Working by yourself in a remote location presents a set of challenges both for employers and the lone workers. It is estimated that there are 8 million lone workers in the UK which represents about 20% of the UK workforce. Ekim Saribardak, from Rewire Security, takes up the story…
Due to their prolonged exposure to environmental factors and the lack of supervision, lone workers are more prone to work-related accidents. Almost 150 lone workers are verbally or physically assaulted every day for no other reason than their line of work. Over 600.000 people were injured at work in 2016-2017, and unfortunately, 137 of these injuries proved to be fatal. While the loss of life is tragic, companies have to deal with the financial toll that follows these injuries such as insurance payouts and compensation claims. HSE has reported that £15 billion pounds were lost in the UK in 2016 alone due to workplace injuries and illnesses.
Businesses have a responsibility to make sure they protect their employees who work alone by identifying the work hazards and setting up lone worker safety procedures to prevent possible accidents and injuries. By law, employers have a legal duty to assess all risks to health and safety and provide a safe work environment for all their employees. However, most business owners tend to ignore the regulations and not having appropriate safety measures in place to protect these workers can have a very costly effect on businesses. Fortunately for business owners, we live in an age of innovation where personal safety is one of the leading technological fields. Personal tracking technology created a plethora of devices and applications that can be used in the business world to keep track of employees and improve their safety.
Lone worker soloutions
As with any other safety protocol, there are certain steps to take to establish a secure work environment. Training the employees about the potential dangers they may face in the field is the first step. Informed personnel is less likely to be involved in accidents, and they know what to do in case of emergencies. Educating the personnel by itself isn’t enough to prevent unexpected accidents which can cause serious injuries when you consider the dangerous environments lone workers have to work every day. It is essential to implement advanced communication and safety systems for companies to ensure the safety of their field personnel.
The frequency of work incidents affects productivity, employees who feel safe are more productive, and they are more engaged in their job. That is why safety is no longer thought of as an extra cost, but it is a necessity. Businesses who manage lone workers must protect their workforce, and they should have a lone-working policy in place. An effective safety policy sets a clear direction for the management to follow. A healthy workforce is also the first step to a financially successful business. Company owners are better off providing tracking APPs, body-worn cameras and improving the overall security of workplaces rather than trying to save pennies by not implementing the necessary safety measures.
Lone worker APPs help to provide additional safety for employees who work in distant, remote job sites. Technicians, service agents, miners and people of similar professions are required to work without any contact with other people for hours during their shifts. Because of the solitary work conditions, any serious accidents that might happen can lead to devastating consequences if not responded in a timely manner. It is one of the main reasons why companies need to invest in sophisticated monitoring solutions and devices that can be used to detect these accidents or provide a means of communication with the injured staff. Emergency services need to be informed about the exact location of the employee in distress which the lone worker APP can provide with extreme accuracy.
Lone worker devices
Emergency situations are always time sensitive, and it is important to send medical help as quickly as possible. A lone worker APP offers effective tools that can help reduce the response times drastically. Geofence zones, real-time location tracking, man down alarm and timed sessions are only a few of the prominent tools managers can use to increase the safety of their staff. Geofence zones can be utilized as an early warning system as well as to check the arrival and departures times of the employees to the job site. Once breached, a geofence zone issues an alert to the responsible supervisor. Field managers can check if the breach is according to schedule or an unplanned movement. If the employee has indeed left the job site untimely, the manager can contact the employee to find out if it is an emergency situation. These virtual perimeters enhance safety and allow business managers to determine if an employee is efficient or spends more time than they are supposed on a job order.
Careless or tired employees, malfunctioning equipment, and angry customers are only a few of the reasons that a lone worker can find themselves in an unsavory situation. When such an event occurs, features like man down alarm and panic button allow the employees to alert the managers to send medical aid or law enforcement officers to their location.
Technology plays a large part in the rise in the number of lone workers, but the very same technology can also be used to amp up the safety of these workers. Lone worker APPs, personal tracking devices, and body-worn cameras are great examples of additional safeguards businesses can employ to create a secure work environment. These solutions may initially cost a company, but, adopting an effective and concrete safety solution will end up paying for itself in the long run.