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Kiwi company launches safety app for businesses

A Queenstown-based app company is celebrating the launch of its second safety app following the demand from businesses interested in using it for their workforce.

GetHomeSafe’s first safety app was aimed at personal users, enabling them to let friends know what they were up to and how long they were doing it for. The users can then select who they want notified if you don’t get home as planned.

The company recently celebrated reaching 40,000 downloads worldwide, with people using it for various activities including long-distance driving, cycling or for work.

The new app however meets demand from businesses interested in using it as an essential tool for their workforce.

“Property management firms, local government, consultants and the agricultural sector are those that are either already using it or are very interested in looking further at its applications across their business,” explains GetHomeSafe founder Boyd Peacock.

“There are a huge number of firms out there with a need for their staff to confirm they’re okay at certain times, such as letting a supervisor know they’re home safe at the end of a shift when they’ve been out of the office,” he says. 

“Most of them are currently using text or phone-in systems.

“That’s fine when the staff member actually remembers to text or call, but not so good if they don’t and you can’t get hold of them,” Peacock says.

“That silence can be very stressful and no use if the staffer actually needs help, or a colossal waste of time and resources if they just forgot, or had a flat battery.”

Peacock says over the past 18 months GetHomeSafe has been developing a much more comprehensive safety solution for people working unsupervised and away from the office, a step above some very ‘passive’ traditional methods that have huge potential for human error.

“With our new app we’ve created an active system where staff are actively reminded of their check-in time and supervisors are actively alerted if someone’s overdue,” he says.  

Staff share what they’re doing and where they’re going via the new GHS app, including how long it will take them to safely complete a task. If they don’t acknowledge the reminders and fail to say they’ve completed the job safely, then supervisors are alerted via a failsafe text message and email alerting network. 

Even if supervisors fail to follow up or acknowledge an overdue alert, it’s automatically escalated to senior management.

“Our system’s perfect for someone in the mobile workforce such as a building or council site inspector, or for a district nurse or social worker to say they’ve safely completed each of their daily home visits,” says Peacock.

“Supervisors have a beautiful online dashboard to see what staff have shared and inbuilt alerting notifies them if something’s out of the ordinary,” he explains.

“Our new app and management dashboard is specifically designed for monitoring the safety of any group of people, some logging several tasks a day, while our original app’s better suited for individuals and personal use.”

Peacock says the company’s take on health and safety is that it’s everyone’s responsibility, from staff to management and owners, and this has been reflected in the new product.

He says pre-launch interest in the new app and dashboard has been ‘fantastic’.

“We’ve had a wide variety of firms get in touch from very differing sectors, including some international and some very large ones. 

“Several Australian firms have let us know that some staff log their work plans using our free personal use app. They’re looking for a cost effective and robust way of monitoring the safety of their mobile work forces,” says Peacock.

“For some firms our original free app is perfect, but for those logging tens, hundreds or even thousands of tasks a week they need a more comprehensive system.”