SoloProtect and bpha announce partnership to boost lone worker safety

SoloProtect, the international lone worker solution provider, has announced an addition to its customer relationship with bpha, the Bedford-based Housing Association that manages over 19,000 homes across the Oxford to Cambridge arc. Keen to innovate and aware of the benefits that emerging lone worker technology can bring, bhpa has chosen to trial a body-worn video (BWV)-enabled solution from SoloProtect to deliver comprehensive protection for employees.

Already a well-established user of SoloProtect, bpha has recently supplied four of its housing officers with SoloProtect ID Pro with a view to rolling out this type of device to a wider group of staff if the trial’s successful.

SoloProtect has delivered lone worker technology for use by over 300,000 lone workers since the company’s inception in 2003. The business remains at the forefront of the lone worker industry and continues to strive to offer solutions that are innovative and highly accessible to users, with a high level of customer service and, importantly, a clear return on investment for the deploying organisation.

bpha employs over 400 staff in the UK. Its vision is ‘to build communities where people can live happily in a home they can afford’.

Deployment in high risk areas

bpha is looking into deploying SoloProtect ID Pro in high risk areas where concerns or incidents have been recorded. The solution, which was made available to customers from late 2019, is a dedicated lone worker device with optional BWV technology and a host of other features to assist a user’s personal safety.

The product differs from most traditional body cameras in that a discreet ID badge form-factor is retained. Te device is designed for incident-driven recording only rather than it being deployed for continuous video capture. This incident-driven approach allows video evidence to be streamed directly to a SoloProtect Alarm Receiving Centre. Video recording is instigated by the device user opening a ‘Red Alert’ on their device. This allows operators to support a lone worker during a live event while it’s still in progress rather than being available only in retrospect.

It also makes the ID Pro an accessible and flexible device to deploy, and one that’s less resource-hungry than many traditional systems that require large amounts of video data to be managed – specifically regarding dock and download, storage and redaction. This can be a key consideration for meeting data protection requirements.

SoloProtect manages all video on behalf of the client as part of a General Data Protection Regulation-compliant solution, using the functionality of the device to reduce the alarm verification time where possible. This hastens the escalation process to deliver assistance for a given lone worker. bpha personnel issued with an ID Pro will be using the video verification capability to assist their personal safety where required.

Employee safety “paramount”

Matthew Hunt, Health and Safety and environment officer at bpha, said: “The safety of our employees is paramount. We’re really excited to be trialling the ID Pro devices. We’ve worked closely with SoloProtect for a number of years now and have found the company’s lone worker solutions invaluable. Adding video as another level of safety makes perfect sense and is something that I expect to benefit us hugely.”

Craig Swallow, managing director at SoloProtect, commented: “We’re delighted to be supplying bpha with our ID Pro solution and look forward to seeing how the team works with the new devices. When we started developing the ID Pro, we always wanted comprehensive safety of the individual lone worker to be at the heart of the product’s functionality. We believe the product delivers this. It’s great to be able to deliver a device that can significantly speed up alarm verification and yield the best possible response for the end user.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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