judge the individual merits of a UK provider. When introduced as the first standard for lone worker device services in 2009, it was clear this would affect how the market and ultimately the Police judge a credible solution. The standard was developed in conjunction with ACPO (Association for Chief Police Officers, England, Wales and Northern Ireland) the and BSIA's (British Security Industry Association) Lone Worker Steering Group.
3) Legislative factors
Many countries around the world have a raft of Health and Safety legislation where breaches can lead to significant fines (Enforced by the Health & Safety Executive in the U.K.), however the additional moves toward formalised criminal legislation relating to the death or injury of emoloyees is continuing to develop. In the UK, the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (C.M.C.H) gave a clear message that proper provision for the safety of staff must be met in order to mitigate financial risk to an organisation. Huge fines running into several hundred thousand pounds can be levied for being found guilty of breaching the act, which aside from the obvious distress and upset a death in the workplace would cause, can also lead to enforced publicity statements and subsequent reputational brand damage.
Charges relating to C.M.C.H only apply to an organisation, however Gross Negligence Manslaughter cases against individuals can also run concurrently where substantial evidence is evident combined with it being deemed in the public interest by the C.P.S (Crown Prosecution Service).
The Police are undoubtedly another key stakeholder in the context of a lone worker alarm alongside an individual worker, and an employer. With current efficiency drives and a reduction in Police resources, it is vital that time and personnel are used responsibly and consistently in line with clear guidelines for eliciting a response in an appropriate situation. Any lone worker alarm is only worth as much as the response it elicits - the introduction of BS8484 prompted ACPO to release guidelines to Police Forces on how to respond to lone worker alarms. Being approved against BS8484 by audit is the only way to guarantee an emergency Police escalation one level above a 999 call (i.e. regionally) through a URN (Unique Reference Number).
These guidelines were updated in July 2011, to further position the guarantee of a Police response to be determined by the process of being audited and approved against BS8484, specifically through a UKAS (UK Accreditation Service) registered body, specifically to "meet the requirements laid down in BS8484" . The update concluded:
For more info see a news item relating to the updating of ACPO guidelines in the Summer of 2011:
For more information on key drivers please view our Why Lone Worker? Section.
For all new corporate and individual members signing up as a result of a via Connexion2, just reference the below promotional code when applying and you will receive a discount of 15% if signing up to be a Corporate member or 20% if you are an individual member (through waiving of registration fee for individuals) *
To find out more please contact Zoe Kavadas at the IIRSM directly by e-mail.
* Terms and conditions apply - only applies to new members, this offer does not apply to any membership renewals. The above code must be quoted at the sign-up stage in order to receive a discount.