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Working alone?

MUN Safe app not just for emergencies

special feature: Innovation

Part of a special feature showcasing Memorial’s innovation ecosystem, a pan-university effort focused on supporting the development and success of innovators across Newfoundland and Labrador.  

By Sandy Woolfrey-Fahey

Safety while working alone on Memorial’s campuses just received a significant boost.

The Office of the Chief Risk Officer (OCRO) is rolling out a Work Alone safety feature. Users can find the feature within their MUN Safe smartphone application along with existing safety features.

Improved safety

MUN Safe was launched a year ago to improve communication in emergency situations at Memorial.

However, the feature also provides significant value beyond times of emergency.

“Users are now able to select a Work Alone button within the app,” said Kris Parsons, Memorial’s chief risk officer.

“The feature supports Memorial’s working alone protocol and helps fulfill our occupational health and safety regulations, but, most importantly, it means improved safety for our faculty, students and staff who work alone. That’s the most important piece of this added feature.”

Researcher in lab
The MUN Safe Work Alone feature means improved safety for faculty, students and staff who work alone.
Photo: Submitted

Once a user initiates a work session through the app, the app automatically checks in on the user and triggers a distress call to the user’s designated emergency contact or emergency services if the check-in is not acknowledged.

The feature is being integrated with Memorial’s health and safety protocol, risk assessments and risk mitigation measures.

The tool benefits researchers in labs, Facilities Management staff around campus, individuals alone in offices and everyone who is required to work alone.

More than 10,000 and counting

Currently more than 10,000 devices are equipped with the MUN Safe app.

In addition to the new working alone feature and emergency communication, the app is equipped with many other resources.

“We’ve seen great uptake by the university community of this app that’s resulted in significant improvement when timely messages are required in emergency situations,” said Mr. Parsons.

“Now we’d like to inform users of other ways they can interact with the app to improve safety for themselves and others on Memorial’s campuses.”

Ensuring Memorial has a safe and healthy environment is a top priority for the university. A key way to do that is to increase reporting. MUN Safe is an easy way to report safety concerns you may see around campus.

Number of features

Using the report feature, users can submit details of near misses, accidents or injuries, observed hazards or security concerns.

While on campus you can also access Mobile Blue Light within the app, if you’re concerned about your safety or would like additional peace of mind.

The feature allows you to discreetly inform Campus Enforcement and Patrol (CEP) of your location anywhere on campus. This allows you to open a direct phone line with CEP officers from your smartphone.

Additionally, once activated, the app sends your location information in real time to CEP and allows them to track your movement if you must keep moving for your safety.

Similarly to Mobile Blue light, Friend Walk allows you to share your location in real time with a friend. They can then watch you as you walk to your destination to ensure you arrive safely. This function is available at any location.

Other features that are only a click away include emergency contacts, emergency plans, safety talks, and other support resources. If you’re not using MUN Safe, download the app today.

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