A new app has been launched to turn smartphones into personal safety devices that provide live, round the clock assistance for employees travelling to and from their place of work. The app, by leading tech firm Peoplesafe, has been developed in response to growing demand from businesses seeking ways to protect their employees outside of working hours. Uniquely, it includes an SOS alarm that immediately connects users to a team of trained specialists to offer 24/7 support and even bypass 999 to contact emergency services, where necessary, at no extra cost.
The app has been designed by personal safety experts to be simple and swift to use. If a user feels threatened or unsafe, they can hold down the SOS Alarm button for one second to be connected to Peoplesafe’s trained and accredited Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) in under six seconds, on average. The alarm controller can automatically access the user’s GPS location in case emergency service assistance is needed. App users will also be able to share their live location with chosen contacts via SMS, whatsapp or Facebook messenger, helping to provide peace of mind on their journey.
From hospital workers and bar staff to city bankers and security staff, many people have to commute during unsociable hours or travel alone, increasing their vulnerability. Recent research found 91% of hospitality workers feel unsafe when travelling home from work*: finding ways to minimise this vulnerability and support staff is crucial for firms aiming to improve employee wellbeing.
As more firms announce plans to continue a hybrid approach to home and office working, the app will also offer a wellbeing check feature for companies to increase communication with those working remotely, including a mood assessment scale and a comments box to check in on team members during the working day.
Peoplesafe CEO Naz Dossa said: “The Peoplesafe app enables businesses to extend their duty of care to all employees beyond the working day. The mental health and wellbeing of staff has risen to the fore over the last 18 months and this kind of measure can make a huge difference to the level of support available to employees.
“The app is more than just a panic button: our Alarm Receiving Centre answers SOS alarms in a matter of seconds, offering anyone total peace of mind that they can access live, 24/7 support and send for help whenever and wherever they need it.”
The app is available on iOS and Android. Peoplesafe already offers a smartphone app for lone workers: Peoplesafe Pro, which is currently used by thousands of high-risk employees working alone. Accredited to the BS 8484:2016 standard, it includes additional features such as fall detection, log activity and check in/check out functionality, providing protection to those vulnerable lone workers that do not have access to back-up from nearby colleagues.
The new Peoplesafe app is not suitable for the needs of lone workers. However, it complements the Peoplesafe Pro app by enabling businesses to offer personal safety support for a wider group of employees, from individuals travelling alone or during unsociable hours, to those walking from offices to off-site car parks or even working from home.