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January 16, 2012

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Lone workers targeted as part of health and safety makeover

Carol Mallion, a neighbourhood officer based in Wirral, Merseyside, knows first hand how useful the new scheme will be. She explained: “Previously, in situations where I have felt things were too volatile and I felt threatened, I used to have to deal with it my own way. But having the Blackberrys, where we can press a button and know the situation is being listened in to and monitored, is fantastic. They can hear what is happening, respond to a red alert if needed, and because of the GPS tracking, will always know where I am. It will definitely make me feel a lot more secure in my work.”

The lone-worker project was finalised after a group of staff were consulted. They tried out various different systems, with the Blackberry devices judged to be the best option.

The lone-worker scheme, which will also see the Suzy Lamplugh Trust providing staff with training on how to deal with violence and aggression, is the first wave of projects and events organised as part of We Care, a campaign devised by Regenda to take some of the mystery out of health and safety.

Matthew Callcott, health, safety and facilities manager at the housing group, said: “One of the aims of We Care is to uncomplicate health and safety for staff, to make it relevant to their working lives, and to make it easier for them to understand and work with. As well as the lone-worker project, we are introducing very simple measures, such as an easy-to-use, dynamic risk-assessment pad, which takes some of the headache out of paperwork and will hopefully encourage more people to consider the issue.

“There will also be a link to our well-being sessions, such as massage in the workplace. Staff were also given goodie bags of We Care products – some fun to get the message across, others of practical use. In essence, We Care is a straightforward, common-sense approach to health and safety – an important issue that often suffers from an image problem!”

Regenda Group chief executive Bernard Gallagher added: “We Care is a great way of getting staff more involved in health and safety. By making it more relevant to them and their day-to-day lives, we can work together to create and maintain a safer and healthier working environment for everyone. Our key asset is our people and we are committed to developing our workforce to give them the skills to grow and develop our business. We Care is just one of the ways we are doing that.”

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