A lone worker safety device is a small piece of equipment or phone application which provides the user with the means to raise an alarm in threatening or dangerous situations. Because of the wide range of challenges faced by lone workers, personal safety devices are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and forms.
All employers have a legal duty of care to their employees. This includes keeping them safe from harm, as well as demonstrating concern for their physical health and mental wellbeing. Protecting employees and having an interest in staff welfare at work is also a moral responsibility for any business.
Benefits Of Lone Worker Safety Devices
According to the figures from the Office for National Statistics, there are around six million lone workers in the UK. Despite not being immediately apparent in some cases, most organisations will have some form of lone worker – whether it’s a member of staff getting in early to open up the office, someone meeting with members of the public in a private consultation room or non-office based staff working on the road.
Providing lone workers with a personal safety device can help them to feel safe and allow businesses to monitor the safety of their staff.
Confidence To Work Alone
Working alone can be an intimidating experience, particularly if you’re public facing. Equipping lone workers with a personal safety device will provide them with the reassurance that they can get help if a serious situation arises.
As part of our personal safety solution for lone workers, all lone working devices can be connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) which is operated by trained professionals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Activating the lone worker device automatically triggers a call to an operator in the ARC who will monitor the audio and alert the emergency services if necessary.
Discreet Method Of Raising An Alarm
In a dangerous situation with a violent person or someone armed with a weapon, it’s important that lone workers can call for help without being too obvious. Most lone worker devices are small enough to be stored on a lanyard. Indeed, our MicroSOS alarm looks like a simple USB stick, allowing it to seamlessly blend in; however, it comes with a built in SOS button and two-way audio among other features.
In addition, smartphone apps can be loaded onto the lone worker’s mobile device. The phone is effectively transformed into a fully functioning personal safety alarm. By pressing a dedicated hot key, they can be connected to the ARC instead of trying to dial 999 without being seen.
Monitor Staff Safety
Whenever a lone worker device is set up, the employee is required to provide at least three contacts in case an alarm is raised. Typically, the first point of contact will be their team leader or manager. The second and third contacts would normally increase in seniority. This escalation process enables a business to be immediately notified if a member of staff is in danger or has been involved in an accident.
Employers will also be able to receive a report highlighting device usage. This helps to provide a picture of when and where staff are experiencing challenging situations in their job. Using this information, the business can pinpoint areas where it’s not safe to send lone workers and provide the necessary support moving forwards.
Staff Are Easier To Locate In An Emergency
Lone worker devices are not designed as tracking tools, and should not be used as such. The GPS capabilities of a personal safety alarm provide the ARC with a location of where the member of staff is. Therefore, if an accident or incident does occur, they can be located immediately which reduces response time.
However, it’s important to remember that GPS location tracking has its limitations – it can only provide a last known position, but that could be in a block of flats or multi-storey building. Using voice memos to provide a pre-alert check-in message in this type of situation can help emergency services find a lone worker’s exact position quicker.
Remote Location Tracking
Depending on the nature and location of your business, lone workers might be required to operate in remote areas with a weak or non-existent mobile phone network signal. For example, farmers or park rangers.
To combat this challenge, lone workers could be equipped with a personal safety device that uses satellite technology (instead of GPRS) to transmit SOS alarms as well as provide an accurate location, such as the SPOT Gen3. Providing emergency services with an accurate location in vast and remote areas drastically decreases the time it takes for staff to be found if they’re involved in an accident or get lost.
Audio Recordings For Court Cases
In the event of a personal safety alarm being activated, the lone worker device will automatically start an audio recording. This can be submitted as evidence in court which can be very useful for a judge and jury. If opposing accounts of a specific event are being presented, the audio recording provides unbiased proof.
What’s The Best Lone Worker Solution For Your Business?
There are five key questions to ask yourself when deciding on the best lone worker devices for your employees:
- What type of work are they doing?
- Where do they work?
- Is there a strong mobile connection?
- Do they work in hazardous conditions and environments?
- Does the device need to be discreet?
For more information, read our guide on determining the best lone worker solution for your business.