“At the end of the trial, over 92% of Veolia’s trial participants said they would prefer to use the StaySafe app compared to our old system.”
The Veolia Group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation.
The Group designs and provides solutions for water, waste and energy management and has nearly 230,000 employees worldwide.
Throughout Australia and New Zealand, lone working is subject to specific requirements stated within the Work Health and Safety Acts and Regulations applicable to the state or country.
This legislation states that businesses must manage the risks to the health and safety of a worker who performs remote or isolated work.
Always safe – no compromise
Veolia’s Water Division, situated across Australia and New Zealand, is made up of over 830 employees, whose purpose is to support water authorities, councils, and businesses by increasing operational efficiency and improving customer service.
Veolia’s approach to safety is “Always Safe – No Compromise”. Lone working is a daily part of operations and maintenance in the water division and carries inherent risk. Ensuring their staff are safe and supported while working alone is a top priority for Veolia.
Remote locations and site hazards increase the risk to Veolia’s lone workers
Workers are often situated at remote locations or unmanned sites where they are out of contact with other workers or members of the public for extended periods of time. In addition, poor phone reception in these locations can make it difficult to notify emergency services if there is an issue while staff are alone in the field.
Hazards in these locations also add risk. These hazards can include dangerous wildlife, large bodies of water, plant and machinery.
In late 2020, Veolia made the decision to review and standardise their lone worker solution. Before deciding on a new solution, Veolia first trialled the StaySafe app to assess its suitability. The free trial allowed their lone workers to use the system during their normal workday and when responding to call-outs after hours. It also enabled users and managers to test a number of different scenarios to check the app’s usability, functionality and response process.
92% of Veolia staff preferred using the StaySafe app to their existing solution
“At the end of the trial, over 92% of Veolia’s trial participants said they would prefer to use the StaySafe app compared to our old system,” explains Scott Murphy, Manager Operational Excellence at Veolia Australia – New Zealand.
Following the successful trial, Veolia switched 60 operators and maintenance staff across its 25 Hunter region sites to StaySafe. Since that time, Veolia has moved an additional 20 staff across three sites in the Illawarra Region to StaySafe.
Why did Veolia choose StaySafe?
The StaySafe app is linked to a secure cloud-based hub that provides businesses with real-time updates on the safety status of their lone workers. In an emergency, employers can accurately locate their staff on a map and send immediate assistance to them. The hub is customisable and allows employers to create tailored reporting lines and escalation procedures to ensure lone workers get the help they need in an emergency.
The StaySafe solution benefited Veolia in a number of areas.
The positive feedback from lone workers who were a part of the trial included:
– the ease of use of the solution as a whole
– in-app training made roll out of the app smooth and quick
– being able to configure the alerts such as man-down, and panic alarms
– the GPS accuracy, which allows for faster response times if a lone worker is in danger
– the highly visible, big red button that is easy to push in an emergency and easy to change or cancel
Veolia praised the StaySafe app’s self-monitoring option, with multiple levels of escalation and configuration abilities.
However, Veolia also liked that they have the option to partner with a Grade A1 security company such as Securitas in the future. Specialist monitoring services like these can provide 24/7 monitoring and assistance, meaning alerts are responded to by trained call handlers who are available at all times.
“Part of the value provided to Veolia and our employees is the ability to easily raise an alarm and get help, or, if an incident occurs, be easily located by emergency services,” says Karen Arkinstall, Systems Manager for Veolia’s Hunter Water contract.
Implementing StaySafe in the Hunter and Illawarra regions has allowed Veolia to adhere to the health and safety requirements set out in Section 48 of the NSW Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017.
You can find out more about lone working legislation in Australia and New Zealand in our health and safety focused articles.