Lone workers are some of the most vulnerable professionals out there, and as an employer, you have a legal duty to protect them. Lone workers are prolific as well – around 1 in 5 UK workers can be classified as such, and as a result of the often dangerous environments they work in, they’re protected under HSE legislation.
There are a number of ways that modern technologies are being adapted to ensure the safety of lone workers, and these are generally called lone worker solutions. These solutions can come in many different forms, from apps to tracking cards, and we take a closer look at these in the article that follows. For further information, take a look at ANT Telecom website for expert insights on lone working solutions.
What’s the Problem?
The problem that employers and workers face with regard to remote working conditions often comes down to a lack of communication.
Couple this with a hazardous environment and you have the potential for workplace disasters. If a worker were to fall and be knocked unconscious, for example, and had no colleagues around to alert a response team, the results could be catastrophic. Luckily, there are multiple solutions to help prevent situations like this from occurring.
What Are the Solutions?
There are a number of solutions available to employers,that can help keep their lone workers safe. These involve a combination of smart devices that workers keep on them, which are all integrated into a larger system that monitors these devices in the field.
One solution that can help ensure the safety of lone workers is specialised communication devices. An example of this is the Atlas M31. It’s a small device, around the same size as a credit card, and weighs around 108g. It features GPS/GNSS and Indoor Positioning, allowing employers to locate workers any time that they’re in the field.
It also features True Man Man Detection, which sends out an alert if the device thinks the worker has suffered an accident. This alert is triggered by motion detection, and to ensure that there are no false alarms, there is a preliminary alert so that the worker can turn it off if it’s not necessary. This is just one of the multiple technical solutions available, each more or less suited to specific lone worker environments.
Automated Incident Managers
The weakest link in accident management tends to be human components. It only takes a few moments of lapsed attention to miss a vital response period to help someone who’s trying to raise the alarm.
Using people to monitor incident report systems is also a potentially redundant use of resources, if the system can be automated – if the company in question has appropriate safety measures in place, most of the time anyone monitoring these systems will be sitting doing nothing.
These issues can be sidestepped through the use of automated incident managers. In these cases, when a worker reports an incident – either from a motion sensor or self reporting – an automated system automatically logs the incident, while simultaneously calling for help from an appropriate response unit.
In cases where the worker is off site and in a remote capacity, this could be the emergency services, or if the worker is on site but working alone, it could alert a response team located locally.
Why Are They Important?
Lone worker solutions are important for two main reasons:
Health and Safety legislation states that employers need to provide their lone workers with training, supervision and monitoring. As such, it’s an employer’s legal duty to adopt the appropriate lone worker solutions, to adequately carry out this supervision and monitoring.
Lone worker solutions should be thought of in this light as a necessity, not an optional add on. Looking after your employees is a legal duty, but it goes beyond that.
A Positive Work Environment
Employees are essential for the running of any business, and in order to get the best out of them, your workers need to know that they’re protected and operating in a safe environment. Ensuring that your workers are working in a safe, supportive environment will help with employee retention, and will also assist with finding the best talent possible.
Employees who feel unsafe and neglected by their employer will simply look elsewhere for work, especially if the condition they’re operating in is objectively dangerous. Ensure your lone working solutions are in place, and that your employees know that their safety is at the forefront of your operations.