The Alert-a-buddy system uses SMS to improve employee safety

04 November 20152 minutes

Alert-a-buddy SMS

With more than half of lone workers experiencing aggression at some point in their careers, it’s easy to understand why the safety of employees out on their own for work is high on the priority list for businesses. Alert-a-buddy is an automated buddy system that relies on SMS to help reduce workload and provide a vital and robust employee safety net for lone workers around the clock, 365 days a year.

When people are out working on their own – often in the homes of strangers – this creates a substantial risk. If something happened to them, how soon would anyone know about it?  Would their employer be able to respond effectively, involving emergency services if necessary? Alert-a-buddy allows users to check in via SMS before they travel or work on their own. If they don’t respond to the system’s reminder messages with their PIN when they should, it escalates the alarm to their designated emergency contacts.

Commercial Director for Alert-a-buddy, Alanna Lawrie-Fussey, says that the near instant delivery of SMS messages helps to ensure that, “if someone is in a sticky situation, their employer knows about it rapidly and knows where they are, which can even include getting the phone location from the phone network”.

SMS replaces archaic, labor intensive employee safety systems

Many of Alert-a-buddy’s clients previously had an informal, old-fashioned buddy system in place before turning to the automated SMS-driven solution. Managers might have called everyone throughout the day to check that they were OK. But, as Lawrie-Fussey says, “these archaic systems are both unreliable and very labour-intensive. Alert-a-buddy frees up the managers’ time and provides a robust buddy system that users can rely on.”

According to statistics, six in every ten lone workers experience some sort of aggression while performing their duties with one in ten experiencing physically aggressive attacks – being threatened with a weapon, or being held against their will. Legally, employers have a responsibility to ensure that lone workers are safeguarded and do not face greater risk than any other employees while working. Alert-a-buddy helps automate the employee safety process to ensure that it is not labor or cost intensive by making use of SMS messaging.

SMS is universal and therefore a great solution

Lawrie-Fussey says that SMS is a great solution for providing the often life-critical support that the lone workers need. “SMS messaging provides a quick and easy way for users to communicate with our system. Everyone is so familiar with SMS that it’s often the easiest way for them to communicate. It also works well for our business in that (unlike an app), it works the same way across ALL makes and models of phones, on all operating platforms.”

As is the case for all SMS messaging customers, reliability is key. But, in the case of the services Alert-a-buddy offers, it’s absolutely vital to ensure their clients’ employee safety. Lawrie-Fussey explains that this is exactly why they switched to Clickatell as their primary SMS provider.