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Switch from buddy system to lone worker app improves staff safety and efficiency at environmental consultants RPS 


  • Lone workers at RPS face various hazards including slips and trips, extreme weather conditions, and verbal and physical attacks
  • RPS have replaced their buddy system with an easy-to-use smartphone app and cloud-based monitoring Hub to provide better protection to their lone workers
  • Tailored on-boarding and support has ensured high usage and engagement with the new solution
  •  The switch has helped to boost employee safety, efficiency and standards of work
  • Low signal mode keeps staff protected in remote areas
  •  Availability of the app on both Apple and Android operating systems has helped with rollout to all employees

Environmental practice and sustainability consultants RPS have replaced their buddy system with the StaySafe lone worker app to provide better protection to their lone workers. The switch from a manual to a tech-based solution has enabled RPS to improve staff safety, remain in contact with staff in low signal areas and boost productivity.

The diversity of services offered by RPS means that many of their sectors and clusters employ lone workers. This includes the Ecology Team, whose lone workers will often cover acres of farmland and green spaces each day, in areas of low signal. Staff often encounter slippery, uneven surfaces, and extreme weather, which can put them at additional risk of harm.

Before switching to an app, RPS had a manual reporting system in place. This consisted of a buddy system with phone calls to check-in before and after their shifts. However, as part of their continued commitment to improving staff safety, RPS felt that they needed to implement a more reliable, tech-driven solution.

StaySafe is a smartphone app and cloud-based Hub which monitors employee location via GPS or satellite whilst they work, alerting their employer if they do not check-in within a specified time. The app offers a wide range of functions that provide additional protection for staff, including panic button, check-in, man-down and duress alerts.

Replacement of buddy system

Moving away from a manual system to a tech based one has provided RPS with access to real-time staff locations and timed check-ins. They now also have full visibility of app usage within the company, enabling them to follow up with any staff members who are not using the app when they should.

Commenting on their decision to implement StaySafe, Stuart Barnard, Head of Health, Safety, Environment and Quality at RPS said; “We are always looking to see what we can do better. The switch to the StaySafe app is helping us to achieve that. It is easy to use, and their friendly customer service is first class. Some of the alternative options we looked at were quite complicated, and, because we have a mixture of Apple and Android users, some would only work for one and not the other. StaySafe works on both, and it looks the same on both too,”

Protecting staff in areas of low signal

The move to an app was also prompted by on-going concerns around staff who worked in areas of low signal. StaySafe’s low signal mode provides an additional safeguard for RPS’ teams, especially for those who work in very remote areas. Low signal mode allows the app to switch seamlessly between all available connections, from 2G through to 5G and wifi, to ensure the app stays connected to the monitoring Hub. This feature offers 16% more coverage than any other lone worker app. StaySafe is also integrated with what.three.words to give 1m2 location accuracy anywhere in the world.

Enhanced support for lone working staff

The process of moving to an app has also prompted RPS to continue improving their health and wellbeing support to employees; something they are passionate about. Following a lone worker incident, the company now tailors their aftercare support for each lone worker. If they feel able to, staff are encouraged to talk to mental health first aiders, as well as their line manager. RPS believes that giving employees the time and opportunity to talk about what happened not only helps to further improve safety, but it also enables them to get the wellbeing support they need.

Wider improvements to efficiency and standards

Talking further about the impact switching to an app has had on the wider business, Stuart explained that “the StaySafe app has made our safety policies even more robust. Our lone workers have told us that they feel safer and can see that we take their safety seriously. These improved safety measures mean employees see the benefits and we get a more efficient and an even higher standard of work.”

“At StaySafe we are always pleased to see the benefits our lone worker safety solutions bring to large organisations such as RPS.” adds Don Cameron, CEO, StaySafe.  “StaySafe offers a peace of mind to lone workers who are faced with potential hazards whilst carrying out essential work in remote locations”.

About RPS

Founded in 1970, RPS is a leading global professional services firm of 5,000 consultants and service providers. RPS operates in 125 countries across six continents to define, design and manage projects that create shared value by solving problems that matter to a complex, urbanising and resource-scarce world.


They deliver a broad range of services in six sectors: property, energy, transport, water, defence and government services and resources. Services provided cover twelve service clusters: project and program management, design and development, water services, environment, advisory and management consulting, exploration and development, planning and approvals, health, safety and risk, oceans and coastal, laboratories, training and communication, and creative services.

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