Yorkshire entrepreneurs launch lone worker company

L/R: Alicia Mather, Matthew Watson, Simon Mackenzie, David Atkins, Neil Addinall, Nick Hunter and Angela Addinall.

Yorkshire entrepreneurs launch lone worker company

A group of entrepreneurs from South Yorkshire have launched a lone worker company after spotting a gap in the market.

Based in Selby, First2HelpYou has only been operating for a couple of weeks but has already signed up several new clients.

The seven-strong team behind the company is made up of directors from Careline Security of Selby as well as former employees of a South Yorkshire lone worker company which was bought out.

First2HelpYou managing director Neil Addinall said: “Between us we know the security and lone worker industry incredibly well and we know that there are a lot of people out there working alone with little or no protection.

“So setting up the company seemed an obvious next step.

“It may be a new company but the people behind it have literally decades of experience in the field, so we expect to grow quickly.”

It is estimated there are up to 8 million people who, for at least part of their week, work alone.

That is 22% of the working population and includes social workers, district nurses, farm workers, security staff, lorry drivers, rent collectors and builders.

Alicia Mather, sales and operations director at First2HelpYou, said it isn’t just legal obligations that should make employers take lone worker safety seriously.

“Not looking after lone workers properly can also mean lower morale amongst staff, decreased productivity and greater sickness absence, as well as greater risk to the staff and the company – and its reputation.

“So it makes sense legally, financially and morally to look after lone workers.”

First2HelpYou has developed a small device, just 41mm across, that fits in the palm of a hand and features an SOS button, GPS detector, man-down sensor and two-way audio facility.

The KIT device is so small it can be attached to a belt, keychain or hidden inside an ID badge, and it is compliant with the British Standard for lone worker provision (8484:2016).

Alicia continued: “Because everyone involved in First2HelpYou has so much knowledge of the industry we can make sure the equipment and systems we are offering really are the best they can be.

“We don’t believe in one size fits all with lone worker solutions. We know that staff have different needs.

“For example, someone who is customer-facing, such as a housing association worker, has very different needs to someone who is working alone in a warehouse.”

The company has also developed an app for both Android phones and iPhones, which has virtually the same features as the KIT device, and they will offer face to face training in implementing and using equipment across all products.

Alicia added: “We need to make sure that everyone knows how the equipment works and buys into the idea.

“After all clever technology won’t work if it is left in the glove compartment or in its box in the office.

“This is about making sure people really are safe and it’s not all just some box-ticking exercise.”