• rebecca telfer
    22
    Hi Team
    After a recent emergency evacuation event, we held a debrief to get feedback from all of our employees on how the company performed.
    One thing that was suggested was, that the company investigate possible cellphone apps for all staff to download so that managers can communicate during and after the event with their team members.

    There was a lot of discussion around that it is a great idea, but would it work on WiFi,hot spoting or data (some of our young people don't have data on their phone, which is another issue) and some phones can not download apps - like the Covid-19 one.

    my question is: has anyone got such app that they use in their business? if so what were you reasoning for the app? Are there any free apps out there?
    thanks
  • Andrew
    322
    We just use a bulk txt messaging service
  • Petra Hakansson
    6
    Hi Rebecca
    This is a conversation we're having with a lot of our clients over the last year. Our speciality is lone and remote worker solutions but most of the solutions we use have a group messaging capability. The Everywhere solution allows satellite and apps to be visible in the same mapping hub and you can geographically or by groups mass message and co-ordinate (users in the field can also send "feed messages to colleagues by group or all etc). It has a lot of our useful functionality such as geofencing and welfare checks etc. It's not free unfortunately but it is very good.
  • rebecca telfer
    22
    thanks for your help. There are a few out there, just need to find one to serve our purpose
  • Petra Hakansson
    6
    of course :) There's a bunch of info on this link: https://guardianangelsecurity.co.nz/guardian-everywhere-hub/ happy to have a chat as well if you want to get in touch. Our council clients use a variety of different solutions including a group/bulk messaging gateway but this of course doesn't give the visibility on a map. good luck!
  • Cheryl Hynson
    2
    I've worked in companies that had staff entering remote sites and many without the ability to keep in contact (NZ & overseas). The staff either had e.g. mobile phone tracing connection, Location monitors which attached to their person (includes fall monitoring)..noting that some initially had nil or limited tracking equipment and relied on a JSA noting possible risks. The companies with staff entering a no-contact region ensured they had robust processes of notification/monitoring prior, included in e.g. JSA's, Hazard and Risk Registers. The companies also had procedures to have the staff 'check in ' once outside the area and also a company 'check the staff site exit process' .... to check the staff notified the company of exit and also to check if there was no staff check in carried out. One company, due to remote sites, also provided a 'rescue pack' should staff find it necessary to 'camp down' (e.g. injury, poor weather, vehicle problems preventing leaving, ) while the area e.g. weather settled/while the company sent out a 'finder' for the staff member. It took open and frank discussion with staff & was not a fast process, seeking out the appropriate supplied/tools for the company/staff/region. It took time to set up, train/practice as/if able, and also cost a committed budget. From this work there was also a process to extract staff from overseas environments detrimental to their health and safety.
  • Don Ramsay
    43
    We have a distress alarm in our vehicles that when activated sends an alert to 2 people, and it does work as I tested it the other day without warning them. It is a function within our GPS platform.
  • rebecca telfer
    22
    hi Petra, would love to have a chat, i think mass messaging would be the way to go for us. my email is
  • Petra Hakansson
    6
    @Don Ramsay - most vehicle solutions rely on cell cover to send alerts. If your vehicles don't leave cell cover that's of course fine. There's often a misconception that GPS means it has cover everywhere... it does but it needs a network to send the data/alert out. It stores the info until the vehicle is back in cell cover (unless the solution has been iridium connected which some can be). It's just worth understanding as we often come across solutions that people think "have cover everywhere" but they don't. We've also seen alerts be sent to people who are both away from their phones, on leave or their phones are flat or the message never got there (sms and emails are unreliable and shouldn't really be relied upon for critical alerts).
  • Petra Hakansson
    6
    apps only work off line if they have intelligent routing that allows them to use wifi/data. There is no other way for an app to work. Iridium is the only network globally with no black spots and there's a range of devices for comms and SOS and tracking that you can use. It's 100% achievable and not financially prohibitive any longer.
  • Petra Hakansson
    6
    Hi Cheryl. That's a lot of manual processes and reliance on people to remember. The right technology allows you to automate all these things in and out of cell cover. With tracking, comms, welfare checks and geo fences on an iridium connected solution and/or app you have 100% cover absolutely everywhere so there's really no need to rely on manual processes any loner.
  • Kip Mandeno
    18
    We keep it simple and use whatsapp predominantly to mass communicate across our teams and you can set up groups easily and its free. Obviously no data, no cell phone reception so then its no worky but hey you could always use smoke signals, but will only work outside, there is always a block to implementation from somebody. There is no such thing as "100% will always work" unless you throw money at the problem, remember to also look at the problem and also to assess the need to train people how to respond when there is no comms. Often these issues are addressed from a "management will tell you how to" perspective instead of a "this is how we respond" perspective. We prefer simple lightweight approaches such as "if an event happens, communicate" we don't care how you do it just do it. Whilst we make every endeavour to give them the tools and abilty to communicate we expect it to fall over and they will have to solve it on the day.
  • Petra Hakansson
    6
    You get what you pay for is true in most cases. Using solutions with intelligent routing (will use cell/wifi/iridium) will indeed give you 100% cover. So yes, there is such a thing. But of course, it does rely on companies investing in the right solutions and making sure their policies are updated to reflect this and that the staff are trained to use them the right way. You can call it throwing money on it, but if it actually really solves a safety issue, and makes sure you're compliant with the "effective works of communication" responsibility of a PCBU it's worth throwing money on (if the business can afford it of course!). We just heard from a client today who had been audited by Worksafe and they were told they have to have better visibility of their staff. There is no such thing as "out of cover" any more. It's solvable so no excuse.
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