Instacart improves safety features for its workers

Dive brief:

  • Instacart has extended security features for its employees, according to an announcement sent by email.
  • The company has developed an alert tool to inform buyers in real time of critical incidents nearby. It also improved its in-app emergency call feature with RapidSOS and added safety lessons with tips for shopping, driving and delivering.
  • The changes come as the grocery industry seeks to keep workers and customers safe as reports of violence in grocery stores continue.

Dive overview:

The real-time alerting technology that Instacart has deployed uses information from law enforcement, social media, local news and other sources to create automated alerts when a critical event occurs in the area. area where the buyer is located. The tool, which Instacart developed in partnership with Office Sam, an artificial intelligence-based disruption monitoring platform, aims to steer shoppers away from the incident area, with Instacart noting that it is assessing situations to determine whether it should suspend operations in stores or specific areas.

The in-app emergency call feature, which was first introduced in May 2020, now allows workers to share their geolocation, as well as other information, with surveillance specialists. Instacart said the changes allow for “faster, data-enriched emergency response” and the functionality is available to workers in the United States and Canada in English and French.

The new security lessons explain how to report an incident in the shopper app, as well as security best practices, the company said. Instacart said it has safety lessons on preventing and reporting sexual misconduct, which were developed with RAINN, an anti-sexual assault organization, as well as lessons on safe driving and food safety.

The extended tools build on security features the company has already released, including its Leave at My Door delivery option, in-app wellness checks, free health and safety kits, and other offers deployed by Instacart during the pandemic.

In the United States, Instacart said that if a buyer is injured while working, they have access to injury protection, which includes medical, disability and accidental death benefits. The company also has a 24-hour trust and security team and care team.

Instacart was directly affected by the violence that occurred in grocery stores. In March, Instacart buyer Lynn Murray was one of the 10 people killed by a gunman at a king’s house Soopers in Boulder, Colorado.

After this shooting, several other violent incidents occurred at grocery stores, including a Publix in Florida and a Kroger in Tennessee, prompting the food industry to review safety technologies and update training procedures and practices in store.

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