Swissport is an aviation services company offering award-winning cargo handling at 298 airports in 47 countries. Headquartered in Opfikon, Switzerland, it is the world's largest provider of ground and cargo handling services in the aviation industry.
Founded in 1996, Swissport is the leading standard of airport ground services. It has received several industry awards including “Ground Handling Award”, “Air Cargo Handling Agent of the Year” for six years in a row, and “Global Aviation Ground Services Company” for 12 consecutive years.
In 2019, the company handles cargo for in excess of 4.6 million tonnes annually for around 265 million passengers. By the end of 2019, Swissport employed 45,600 people and achieved consolidated operating revenue of €3.13 billion.
Hailed for their best-in-class services, Swissport also prides itself as a people-focused organisation. They are committed to focusing on the principles of sustainability and compliance, living by the “Three Ps”: People, Professionalism, and Partnership.
Swissport first recognised a gap in the protection of lone workers when, unfortunately, an incident with a lone worker went unnoticed for half an hour. This became a wake-upwake up call for Swissport’s management team to find a solution that can better monitor their lone workers.
Additionally, with COVID-19 causing a huge impact on the aviation company, Swissport has faced an increase in the number of lone workers after being forced to furlough their staff. While operating on a skeleton team, it is now impossible for Swissport to assign two people at once for most of their daily duties as they once had the ability to do. This further increases the number of lone workers under their care, amplifying the urgency to monitor and protect their lone workers.
With these two factors in play, Swissport needed to find a solution that could monitor their lone workers’ safety, especially in the vast environment of a busy airport where an emergency may not be immediately noticed. What makes it more complex is the fact that they needed a solution that would not interfere with the airport communication systems.
Swissport had to discard the possibility of using mobile phones and radios to communicate in an emergency due to how it can interfere with airport communications. However, even if they could use mobile phones and radios, it would not be an ideal solution.
If a person falls unconscious, it is impossible to use a mobile phone or radio to alert their emergency team members. Secondly, even if the lone worker was conscious but injured or facing an attacker, dialling a number on the mobile phone or pulling out the radio might be cumbersome and ineffective.
Another factor that Swissport had to consider was the hazardous environment of an airport. In an environment of fuel and heavy machinery, Swissport needed a solution that was intrinsically safe and would not cause an explosion or create a danger to others in any way.
Swissport found their ideal solution that checks off all the boxes of their requirements with Vatix’s lone worker devices and Protector.
Swissport began trialling the lone worker devices and Protector over Christmas of 2020. The feedback was incredible.
Employees loved the fall detection feature and the one-push button alarm that would alert the response team when it detects a fall or when the alarm is activated. These features were like a security blanket for their lone workers who were reassured by the fact that someone would find them via their GPS-enabled lone worker device if the alarm was activated in an emergency.
The managers loved having the peace of mind of a 24-hour 365-day monitoring system with Vatix’s Protector service. With this service, someone would always be there to answer an emergency call, thanks to the lone worker device’s ability to automatically initiate a two-way call with the monitoring centre when a fall is detected or an alarm is activated.
With hundreds of airports to manage around the world, the on-ground staff also save a lot of time on creating reports for senior managers because of how the Vatix ecosystem automatically records every incident in the cloud.
"Having somebody who's there at all times to answer the emergency call was my main priority. With all incidents recorded at the drop of a hat, it's going to make my work so much easier, just because it's all in there. I can know who's been called when and who's activating the alarm. Everything's gonna be there for me, so when it comes to producing a report for the senior management, it's gonna be so much easier."