Tracking employee locations/alerting them when close to a known hazard to prevent accidents and near misses-- achieving benefits through fewer injuries/fatalities, less time lost.
All employers have a legal duty to protect the health and safety of their workforce, which can be a challenge when they are working remotely or are dispersed across large sites. Failure to prevent accidents can lead to injury or death of employees and the associated costs of compensation, fines, lost worktime, and reputational damage.
The construction industry poses inherent risks due to the nature of activities and the changing nature of sites as works progress. Employing an estimated 2.4 million workers, in 2018/19, there were 30 fatalities and almost 5,000 RIDDOR-reported non-fatal injuries (HSE statistics), while the total number of injuries is estimated at 54,000 (Labour Force Survey).
The product has been developed to alert workers when they are close to a
potential hazard. Information is initially populated by a site manager, who will enter known hazards identified by risk assessments, safe systems of work, construction programme activities and progress reports. Through a combination of a smartphone app through which risk assessments are shared with workers in real time and a wrist-worn device which tracks employees' locations, the system will detect if an employee is within a defined radius of a known hazard, alert them of the danger through vibration, flashing lights and sounds, and remind them of required control measures.
As well as alerting employees to danger, the system:
• Enables site management to add new hazards/risks at any time following dynamic risk assessments, including the control measures required to operate in the area
• Provides an auditable record of employees receiving and verifying understanding of risk assessments, and of them receiving alerts when nearing a hazard
• Prevents override by employees -- they can log that a hazard is no longer relevant, but it can only be removed by an authorised manager
• Collects data relating to employee movement, and enables analysis of movement and near-misses, filtering by different individuals or characteristics.
A prototype feasibility study has been undertaken and tested in different industries, enabling us to identify its strengths and limitations and define the focus, i.e. its application as a safety tool. Funding is sought to develop the product for this focus, and test it in the construction industry, to refine the specification and prepare for mass manufacture and marketing.
In addition to construction, there is potential for the product to support health and safety in other areas with significant risks or lone working, such as manufacturing, agriculture/forestry or social care.
Initial target customers are insurance companies providing employer liability cover to construction companies. The device will benefit both the construction companies and insurers through improving safety, preventing accidents and minimising claims. Since the Health and Safety Sentencing Guidelines of 2016, fines have increased, and injuries can incur fines of over £1million.
Group-Muv! would rent the devices to customers via insurance companies as part of insurance arrangements to reduce insurance premiums by demonstrating safety compliance and risk reduction. The device would not impact on liability, but would help communicate risk information to employees, and provide evidence they had done so.
The market we are targeting is the construction safety market in the UK and
Europe. To enter and penetrate the market, our business model is to rent to
insurers providing cover to construction companies. It is intended that insurance companies will recommend the product to their clients in order to reduce insurance premiums by demonstrating safety compliance through the system, in a similar way to the use of driving monitoring systems as part of car insurance.
The construction industry, comprising approx. 325,000 companies and 2.3million employees (Statista 2019), accounts for an estimated 6% of UK employment and GDP (ONS 2019), ranging from sole traders and micro firms to large and multinational companies (which account for almost half of construction output) -- but around 20% of workplace fatalities. The device will be particularly valuable for companies managing large projects with larger workforces and sites, helping to reduce their considerable insurance premiums.
There are over 400 insurance companies in the UK (Statista 2019), generating an estimated £33 billion in premiums in 2018 (Statista 2019). Each insurer has multiple customers: therefore securing sales to a small number of insurance companies will facilitate reaching hundreds of construction companies, who would rent the product from Group-Muv! or via the insurer.
To target the market, the system will be presented at conferences and events
attended by construction companies and companies insuring the construction industry, such as UK Construction Week/Safety & Health
Expo/IRMI Construction Risk Conference. Through our existing research and
networking activities, we have formed relationships with some of the largest
insurance and construction companies who are interested in buying the
product once it is market-ready.
The manufacturing industry, employing 2.7million in the UK, could use and benefit from the system in a similar way to construction. The care sector could use the system to monitor both employees and service users in care homes/schemes or people's homes. Service users' movements could be tracked, enabling staff to be alerted to falls, unplanned movements or emergency alarms, while maintaining the service user's independence and reducing reliance on care workers' presence. It could also be used to analyse historic movements and track virus/infection spread.
With an estimated 1.52 million people working in adult social care in UK
(Skills for Care), this represents a significant market.
Assuming 1% (and 5% in bracket) of employees use the device per year provides an indication of potential market size for the first year:
Construction: 23,000 (115,000)
Manufacturing: 27,000 (135,000)
Care home: 15,200 (76,000)