Do you know your employees are safe?
30 May 2019
StaySafe has launched IncidentEye, an app that helps organisations locate and protect employees quickly and effectively during an emergency.
In recent years, the nature of terrorist attacks across the world has shifted. Acts of terrorism are increasingly being carried out by lone agents against soft targets, in busy streets or establishments and during working hours. Lone individuals launch attacks at their own will in a range of public areas and likely involve the use of vehicles, knives and other handheld devices.
While such attacks generally result in fewer casualties, the unpredictability and rising frequency of attacks cause mass panic and fear as they target groups of individuals while carrying out their daily lives. 2017 saw a high number of these types of attacks such as the Manchester Bombing and the London Bridge vehicle-ramming and stabbing.
In recent months, other attacks around the world have taken the public by surprise as they target commercial and public spaces and are carried out by both lone wolves and groups of extremists. In the UK five letter bombs were sent to offices near major transport hubs including Lone Waterloo train station and Heathrow airport. An IRA group claimed responsibility for the series of bombs.
In New Zealand, a lone attacker entered two mosques and shot at worshippers, killing 50 and injuring a further 50. The attack came as a complete shock to the country which had never experienced a terrorist attack before.
More recently, three luxury hotels and three churches were bombed in Sri Lanka, claiming at least 250 lives. Hotels were purposefully targeted in order to kill and injure people from around the world. Eight Britons were killed in the attacks, one of whom was visiting the country on business.
Such incidents demonstrate that terror attacks can occur against any target and in any environment. Not only does this increase fear amongst members of the public, but also large organisations and businesses whose employees are more likely to get caught up in an attack while under their care.
But what can and should businesses be doing to protect their employees from the threat of terrorism?
Whilst the chance of getting caught up in a terrorist attack is low, the impact on communities, businesses and individuals when it does happen, is substantial. The level of unease and fear that terrorist incidents cause is high, and it is likely that your employees have worries, especially when visiting cities and large events.
Being prepared and having solutions in place to ensure the safety of employees, is not only good practice but can also ensure businesses are meeting their duty of care.
Businesses are legally required to protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees as far as is reasonably practicable. This includes having emergency procedures in place for a number of possible incidents. As part of a risk assessment, organisations should consider the level of risk for employees getting caught up in a terrorist attack.
When assessing the potential risk, some factors to consider include;
- Location of your business e.g. are you located in a large city?
- Size and nature of your business. Could you become a target for terrorists? E.g. as a political or economic target. Or as an establishment housing large numbers of people.
- How and where your employees travel for work e.g. through busy streets or shopping centres
- Whether your employees work abroad in areas with higher rates of terrorism
Managing employees during an incident
Perhaps the first step and the greatest challenge in the aftermath of an incident is locating employees who could be affected and ensuring their safety.
As more organisations turn towards less traditional ways of operating, such as using remote and lone workers, manual methods are no longer a viable solution. Calling employees individually is much too time-consuming during a time-critical situation and missing a call leaves both the employee and the employer in the dark.
Fortunately, developments in technology and the widespread use of mobile devices today are providing solutions to many of our incident management challenges. Whether it be warning individuals of a nearby incident, providing peace of mind for friends, family and employers, or communicating practical advice necessary to keep safe, technology is able to offer a solution.
But how can technology provide a way for businesses with a large and varied workforce to locate and protect their employees?
IncidentEye allows you to quickly answer the most important questions a business faces in the aftermath of an event; are my employees in the affected area and are they safe?
The IncidentEye app lays dormant on an employee’s phone until an incident is activated in the hub. Using geofencing, the affected area can be isolated on a map and all employees within the vicinity will be immediately alerted via the app with details of the event and prompted to specify whether they are safe or in danger. This enables you to focus on the employees who need assistance, with no disruption for unaffected staff.
When an incident is active, monitors can view employees’ safety status in real time and respond accordingly. In-app messages can be sent to the affected individuals or groups of individuals, with crucial information. For example, you may choose to;
- Instruct those in the affected area to evacuate
- Warn those nearby to avoid the affected area
- Provide official government advice on how to deal with the situation
- Update employees as the incident progresses and once it is resolved
Ultimately, IncidentEye provides a way for businesses to continue to run as smoothly as possible by accounting for all employees and focusing support where it is needed most. Having a reliable and efficient solution in place not only provides peace of mind for the business but for the workforce as a whole.
StaySafe says that IncidentEye enables businesses to locate and protect their employees when an incident occurs, better meet their duty of care and ensure that the organisation can recover quickly and effectively following a disaster.
For more information visit: https://www.incidenteye.com/