Following the launch of Chat-GPT, 2023 has seen a surge in AI tools focusing on content creation such as text or image generation, but what about the application of AI in the safety space? Here we take a closer look at HomeSafe, the world’s first lone-working solution with AI monitoring, to find out how it works and why it could be a game changer for organisations with lone-workers and business travellers.
In a connected world, is there still a need for lone working systems?
Whilst many organisations invest in training and equipment, when it comes to location-based safety monitoring, there is still much room for improvement across all sectors. However, poor or non-existent lone-worker safety measures are being prosecuted by HSE under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and so implementing a safety monitoring solution is an essential part of safeguarding at the employee-level and risk mitigation at the organisational-level.
Historically, investment in digital lone-working systems has been constrained to specialised businesses, and typically for only a small proportion of staff, due to the high system and management costs involved. For example, in the construction sector, lone-working solutions may be available for individual construction workers, however many supporting roles that also travel or work on their own will not benefit from any safety monitoring – such roles can include site auditors, training staff, HR advisors or simply office staff working late at night.
But a lone-working solution isn’t just for a typical site worker, indeed HSE’s latest guidelines reinforce the responsibility organisations have towards the increasing number of employees working from home, and so a solution that is flexible and powerful for regular travellers – yet cost effective for ad-hoc users – is needed now more than ever.
What’s the issue with safety monitoring today?
Organisations aware of their responsibilities and risks may use methods which range from whiteboards to record staff locations and times, messaging groups, or a digital lone-working solution.
A typical digital lone-working solution will consist of a dedicated device or mobile app running on a smart phone which is activated by staff whilst working. The mobile app/device will require users to confirm their safety at regular intervals or send an alarm if the user does not respond within a certain time. Users can also trigger an alarm manually if required.
The generated alarm would typically go to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), think of it like a call-centre staffed with people watching the screen and ready to respond to any incoming requests for help. The ARC would follow your instructions on how to handle an alarm, this might involve contacting the users line manager or calling the emergency services if certain conditions are met. The ARC would provide a 24/7 human monitoring service or be tailored to your business hours.
However, an ARC represents a significant cost for organisations needing to implement safety monitoring, and quite often escalations would come back into line managers to provide local context in any case – somewhat negating the ARC in the first place. Also, the majority of time paying for an ARC may be idle time or dealing with false alarms (e.g. users forgetting to check-in) as organisations are thankfully not facing genuine emergencies every hour. Up until now however there has been little choice to avoid these large costs. Even those organisations that handle incoming requests directly may find the management overheads to be a burden.
How is HomeSafe different from other solutions?
HomeSafe represents a generational leap in how lone-worker monitoring is provided. Techfinity, the developers of HomeSafe created the system in response to feedback across the Consulting, Construction and Utility sectors which revealed ‘at-risk’ staff travelling and working without appropriate lone-working safeguards in place due to high cost/overhead of such systems. With Techfinity already undertaking research into responsible-AI development from 2018, they created an AI system capable of performing the monitoring and escalation usually undertaken by humans. In doing so, it is now possible to remove a major cost and obstacle to the wide-scale adoption of digital lone-working solutions – something that is particularly needed for cost sensitive sectors such as charities or organisations with ad-hoc requirements.
The HomeSafe AI automatically scales to your needs with the solution providing precise monitoring for each individual irrespective of how small or large your organisation is. And because it’s like having a human on the other side, HomeSafe AI can even alert you in situations where workers miss a check-in due to having no battery or network coverage. An added benefit is the increased privacy gained from fewer people having access to your data as compared with services using manual monitoring.
Isn’t AI technology expensive?
Techfinity, the company behind HomeSafe, recognise they are in a privileged position to create AI solutions that can positively impact the lives of millions of people globally. With a reputation for high performance, reliability and security, Techfinity have taken a responsible approach to the development of AI and price ethically so that safety solutions like HomeSafe can be accessible to all. With HomeSafe, digital lone-worker safety management is now viable for rollout across entire organisations and accessible to a much wider range of workers than was possible before.
Would it work for my organisation?
HomeSafe provides a wide range of settings to tailor the solution to each organisations’ operations and policies. The award winning solution is ideal for regular travellers and home workers as well as those with ad-hoc safeguarding needs such as international travel or attending off-site events. Additionally, its many built-in privacy features provide reassurance for users without compromising safety.
What benefits could I expect with HomeSafe?
HomeSafe helps you meet your corporate responsibilities whilst providing a simple solution for mobile workers to confirm their safety or quickly get assistance in an emergency. The solution demonstrates your legal commitment to employee safety and wellbeing whilst providing assurance for users, managers and company Directors.
HomeSafe frees organisations from the costs of an expensive ARC and the burden of needing to be constantly online with staff able to manage-by-exception and avoid the regular overheads associated with other systems.
For organisations already using an ARC – or considering one – the total costs saving from HomeSafe can be substantial.
The cost efficiency allows companies to implement a single standardised solution across their organisation covering all staff rather than a select few, further providing the benefit of centralised management, visibility, and auditability.