GWSR Railway log in and safe-working software for volunteers
“Efficient, easy to access, modern technology from Blue Marble has revolutionised the way that we track and trace the activities of our volunteers”
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) is a heritage railway located in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire (and with trains journeying between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway).
The majority of the people involved in the day to day running of the organisation are volunteers.
GWSR Railway identified a need to better manage and protect its 900+ volunteer workers.
Previously, when volunteers arrived for work, they filled in a paper-based log in sheet. These were then collated, processed and stored.
A paper-based log in facility such as this (and filled in by all sorts of people at a variety of locations) is not just difficult to process, it can easily include mistakes or be collated incorrectly.
The difference made
The new database and web-based app from Blue Squirrel Software replaced this outdated paper process and delivered an accessible and secure system.
It allows volunteer workers, when arriving for work, to use to any web-based device (typically their own smartphone or a GWSR PC, laptop or tablet) to log in at any location.
It is easy to see and use (many of the railway’s volunteers are older people) and it also allows workers, when logging in, to identify their department and role. The app then relays any safety critical messages and notices that they may need to be aware of. The system also records how long each individual is at work and keeps an eye on where they are and what they’re doing. This provides essential safety and care support for each volunteer.
With all the information submitted electronically to a central database, GWSR managers and team leaders are able to instantly access and interrogate all submitted and recorded information.
The app also confirms to management, that each volunteer has a valid work permit and records essential information relating to the organisation’s Working Time Directive. This also supports corporate Health & Safety compliance and creates easy to collate records for auditing purposes.
In addition, all volunteers are able, via the system, to access an online portal where company news is posted. Within this portal, essential messages such as safety updates can be seen. One recent example was a message (viewed at log in) letting volunteers and employees know about a landslide on a line, and all volunteers are required to actively tick a box to confirm they have read the message.
A Risk Assessment app for GWSR, using the same log in system, was also included in the software delivery.
Further, in 2020, the above system was used to ensure GWSR met all its requirements in terms of Covid-19 NHS Track and Trace.
What they said
Kevin Jarvis, Process Assurances Manager at GWSR said:
“The development of electronic tools by Blue Squirrel Software is enabling the GWSR to provide a 1950’s heritage experience with efficient, easy to access, modern technology”
“The new log in system has revolutionised the way that we track and trace volunteer work location and activities. We have about 1,000 volunteers and we can now see ‘who’ is doing ‘what’ at the click of a button, in seconds.”
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