Barwon Water (Barwon Region Water Corporation) is Victoria’s largest regional urban water corporation. It provides high quality water, recycled water and sewage services to more than 298,000 permanent residents. As a major employer in the region, it has approximately 300 operational, engineering, strategic planning, financial and administrative staff.
Barwon Water launched StaySafe for all their employees in September 2016 in order to monitor employee safety while traveling and working alone.
Barwon Water elected to have enough licenses to cover the entire workforce, despite not all employees being identified as high risk. The corporation believes all staff members have the potential to work alone.
This may mean staying late in the office or a single remote site visit and, as such, Barwon Water wanted to ensure it had the ability to protect and monitor every employee if required.
Prior to launching StaySafe, Barwon Water had a number of safety measures in place to protect different work groups, including a working alone register via its staff intranet, key stroke monitoring, mobile radios, satellite and mobile phones and internal calendars. However, concerns were raised internally via audits, surveys and committee meetings over the effectiveness of the current measures, in particular:
- lack of unified approach
- some systems not robust enough
- systems potentially not used in all required situations
- difficulty in correctly identifying the system users
- no GPS locating ability
In response to the concerns, Barwon Water felt it needed a more robust and unified solution to controlling the risks associated with working alone.
Barwon Water primarily uses StaySafe’s check-in function, which they have set at a mandatory two hours, to allow them to monitor employee wellbeing. The SMS fallback feature has also been useful to keep track of employees working in more remote locations where signal can be low.
Fortunately, since launching the app Barwon Water has only had false alarms. During those instances, Barwon Water was able to locate the staff members and follow the escalation procedures leading to a quick and efficient resolution.