Work safety more than hardhats and steel-capped boots

| September 4, 2010
Leo Silver

Leo SilverAussie tech-company keeps workers in high-pressure environments safe from harm. Virginia Harrison spoke to Leo Silver.

Workers in high-pressure environments like prisons or hospitals can find themselves in life-threatening situations, and that reality has created a business opportunity for an Australian tech-company.

Integrated Wireless provide messaging and duress systems solutions to protect staff working in intensive environments.


“We focus on lone worker protection. We manage wireless messaging systems for campus based operations, where there’s a large space and very few workers, and workers are under threat for some reason or another.”

“In the case of a hospital it can be the threat of an attack by a psychiatric patient, or in the case of a prison, attack by an inmate.” Leo Silver, CEO of Integrated Wireless said.

A handheld device similar to a mobile phone which contains a panic button is carried by the worker.

“When they trigger an alarm, we have a lot of smarts in our system that locates where the alarm has come from, down to the individual room. We can even do things like find the nearest security guard to the event and send a message directly to them.” Mr Silver said.

In contrast to the usual laments on the restrictive nature of legislation, Mr Silver credits OH&S laws with driving his businesses’ growth.

“Legislation is our friend at the moment. The increasing onus on business owners and directors to provide a safe working environment means people are doing more on how they manage people.”

“There is great pressure now and better awareness for people to consider risks that they weren’t 10 years ago, and that creates growth opportunities for us, in twisting our technology into other systems.” He said.

The tech-company employs close to 60 staff. Work is underway to expand its offerings.

“Whereas previously we’ve been tracking people, we’re now having conversations with customers asking what else would you like to track? We have a growing opportunity in WiFi asset tracking.” Mr Silver said.

A National Broadband Network (NBN) would present fresh opportunities to the company.

“One of our growth opportunities is telemedicine, and taking a care proposition into homes. You’ve got hospitals that want to look after patients in the home and provide a suite of diagnostics to do that. What we would do is install, manage, service and maintain that. That needs real bandwidth and we would have a real growth opportunity to maintain remote medicine.”

“We need tough problems to make our business model hang together.”

Leo Silver spoke to First 5000’s Virginia Harrison.