What to ask when choosing between safety apps and devices: Part II
If you haven’t read our previous blog on key questions to ask when choosing the right safety device, I recommend doing so before reading on.
What sort of certification does the monitoring centre have?
Following on from last time where you just checked who was monitoring the safety device.
Okay, so you have looked into who is monitoring the safety device. Great, excellent work. You have discovered that it is, in fact, a monitoring centre and not someone’s iPhone. Even better. Now, what kind of certification does the monitoring centre have? Certification for security monitoring centres are based on Australian Standards. The centre could be graded or un-graded according to Australian Standards. You might want to check a little closer though than graded or not.
A grade from A-C is given to Building services and construction. Operation, equipment and staff are graded from 1 – 3. This results in 9 grades A1 – C3. If you find the monitoring centre you are looking at is a C3 facility, that’s fine for some things but you might want to keep searching. If the monitoring centre is an A1 facility, like that of the WSG Safety App, you are in good hands. Also, it’s worth noting that A1 centres have faster response times. In the event of an emergency, seconds can matter.
The two most common certifiers in Australia are:
Where was the safety device made?
This is particularly important if you are considering a safety app. Was the safety app made in Australia? You might wonder why this is important. There are a number of reasons to buy an Australian made product. Not least of all is supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs. Buying Australian made helps keep the Australian economy strong.
“There is a direct correlation between consumer purchasing behaviour and employment, local economic development and prosperity. When you buy Australian-made and grown products, you can be sure you are keeping your family members and friends employed” (The Australian Made website).
But there are other practical concerns to take into consideration as well. For example, was the safety app designed for a country with higher download speeds? If so, this can affect some of the app’s features. For example, Australia has an average download speed of 8.2Mbps. Whereas, the United Kingdom has an average of 16.6Mbps.
When you buy Australian made you also get the benefit of speaking directly to the developers if there is an issue that you need to address. If you purchase a safety app that was developed and maintained overseas you may find you have to speak to a third party re-seller. There could also be delays while they contact developers in a different time zone.
What’s better for a safety device? Hardware versus Software.
This is a big question. In the past mobile phones weren’t capable of providing the type of safety many lone workers need. That changed with the development of smartphones, which a staggering 89% of Australian’s now have. This means that choosing a software device, like the WSG Safety App, can save you money, as there is no second device to purchase. Not only that, but there’s also no extra device to charge, or possibly forget whilst walking out the door. Smartphones have become so integrated into the daily working life of Australian’s you can ensure that your staff will always have their device with them if they need it.
Sometimes a situation seems fine until you are in it, you won’t always have time to backtrack and pick up a safety device. Whereas, if your staff have the app loaded onto your phone it’s there at a moment’s notice. Another plus with software is the ability for it to be updated as technologies enhance. Many of the older style safety devices ran on the 2G Network. Telstra is closing their 2G Network in December of this year, which means these safety devices will have to be replaced. Again more costs for a new compatible safety device. With an app based safety device, you will always have the latest updates at no extra cost.
Apps and the BYO device era.
Many safety apps, like the WSG Safety App, are free to download. This makes it ideal for employers wanting to provide a safety solution without incurring those extra costs. Especially in today’s era of BYO devices. Love it or hate it, BYO devices within companies has become common practice over the last few years, with little sign of ending. One of the advantages is that employees are using the same device for personal and professional use, which means that they can always have their safety solution with them. Whether they are out for a morning run or checking on a home care patient. In the past when phones weren’t equipped with accurate location services, a separate safety device may have been necessary. Today, however, a professionally monitored safety app is all you need.
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