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It was announced last week that a recent survey conducted by Inside Housing found front line housing workers had reported a total of 8,898 assaults from January 2009 to March 2012, which represents a 35% increase from the previous year. 1,350 of the reported assaults were physical attacks.
A housing officer working in the South East of England recalled how one attack resulted in injuries requiring a trip to accident and emergency and 40 stitches.
With 90% of respondents stating they work on their own some of the time, the need for a discreet and reliable protection device is essential to protect workers against such verbal and physical attacks.
A neighbourhood officer that took part in the survey stated more training on lone working and personal safety needed to be given, while other front line housing employees wanted more advanced lone worker systems to help protect them against attacks.
All of the above further highlights that whilst a lot of good work has been done in the sector by Housing Associations and tenants alike, it is still important that staff working alone are properly equipped to deal with the situations they are placed within, giving a lone worker a means to receive monitoring or communicate during a hostile situation.
The Identicom lone worker device, manufactured by Connexion2, is a mobile GSM communications device designed as an identity card holder allowing easy wear, discreet operation and integration with any work uniform.
If a user feels their safety could be compromised the user can activate a 'Red Alert' on the device, making a telephone call to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). The call is then monitored by a dedicated handler at the ARC and is then escalated in line with the required response for that lone worker.
The device also benefits from a 'Man Down' feature, automatically raising an alarm if a user becomes incapacitated due to a health problem or a slip, trip or fall, ideal for maintenance workers.
Identicom has been integrated into front line workers daily routines, helping Housing Associations throughout the UK protect their lone workers.
Connexion2 is approved through audit against BS8484 the British Standard for Lone Worker Device Services. This ensures a guaranteed and time efficient Police escalation where appropriate, offering peace of mind for both the user and organisation.
Click here to take the interactive Identicom demonstration.
The Inside Housing survey revealed "over half of all respondents believe their employer does not always do enough to protect its workers from assault". Don't become another number, click here to find out more about protecting your staff.