Media Release: Snow joke – UK businesses could be putting their employees’ lives at risk, says CEO

AS Britain faces another severe winter, UK businesses could be putting employees’ lives at risk, simply by choosing the wrong way to communicate with staff in emergencies.

That’s the message from HSL’s CEO Mark Hay, who says that the majority of businesses choose the default option of e-mailing staff and ignore a far more powerful tool to use in emergency situations: text messaging.

Says a spokesperson: “Last year, 74 per cent of UK workers were affected by the extreme weather conditions with one in five employees were unable to get to work at all as airports closed and road and rail networks ground to a halt.

“Many of these employees would not have checked their e-mail before setting of on their journey to work and endured a dangerous journey unnecessarily.

:In spite of all the rise of social media and instant messages, the use of text messaging is still growing by nearly 30 per cent each year.

“In 2010, there were 6.1 trillion messages sent globally by four billion individuals.

“The reason being is that nothing comes close to text messaging in terms of immediacy and efficiency.”

Mark Hay, from HSL, said: “With 91 per cent of the UK population owning or using a mobile phone, text messaging can be used by companies to get messages out to their workforce very quickly and much more effectively than emails or any smartphone technology.

“UK companies could reduce lost productivity by instantly sending text messages to staff, advising them to work from home rather than attempting the journey to work in dangerous weather conditions.”

The spokesperson: “In emergency situations, business continuity is vital and a recent report claimed that 51 per cent of business cited adverse weather as being the main cause of business disruption. (1)

“HSL, whose technology is used in Indonesia to send emergency tsunami alerts, say that their business continuity text tool AlertBroadcast is one of the most cost-effective and efficient means of instantly communicating and interacting with people during emergencies.

“AlertBroadcast allows a user to remotely send a message from their own mobile handset to a large number of mobile phones simply by sending a single text message, removing the need to be at a computer at all.

“This method provides delivery receipts for all messages sent, allowing you to track every message effectively.

“For just a few pence per message, you can send bulk text messages to employees, making it a very quick and cost efficient way for businesses to communicate with staff.

“It only takes a few seconds to send a text message to thousands of people, saving time and money.”

Mark Hay continued: “SMS technology has been around for a long time, but it’s only recently that companies are realising just what a useful, efficient and cost effective tool it is for emergency and business continuity situations.”


Notes to editor:

For more information, contact Lesley Ferguson

Perceptive Partners Communications

07762 769 659

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