The WhosOnLocation Blog

Featured post

Tighten up your on-site security with WolScan

3 minutes read time

WolScan adds a further layer of security to your on-site visitor management. Our recent user interface update makes the scanning process simple and quick. Learn more about how to make your visitors’ registrations more efficient by using WolScan.

What is WolScan?

WolScan is an iPhone/iPad app that allows you to quickly and securely capture and register your visitor’s identity by scanning their photo ID. The information is automatically uploaded to your WhosOnLocation account, to either sign in as a new visitor or update an existing/pre-registered profile. There is no need to enter the details manually which speeds up the process for your front-of-house team.

Why use it?

For any organization that is security conscious, it is critical to ensure that only those with permission have gained on-site access.

By scanning your visitor’s photo ID you validate their identity and reduce the risk of unauthorized entry, making sure that your company property, information, and employees are protected. 

Imagine a scenario where a file with sensitive information went missing or intentional damage was discovered on site. WolScan allows you to keep a verified record of who has had access to your premises.  It is also an excellent way to reassure your auditors and insurance providers that you have a valid visitor management process in place and you have done all that is necessary to mitigate risks.

How does it work?

To verify and register visitors simply scan their photo ID using the WolScan app on your iPhone or iPad with iOS 10 or higher. Once ready, the information is automatically uploaded and saved to your WhosOnLocation account. Simple, fast, and secure!

Which documents are compatible?

WolScan allows you to automatically upload the information from all passports. It also supports driver’s licenses from the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

You can also scan generic photo IDs. The photo will be stored in your WhosOnLocation account, and you have the option to enter any other details from the photo ID that need to be retained.

How do I know the data is securely stored?

We take data privacy and security seriously. We are ISO 27001 certified and GDPR compliant. When using WolScan, the visitor information, including captured images, is sent directly to the WhosOnLocation server. No data is processed by a third party. You can also decide how long the visitor’s information is retained and set an automatic data deletion after a set period of time.

Ready to get started? 

WolScan is available to enable in your account today and is priced per device. Visit our Help Center for step-by-step instructions on getting started. 

New to WhosOnLocation?

Get started with a FREE 30 day trial today. No credit card required.

Read more.

3 minutes read time

How WhosOnLocation can help you manage coronavirus in your workplace

Since January 26, 2020, the world has watched closely as the outbreak of coronavirus has moved swiftly across the globe. 

The World Health Organization has developed educational material on what to do should you be affected by coronavirus. This program details what it is, how to protect yourself, myth busters, travel advice, and technical guidance.  The guidelines include; washing hands, staying educated and remaining diligent. You are most likely armed with a business continuity plan which will help you make decisions based on predetermined guidelines, should your organization become affected. 

As a WhosOnLocation customer, you can go one step further to ensure you are taking all the necessary steps to protect your organization. 

Every organization has its own way to manage guests on site but by making a few edits to your processes you can further reduce your organizations’ exposure to coronavirus by alerting the relevant members of your team to a possible risk. 

How can I limit my risk using WhosOnLocation? 

By taking a few simple steps you can add an extra layer of security to your organization by adding a question and triggers to your sign in process. These steps could be especially helpful for customers in manufacturing, construction or those with large amounts of external guests.

How do I set this up? 

Below is an example of a sign in question along with the options you could take to notify relevant parties within your organization. You may not need all of the options depending on your guest policies and procedures.

Example sign in question:  “In the last 14 days have you suffered from the flu or traveled to China?”  Answer “Yes” or ”No”. 

If your guest answers Yes you could implement all or some of the following steps:

  1. A pop up on your Kiosk asking the guest to remain where they are and someone will be with them soon to assist. 
  2. Trigger an SMS to your Facilities or OSHA Manager to notify them a guest has answered “Yes”. 
  3. Make the guest’s host aware by using ‘Answer Share’ to send the response in the arrival email notification once the guest has signed in. 
  4. Send the guest an SMS with a link to a dedicated page on your website that details your policy on coronavirus. 

Use these links for more information on setting up custom questions, triggers, and guest notifications

Not a WhosOnLocation customer but interested in protecting your organization? Click here to take a free 30-day trial.

5 minutes read time

OSHA audit: What you need to know.

In 2016, OSHA conducted 31,948 total inspections. This seems like a significant number, but considering OSHA has jurisdiction over approximately 7 million worksites, you soon realize the odds of having an inspection at your worksite is relatively low. But what if it was you? Do you have systems in place good enough to pass the surprise audit that could be at any given time? 

While the likelihood of an OSHA inspection is low for most businesses, being aware of what happens during an OSHA inspection, and preparing for it, will help you have a safer workplace and could mean the difference between a pass or failed result. 

Who is subject to an OSHA audit? 

Apart from workplaces with ten employees, every other organization has the possibility of being audited. OSHA has both unprogrammed and programmed inspections. Unprogrammed inspections include employee complaints, injuries/fatalities, and referrals whereas programmed inspections focus OSHA’s enforcement resources towards the industries and employers where known hazards exist and are prioritized in the following order: 

  1. Imminent danger situations — hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm receive top priority. Compliance officers will ask employers to correct these hazards immediately or remove endangered employees. 
  2. Severe injuries and illnesses — employers must report: 
  • All work-related fatalities within 8 hours. 
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, or losses of an eye within 24 hours. 
  1. Worker Complaints — allegations of hazards or violations also receive a high priority. Employees may request anonymity when they file complaints. 
  2. Referrals of hazards from other federal, state, or local agencies, individuals, organizations, or the media receive consideration for inspection. 
  3. Targeted inspections — inspections aimed at specific high-hazard industries or individual workplaces that have experienced high rates of injuries and illnesses also receive priority. 
  4. Follow-up inspections — checks for abatement of violations cited during previous inspections are also conducted by the agency in certain circumstances.

Do you get notice of an inspection?

Usually, OSHA conducts inspections without advance notice. Employers do have the right to require compliance officers to obtain an inspection warrant before entering the worksite, however, this isn’t a good idea as it could trigger a stricter audit (and raise possible red flags). It’s wiser to give them a good first impression and work with the inspector as much as possible by answering questions honestly (without offering any additional information).   

What happens if you fail an inspection?

If an inspector finds violations of OSHA standards or serious hazards, OSHA can issue citations and fines. Violations are categorized as:

The citations describe OSHA requirements allegedly violated, list any proposed penalties, and give a deadline for correcting the alleged hazards.

In settling a penalty, OSHA has a policy of reducing penalties for small employers and those acting in good faith. For serious violations, OSHA may also reduce the proposed penalty based on the gravity of the alleged violation. Alleged willful violations will not have any good faith adjustments.

How do you prepare for an OSHA audit?

The biggest mistake organizations make when they are hit with a surprise audit is that they are not prepared. It seems extremely obvious, but preparing for an audit is often put on the back burner as there are no deadlines; therefore, it is not a priority. 

Instead of putting preparing for an audit in the too hard basket, be proactive, and use an application like WhosOnLocation that will save you time and money in the long-term. WhosOnLocation stores all data electronically; therefore, you will be able to search, sort, analyze, and retrieve data easily and quickly, perfect for an audit situation.

Employers are required by OSHA to perform hazard assessments and safety training for each type of job performed in the workplace. Employers need to make sure that their employees have completed their required training as well as keeping them entirely up to date on what hazards exist for each job and how they plan to reduce those hazards. 

Paper-based systems make this difficult as they are easily lost, hard to update, and even wasteful. Instead, whenever there’s an updated process, or a new hazard or regulation, you can use WhosOnLocation to update the changes electronically and can then be easily distributed out to employees at induction. You can also put employees, contractors and visitors through safety training at sign in and /or induction that asks them to accept that they have completed this training before they are allowed on site. 

To show the auditor you have been following the correct steps, you must keep careful records. WhosOnLocation reports will give you access to information on almost everything you need, including training records, worker compensation files, insurance, and third-party audits, to name just a few data points. You’ll be able to access information during an audit easily.

Whether you’re part of a high-risk or a low-risk industry, there is still a chance you could receive a surprise audit, so you need to make sure you are prepared at all times. There’s no better way to put your mind at ease than to know you’re on top of everything. 

5 minutes read time

The 12 days of Wolmas

As we round out 2019 we have one final very important job – keeping our ‘biggest’ customer safe at his busiest time of the year. Welcome to the 12 days of Wolmas. 

1. Santa’s Workshop Inductions

Before any toy making takes place, Santa needs to make sure the elves go through the correct induction process so they are aware of the workshops health & safety and security policies, as well as the correct and approved procedures for undertaking or controlling the enormous tasks and jobs they have ahead of them. WhosOnLocation’s Induction Management also makes it easy for Santa to maintain induction records so he can be sure which elves have or haven’t undertaken the correct training.

2. WolPass

Santa wants this Christmas to be his best yet, which is why he brought in some elf consultants to make sure everything is planned in detail. Being the extremely organized man he is, Santa pre-registered all of the elf visitors and sent them a WolPass. This includes date, time and location of the event with a Google map of the directions. Santa also includes parking tips, Wi-Fi availability and workshop tips in one convenient email. 

3. Remote sign in

Our mobile app, WolMobile, allows Santa to sign in and out no matter where he is in the world. All he has to do is open the app and press the sign in button. It’s as simple as that! Mrs Claus loves the new app as she is now able to track Santa’s progress.

4. Webhooks 

Santa made sure he installed our exciting webhook integration so he could connect his WhosOnLocation account to the internet of things (IoT). As soon as Santa signed into the stables to retrieve his reindeer, Rudolph’s nose lights up, ready for the night ahead. He also uses it when the first elf signs into the workshop to automatically turn the lights, heating, and even the coffee machine on. It’s basically magic.

5. Instant messages

Oh no, the elves have a  broken machine, this is the last thing they need on the workshop production line.  Chief Elf Officer sends an instant message to let those on-site know they have a machine down. Whether it be a toy machine breakdown, reminding the elves of the number of days left until Christmas or even an abominable snowman warning, everyone will be sure to get the notice. This means that even Santa is kept up to date on the information at hand, halfway around the world. 

6. Geolocation

Mrs Claus was wondering if Santa would be home for dinner, checking his geolocation it’s dinner for one. Using the follow-me feature (Mrs Claus made sure he was) on the geolocation report shows her where Santa is in the world, at any given time.

7. Alcolizer

To make sure Santa didn’t have one too many prosec-ho’s at last night’s Christmas party we did a quick check using the Alcolizer to confirm there was no side effects and he’s safe to fly the night sky. In high risk jobs, it’s important to know those operating machinery, transporting heavy loads or working on ladders are in a fit state to do so.

8. SOS Alert 

Santa is on an extremely tight schedule, so a breakdown is the last thing he needs. But if it does happen, Santa has piece of mind that he can use SOS to quickly and easily raise an alarm in the event of an accident or high-stress situation. The alarm will notify the designated elf responder that there is a problem, automatically sending the location of Santa and his reindeer. 

9. Multi-Language

If Santa decides to get a bit fancy when visiting all of the countries in the world, he can use our multi-language feature to check in gifts at the Kiosk. Our multi-language offering goes further than just the Kiosk; push, email and SMS notifications all support multi-language, too. However, the elves started to get a bit confused when Santa decided to practise his Italian via text messages.

10. WolGuard

WolGuard ensures your organization is safe and secure, and that those entering it are authorized to be on-site. The Chief Elf Officer receives information about the contractors who are on-site so he can make sure they can do the job properly.

11. Deliveries

Our Deliveries feature enables Santa to self check his last sack of deliveries using the Kiosk and starts the long journey back to the North Pole. 

12. Auto sign-out

After 510,000,000km, WolMobile automatically signs Santa out so he can have a much deserved good night’s sleep.

About WhosOnLocation

WhosOnLocation provides people presence management software that monitors the safe and secure movement of people through buildings and work sites. Our powerful, cloud-based solution unites visitor, contractor, employee, and emergency management, enabling organizations to secure their facilities and ensure the safety of every person on-site.

Armed with a rich, unified source of people presence information, our users are empowered to make more strategic, data-driven decisions that mitigate risk, reduce overhead costs, and streamline operations.

WhosOnLocation serves organizations in 39 countries around the world, protecting billions of dollars in assets and IP, and managing over 20 million secure movements through over 2500 facilities each year.

11 minutes read time

A Decade of Visitor Management: Interview with WhosOnLocation CEO & Founder, Darren Whitaker-Barnett

As the year draws to a close, we are also closing out the decade. As we talked about this around the office we realized that it’s been a little over 10 years since the inception of cloud visitor management. 

We sat down with our CEO and Founder Darren Whitaker-Barnett to talk through the evolution of visitor and people presence management over the last 10 years and what his predictions are for the future of the industry and WhosOnLocation. 

Firstly, thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to chat about the evolution of WhosOnLocation and the industry as a whole.

No problem, happy to share the love. The opportunity to reflect is a privilege. 

How long have you worked within visitor and people presence management? 

It’s a decade! I started with an early concept/version in 2010, launching WhosOnLocation in 2012. 

Wow, 10 years! I bet you’ve seen a few changes over this time?

Yes, I’ve seen quite a few changes, and these have been driven by the rapid adoption of new technologies and changes in the geopolitical landscape. On the technology side, we have seen a big pivot from client-side visitor management to visitor management as a cloud service. This change has, in turn, had a great effect on the accessibility, affordability, and scope of the visitor and people presence market as a whole. Pre the era of ‘cloud services’ visitor management was really the domain of high security facilities, government agencies, and the largest of corporate entities only. But the cloud delivered lower cost options, easier deployment, and a rapid acceleration in new functionality. As a result, visitor management has been adopted by small and medium sized businesses and not-for-profits. We have also seen applications and services evolve to meet the specific needs of particular sectors like schools, healthcare, manufacturing, and utilities.

You mentioned geopolitical influences. What did you mean by that?

When we first started WhosOnLocation our buyer was a cloud-native administrator or IT Business Analyst. We knew more about cloud services than they did, regulatory, political, or geographical considerations had next to zero influence on the decision, and we were largely left to sell based on receptionist productivity gains and improved visitor security practices. Where your data resided no one really cared. As long as the uptime was 99.99% it simply came down to ‘does the solution solve our problem’. Today the world is a different beast. 

Trust is now a huge part of the engagement process. Social media and the inappropriate use of ‘your’ personally identifiable data is now a topic around water coolers. Data is stored and transferred between countries at the speed of light, and the awareness of how organizations use data has never been more in the public conscious. If you are going to allow a service to manage who enters and leaves your facilities then the service provider had better be able to provide evidence and give assurances that they have controls in place to ensure the retention of data sovereignty, have adequate protection to facilitate the transfer of information, be compliant with GDPR and/or Privacy Shield, and demonstrate that they meet internationally recognized ‘trust’ certificates in the form of ISO Accreditation and/or SOC 1 and 2 Type reports, and align with standards prescribed by the likes of ITAR, C-PAT, and many others.

The impact of geopolitical influences was never more apparent than when President Barack Obama signed the Patriot Sunsets Extension Act on May 26, 2011; which allowed a continuation of roving wiretaps and searches of business records. This saw an unprecedented reaction from non-US corporates, businesses, and government agencies seeking to remove any cloud services from US owned or controlled data stores. Of course, time does heal many wounds, along with the adoption of recognized data handling standards, treaties, and inter-country regulatory frameworks like GDPR and Privacy Shield. Today AWS, as one example, provides the necessary architecture configurations to ensure data sovereignty amongst other elements of data security. 

Thinking about your last 10 years in the industry. What are your biggest achievements and why? 

Gosh, as a company we’ve had many. For me personally, it’s: 

  1. WhosOnLocation becoming a global leader in the visitor and people presence management space. We originate from a small country but the cloud model we adopted has enabled us to develop and deliver a truly world-class product to thousands of facilities managed by some of the world’s leading organizations across 39 countries. To have achieved this without a Series A funding round is rewarding in itself given most of our competitors have required multiple rounds. We have not acquired the market by dominating google searches; we have taken a more sustainable approach, that being through operational and product excellence. 
  2. Developing a company and culture where staff are in for the long journey. We have incredibly high employee retention. The low staff attrition ensures we retain IP, are able to grow our business and have continuity in the product and service we deliver. 
  3. And just this year achieving ISO27001 certification. For myself and the team, this represents more than being able to provide evidence of good practice in information security management to our customers and stakeholders; it represents trust.   

Tell me a bit more about employee retention. What is it that makes WhosOnLocation so unique with employee retention

I strongly believe that intelligence, innovation, wisdom, creativity, vision, and leadership does not sit with those with managerial titles. We have, from day one, encouraged every member of our team to make a contribution and participate in all aspects of our business. This has brought high levels of innovation and continuous improvement and gives employees the opportunity to set the rules and landscape for the future of WhosOnLocation. Our early employees (most are still employees) have helped the company grow and drive systems to ensure success. 

What is the biggest evolution you have seen in the industry?  

The biggest explosion is with data: Business insights, business intelligence, big data, call it what you will. Don’t just think ‘who’, ‘where they are from’ and ‘date and time of entry; today’s systems will allow you to know:  

  • Where they entered and/or departed a multi-entry point facility
  • If they are hosted or not
  • The purpose of visit or presence (work, meeting, task or function, etc….) 
  • If they acknowledged any hazard warnings as they arrived on-site or departed 
  • What zones within your facility they visited, and for how long 
  • If they have agreed to your visitor policies, scanned an acceptable form of identity credential, have a disability or need assistance in an emergency event or their vehicle occupies a space in your parking garage
  • How long they are expected to be on-site and if they are overdue 
  • And so much more…

How important is the role of innovation? 

Innovation is incredibly important. It’s not just about window dressing the product. Innovation runs through the DNA of WhosOnLocation. From the retention of employees to a better way to operate or doing something better or less taxing. It’s also important to maintain a leadership position and voice of authority in the market. Overall it’s about making sure customers are always seeing the value and delivering what they need before they need it. We need to keep innovating, it’s important to keep relevant – I’d never want to suffer a Nokia or Kodak moment where they didn’t see the innovation coming.

As a company, you have launched a lot of features over the past decade, most recently WolMobile. What do you rate as your best release and why? 

We sure have released some great features and enhancements over the last 10 years. My personal favorite is WolEvac. WolEvac brings the entire dream to life. The original genesis for WhosOnLocation was to help organizations account for people in their duty of care using a world-class integrated system offering visitor, contract and employee management.  If you look at WhosOnLocation without WolEvac we are an identity access management service. We are leaders in our field but no one else is doing evacuation management like we are, when you combine this with our other features in one product we’ve got all the bases covered. I’m really looking forward to the refresh of WolEvac in 2020. 

Running and growing a company is not always an easy road. What are the two things you’d like to change in your role as CEO? 

  1.  I’d like to spend more time with family and friends and taking time out to reflect. I am at my best when I have had the opportunity to refresh and recharge – and I don’t do that enough, but I recognize its value. That said, I am sure most founders wouldn’t be where they are without having burnt that candle at both ends in the early years.
  2. The second change would be to acquire the superpower of tele-transportation. I tell you; international travel sounds glamorous but it takes a real toll. But seriously, I’d love to find a better way to be more connected with our customers around the globe.

From what you know now, if you could tell your 2010 self one thing what would it be? 

Don’t sweat the small stuff and let my employees succeed quicker by allowing them to fail fast. 

What is your prediction for what we can expect to see in this space in the next 2 – 3 years? 

Scope Beyond the Visitor: We are already seeing services that enable organizations to manage ‘all people in their duty of care’, not just visitors. Today’s enterprise systems manage visitor, contractor, vendor, supplier, and employee presence in a single service, and I see this becoming more prevalent as the integration of IoT and analytics with presence systems becomes more entrenched in both building management systems, health and safety systems, and security platforms.

Big Data Analytics and AI: The adoption of advanced data analytics, machine learning, and AI within the physical security and safety industries is only in its infancy. As organizations capture larger data sets around the presence of people accessing their facilities; the symbiotic relationship between this data and real-time video, facial recognition and ID matching services, and the IoT will become essential ingredients in the recipe for strengthening the safety and physical security of people, assets, and IP within an organization’s care.

‘Smart Offices’ and ‘Smart Workplaces’: Today, organizations are integrating automated systems faster than ever before, making their offices and workplaces super-efficient, bringing down operating costs, and also creating a suitable and well-connected working environment for employees. However the availability of presence systems that enable an organization to not only manage visitor presence but also that of employees, contractors, vendors, and suppliers in a single service also enables the ‘scope’ of the ‘smart workplace’ and its ROI to extend beyond the employee.

What is your big ambition for WhosOnLocation and the industry as a whole? 

To be the world leader in the integrated people presence space by helping enterprise organizations around the globe manage their safety and security in one place across employees, visitors and service providers.  

Do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?

Yes, it’s really exciting to be involved in an industry that is relatively new and sharing the exciting adventure with a group of companies like ProxyClick, Envoy, Sine, PassagePoint, and SwipedOn. Together we are leading the way in bringing robust and scalable visitor management to the forefront as facility managers are looking at how best to manage the safety of their people, assets, and IP. 

And one final question, you love what you do, if you won the lottery would you pack it in?

No, because I still have a lot more I want to do. So many companies in the world are not able to keep people safe, we want to help show them how. The job is undone. We are just getting started! 

About WhosOnLocation

WhosOnLocation provides people presence management software that monitors the safe and secure movement of people through buildings and work sites. Our powerful, cloud-based solution unites visitor, contractor, employee, and emergency management, enabling organizations to secure their facilities and ensure the safety of every person on-site.

Armed with a rich, unified source of people presence information, our users are empowered to make more strategic, data-driven decisions that mitigate risk, reduce overhead costs, and streamline operations.

WhosOnLocation serves organizations in 39 countries around the world, protecting billions of dollars in assets and IP, and managing over 20 million secure movements through over 2500 facilities each year.

4 minutes read time

WolMobile: The better way to manage health and safety

WhosOnLocation is a cloud-based people presence solution that helps organizations keep the people and places that power their organization safe and secure with visitor, employee, service provider, and evacuation management.   

We are continually innovating to ensure our customers are always armed with the right tools to keep those in their duty of care safe and secure. Our most recent release is a significant enhancement to our WolMobile app. Whether you work on a large site, manage multiple locations or even just a small office, WolMobile ensures you have the information you need to account for everyone, including at-risk workers, at a moment’s notice.  

Why do you need WolMobile?

Creating a workplace environment where your employees feel safe is of the utmost importance, as is your organization’s legal obligation to keep everyone in its duty of care safe. This means being responsible for your people’s health, safety and well-being. 

WolMobile gives you the tools you need to achieve this. This includes accounting for everyone in an emergency, knowing where your at-risk workers are at all times, communicating important notices and hazards instantly and so much more. WolMobile gives you peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to keep everyone safe whilst remaining compliant. 

How can WolMobile make your role easier? 

As a health and safety manager, you are faced with uniquely different issues on a day to day basis that are often difficult to predict. Therefore, having a fast and efficient system in place to combat these issues is important. WolMobile has many features to help you overcome the issue of not knowing what to expect.

  • Run smoother evacuations

Have you ever tried to run an evacuation, only to find that you actually have no idea who is on or off-site? With WolMobile, you can automatically sign employees and Service Providers in and out of your locations and work sites, using their smartphone’s geolocation. This feature gives you accurate people presence data so there is no need to rely on a quick head count to know everyone is safe. 

  • Communicate hazards quickly and easily

If your building was suddenly deemed unsafe, how would you quickly and efficiently communicate with everyone who needed to know? If you went into lockdown, could you target your message to everyone off-site to tell them not to enter the premises?

Instant Messages can be used to communicate important notices and segment your communication by employees vs Service Providers, those on or off-site, those in a specific department or those with a specific role type. Whether it be an emergency, reminding employees of company policies or updating staff about on-site hazards… the options are endless. This means even those working in remote areas can have up to date information at hand. 

  • Ensure you are notified when at-risk workers need immediate assistance

How would your team call for help if a machine started malfunctioning in the next factory, or someone injured themselves on-site? They can now use WolMobiles SOS Alerts to quickly and easily raise an alarm in the event of an accident or high-stress situation. The alarm will notify your designated SOS Responders that there is a problem, automatically sending the location and contact details of the person needing assistance.

What can you do with all that data?

Reporting is one of the most important parts of safety and security as it enables you to pull data to gain insights needed to improve the future safety of your organization. WolMobile allows you to report on the geolocation of workers during their working hours and inform you on who has or hasn’t acknowledge an important notice. Giving you the confidence that you can demonstrate to an auditor that you have the required systems in place to keep everyone in your duty of care safe and secure. 

3 minutes read time

The festive season and alcohol in the workplace – a cautionary holiday tale

As we enter the holiday period and your employees and Service Providers’ social calendars fill up, how can you be sure one drink last night didn’t lead to ‘too many to work the next day’? How about that festive team lunch – did it include a beer?  

In high risk environments such as factories and construction sites, it’s important to know those operating machinery, transporting heavy loads or working on scaffolding are in a fit state to do so. For the safety of everyone on-site and the safety of the general public, how can you mitigate the risk the festive season brings? 

Is December any different to the rest of the year?

Alcohol abuse in the workplace is a problem at any time of year, but there’s a decided spike in alcohol consumption during the holiday period. 

Various studies have found alcohol consumption generally increases by roughly 30 percent in December, as work parties, client entertaining and drinks with friends fill the most sociable calendar month. 

What is the cost of alcohol consumption to organizations?

Organizations are required to protect the safety and wellbeing of everyone in their duty of care, but they could also be responsible for any accidents that befall the general public as a direct result of the actions of someone in their employment. Damage to equipment, medical costs and law suits are just some of the potential costs involved when a workplace accident arises from alcohol abuse.

Aside from the obvious risks around workplace health and safety, there’s another undeniable cost to organizations when it comes to alcohol consumption. According to studies, 72% of the cost of excessive drinking to the USA’s economy comes from a loss in workplace productivity. 

What are the benefits of alcohol testing in the workplace?

Testing for alcohol in the workplace is a common practise, especially when employees or Service Providers are carrying out safety sensitive tasks. Alcohol testing is an easy way for you to track who has or hasn’t been exposed to alcohol before entering a site.

By understanding who is over the limit when entering work, you can deny access, manage the situation and prevent a possible accident.

Isn’t alcohol testing a manual, time consuming process?

As part of WhosOnLocation’s safety software, breathalyzing employees, Service Providers and visitors is easy, efficient and completely automated.

Through our partnership with ‘Alcolizer’, the wall mounted Alcolizer Centurion and Wall Mount 4 models can now be seamlessly integrated with your WhosOnLocation account. 

During the sign in process, employees, Service Providers and / or visitors can be automatically asked to take a breath test at the Kiosk. 

Triggers can then be set up within WhosOnLocation to perform actions based on the result, including denying access, presenting a customized response on the Kiosk and/or sending notifications to designated safety contacts within the organization, leaving you with the confidence everyone on-site is fit to work. 

3 minutes read time

Transform your safety and security with WolMobile!

WolMobile is here! The latest version of our mobile application has significant enhancements that will make it even easier for organizations to manage the presence of everyone in their duty of care. In fact, we think it will help you transform how you manage safety and security in your organization. 

Who is it for?

WolMobile is for organizations that want a better way to manage the safety and security of employees and Service Providers in their duty of care. Whether they are working in or around high-risk factories, large construction sites, or out on the road alone, WolMobile will make it easier and more accessible to manage everyone on or off-site.

Top features:

  • Automatic Sign in / out

WolMobile automatically signs employees and service providers in and out of your locations and worksites without lifting a finger using their smartphone’s geolocation. The need for your administration team to chase those who forgot to manually sign in and out is eliminated with automatic sign in/out. 

Automatic sign in/ out gives you accurate, up-to-date people presence data but will also save you a lot of time.

  • SOS Alerts 

In the event of an emergency, accident or high-stress situation WolMobile users can activate an SOS alert. The SOS button counts down for 5 seconds before sending the alert (it can be canceled in this time if assistance is no longer required). 

SOS Responders are alerted in real-time that an incident has occurred and are given the information needed to provide assistance. This includes who triggered the alert, their mobile number, location and date and time of the alert. This information can also be shared with First Responders so they are able to assist as quickly as possible. 

  • Arrival and Instant Message notifications

Create an amazing and personalized visitor experience with visitor arrival notifications. Hosts are notified as soon as their visitor signs in receiving an arrival notification along with a photo for identification purposes. 

Custom notifications can be used for whatever you wish, including urgent notifications. Hazard in stairwell 5? No problem. You can send an urgent update to all employees and visitors in the building letting them know they should avoid this area. These notifications can also be segmented by location, who is on and off-site, employees, service providers, and or visitors. 

  • Acknowledgement notices 

Make sure your employees or Service Providers acknowledge important notices during sign-in. Unlike other notices they cannot be skipped so you can be confident they have read and agreed to them. They will have to select one of the responses followed by answering any additional information requested.

  • Location tracking

If you have employees or Service Providers working remotely you can now keep track of these at risk workers with location tracking. You will be alerted when a worker is moving to their next location or Service Provider details are out of date.  

  • Expected duration on-site

Get alerted when an employee or Service Provider is working past their expected duration at a remote site or in a high risk situation. The alert will be sent to the safety operator who can then check the safety of the worker. 

How do I get started?

Getting started with WolMobile is easy. All you need to do is: 

  1. Enable the Integration in your WhosOnlocation Account.
  2. Configure your settings for each of your locations. To enable auto sign in/out, simply drag and drop a geofence around your location using our quick and easy tool. 
  3. Invite your colleagues to download the app.
  4. You’re good to go. Let’s get mobile!

4 minutes read time

Geolocation technology: How big brother keeps us safe

Updated: January 2020

With the rapid evolution of geolocation technology we are now faced with the issue of apps following our every move without really knowing where that information is ending up. Not all app users are comfortable with this type of data collection, which presents challenges for businesses that need this information to give you a stronger user experience or like ourselves that need it to keep you safe. So how do we get big brother to leave us alone but also get the most out of this revolutionary technology?

What is geolocation?

A geolocation is the identification or estimation of a real-world geographic location of an object, such as a radar source, mobile phone, or internet connection. The coordinates generated from the geolocation (latitude and longitude) are used to determine a location, such as a street address. 

Why do apps need access to my smartphone’s geolocation?

Geolocations are used to plot courses, track elevation changes, see location history, find nearby shops, tag images on social media, check in to locations and get the local weather information. We also use it every day to make our lives easier, to interact with other people, to solve problems, to set goals, to track anything. 

Our WolMobile app for iOS and Android is designed to keep you safe while working (onsite, remotely or moving between locations). For WolMobile to work effectively it needs access to your location permissions. Here’s an overview of the key features to keep you safe and secure while in your employer’s duty of care: 

  • Automatic sign in/out

If your organization is using automatic sign-in/out, they will have a geofence set up around your organization’s. Once your phone has registered as having crossed into the geofence (using your location information), you’ll be automatically signed in or out. 

  • SOS Alerts

Should you need to send for immediate help, tapping the SOS button will send a notification to your location information to your organization’s nominated SOS Responder(s). The notification contains your location information as part of the alert ensuring assistance can locate you as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

  • Follow me

If you’re working in a high risk situation, alone or traveling between sites, your organization may ask you to use the ‘Follow Me’ feature. Designed for your safety, ‘Follow Me’ alerts your   nominated safety contact if you need assistance in an emergency, to check in with you throughout the day or have spent too long at a high risk or restricted area.  

  • Locations list 

If your organization has multiple sites, WolMobile will use your location in a similar way to Google Maps, providing you with directions, maps, the distance to other locations and ordering the list with the closest locations first. 

Are my apps always tracking me?

The majority of apps on your smartphone can track your location, however, you have to give them access first. If you have downloaded an app that has requested to use your location information you would have been given the option to ‘Always allow’ or ‘Only when using the app’. 

‘Only when using the app’ seems like the more appropriate option but with WolMobile because we need your location to know whether you’re on or off site or if something was to go wrong you must select  ‘Always allow’ when prompted, for WolMobile to work accurately.

The good news is we’re not always tracking you. WolMobile only tracks your location when you’re signed into a location or moving between locations. Once you sign out and finish work at the end of the day, your location will no longer be reported on. 

It’s also worth noting that only selected individuals with admin access to WhosOnLocation will be able to see your location whilst you’re signed in. 

Update: January 2020

We’re always making improvements to our products. Since we first published this blog in November, we’ve already improved WolMobile’s geolocation reporting feature. The latest update brings a whole host of new features, including the ability to filter the map by who’s on or off site, get more information when you hover over a person’s pin and search the map by Service Provider Organization name, to see the location of everyone on-site from that company.

Set up WolMobile today.

3 minutes read time

Why instant messaging isn’t just for social media

If you’ve received one of these messages you’ll know how effective an instant message can be to communicate in a fast and efficient way. 

“I’m running 5 mins late”

“Northbound lane closed due to incident”

“Gale force warnings due, stay inside”

“Your support request was received – thanks”

“Panic alarm activated. Stay in current location”

The instant message is nearly 50 years old! 

Instant messages are not new, in fact, they date back to well before the internet and smartphones. In the early 1970s, the earliest version of an online chat facility was launched, it was called Talkomatic and allowed five people to chat simultaneously. 

Fast forward to 2010 and the world of instant messaging has exploded with the launch of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and WeChat (to name a few), intertwining instant messaging in our everyday lives. We have all become quite familiar and reliant on this technology, even our dentist is using an instant message to remind us of our next appointment. 

With instant messaging intertwined in our day-to-day lives, it’s a natural extension to use it in our work lives to communicate with employees, contractors, and guests while they are on site.  

Using instant messages in your organization 

Have you had to communicate any of these scenarios to any of your team recently? 

  • A VIP has arrived on-site and you have forgotten to communicate it to the team
  • A spillage has occurred and you need to alert employees 
  • A hazard was identified in an isolated area and you need to let everyone on-site know
  • Environmental factors are affecting access to your site
  • Update employees on company policies

How did you share these messages with your employees, contractors and/or guests? The response we generally get is email. Email just doesn’t cut it, it is often missed causing incidents that the email intended to avoid.  However, most people carry their smartphone making it hard to ignore an instant message. An instant message allows you to communicate in an easy, efficient and timely manner.

With WhosOnLocation’s Instant Message feature you can communicate company-wide, to just a single location, to particular employees or just to contractors. Who you send an instant message to depends on the message but the options are endless for both sending and the message you communicate. 

Instant Message is included in all WhosOnLocation subscriptions. To find out how to use click here or to get started with WhosOnLocation click here to start your free 30-day trial. 

About WhosOnLocation

WhosOnLocation provides people presence management software that monitors the safe and secure movement of people through buildings and work sites. Our powerful, cloud-based solution unites visitor, contractor, employee, and emergency management, enabling organizations to secure their facilities and ensure the safety of every person on-site.

Armed with a rich, unified source of people presence information, our users are empowered to make more strategic, data-driven decisions that mitigate risk, reduce overhead costs, and streamline operations.

WhosOnLocation serves organizations in 35 countries around the world, protecting billions of dollars in assets and IP, and managing over 20 million secure movements through over 2500 facilities each year.

3 minutes read time

Accounting for the safety of everyone: Is it possible with a paper-based visitor management system?

The safety of everyone on-site is the most important part of your role as a facility manager, which becomes difficult if you don’t have the right resources available to you at a moment’s notice. If you are still using a paper-based book you have the potential to breach regulatory requirements, particularly when it comes to accounting for and verifying the safety of everyone on-site in an emergency. 

Compliance, safety, and technology

As a facility manager, you will know that you need to comply with regulations to account for the safety of those on-site. While the exact regulatory requirements vary from country to country, one thing remains globally consistent; the need to have processes and procedures in place to account for employees, visitors, and contractors in an emergency event. 

WhosOnLocation was born out of an evacuation event unable to be properly managed with a paper-based visitor book. The book was left inside the building as they were evacuating, leaving those responsible for the evacuation unable to verify the safety and security of everyone on-site. In a modern digital workplace, this occurrence is more widely spread than you would think. 

A paper-based system works, however, you are at risk of not being able to account for those on-site which results in your organization violating safety regulations and or someone losing a life. It’s time for a 21st-century digital solution. 

Benefits of an electronic system 

How can you possibly account for employees, visitors, contractors or anyone on-site if you don’t know who they are or where they are located?  This is where a well-implemented electronic visitor management system is capable of delivering numerous benefits to your business.

Accuracy

You’ll instantly see an increase in the accuracy of the data gained and maintained when using an electronic system. Your visitors can be made aware of on-site rules, sign NDA’s and scan photo ID for a further layer of security ensuring only those allowed on-site gain entry. 

Reporting

With all visitor information stored electronically, you’ll be able to search, sort, analyze and retrieve data easily and quickly. These reports will give you access to information on who has signed in/out, who they were visiting and time spent on-site to name just a few data points. You’ll be able to easily access information during an emergency event.  

Faster

Your visitors can sign-in themselves via a self-service kiosk or be signed in by your front-of-house team. The host is instantly notified of their arrival via email, SMS or push notifications. Ensuring a faster sign-in process for both your visitors and the front-of-house team.

Appropriate identification

To ensure that no unauthenticated visitors are on-site, electronic visitor management can be connected to a printer to issue temporary badges to visitors with the visitor’s photograph and watch lists ensure unwanted guests are not granted access. 

By switching to an electronic visitor management system you can free up your front-of-house team creating cost saving in time and increasing productivity levels. An electronic system can easily scale with your growth and provide incredible value, in the long run, making it a more feasible, safe and secure alternative than a paper-based system. 

4 minutes read time

Deliveries made easy!

Does your company need a better, more efficient system when it comes to delivering parcels? WhosOnLocation has you covered. Introducing our Deliveries feature that’s sure to free up your front of house team, remove trip hazards, and encourage employees to collect their parcels as soon as they arrive. Deliveries help you create a more organized and productive workplace, and is included in all subscription plans. Keep reading to discover how using the Deliveries feature can change your front of house team’s working day.

How it works:

How can Deliveries make your life easier?

Free up your front of house team

Your front of house team no longer need to spend time managing deliveries. Using the Deliveries feature removes the long-winded process of receiving the package from the delivery driver, phoning or sending an email to the recipient, and then searching high and low when the recipient comes to collect it. WhosOnLocation creates a streamlined delivery system with automatic notifications and a formalized process for storing post.

Keep your front of house area neat and tidy

No one likes a messy, disorganized workspace and that includes your front of house team and visitors. With immediate notifications, there’s no longer any need for parcels to pile up or pose a trip hazard. With on-screen notes instructing delivery drivers on where parcels should be stored, your front of house will look much tidier. Pair that with a process that runs itself like clockwork, and your staff will be much happier, too.

Avoid confusion over signatures

Prevent any confusion over who’s signed for an important parcel with the ‘signature-required’ feature. Once Deliveries are enabled, your delivery driver can select ‘signature required’ at the Kiosk when registering a parcel. This immediately alerts the recipient they need to come and sign for their parcel, avoiding the age-old question of who signed for what, and where is it stored.

Delivery groups 

What if a parcel is sent to a department rather than a specific person? Fear not, WhosOnLocation has thought of everything… The set-up of this feature allows for the addition of ‘recipient groups’ to the system. If a parcel was sent to your ‘marketing department’, the nominated recipients from this department will receive notifications to collect the parcel. This is a great feature for receiving catering as it ensures someone will be there to pick it up.

Reporting

Do you want to track how many deliveries are coming through your reception each day? Or do you have a parcel that’s gone missing and needs to be tracked down? A record of each delivery is stored in WhosOnLocation, making it easy and simple to pull reports whenever you need them. For each delivery, you can track exactly when the parcel was delivered, who it was for, and whether a signature was required. 

Keep your Kiosk cohesive

Create a cohesive Kiosk display with our customizable Deliveries button. The Deliveri es button sits underneath the Sign In and Sign Out buttons, and can be customized to fit with your company and existing Kiosk design. 

Delivery types

Receiving different types of mail? You can specify your different delivery types. There are five default ‘delivery types’:  Parcel(s), Mail, Flowers, Food, and Other – any of which can be removed. There is also an option to add your own, specific to your business. For example ‘IT equipment’ or ‘catering’. Delivery drivers are presented the available options to select from when registering a parcel, and this information can be pulled through into both your notifications and reporting, so you know exactly what’s been delivered and when. 

Sign-In/Out Manager

Don’t have a Kiosk? Don’t worry. All of the above steps can be carried out by your front of house team, using the Sign-In/Out Manager. The delivery driver simply hands the parcel over, and your front of house team can register the parcel in WhosOnLocation to automatically notify the recipient. 

Efficiency

Whether it’s personal post for employees, business post for specific departments or even catering for events, the Deliveries feature makes the process a whole lot smoother. 

So what are you waiting for? Enable this feature today and create a seamless delivery system in your workplace. Your front of house team will thank you!