Currently there are no laws in place for those working alone. However, as an employer you have a legal and moral duty of care to protect your lone workers from unnecessary risk, whilst they are carrying out their duties. With an increasing number of those that work alone being attacked or suffering an injury each year, it is vitally important for organisations to counter the risks by deploying appropriate lone worker solutions.
Choosing the right lone worker solution requires careful consideration of your employees requirements, infrastructure and risk levels. We have therefore put together a set of 10 questions that can help you to choose the most suitable lone worker solution that specifically meets the needs of your business and staff.
1. Do you need a lone worker solution?
Regardless of the job role, if your employees work alone out of the office, out of normal working hours, or are exposed to high levels of physical or environmental risk, they need to be provided with the right level of protection.
2. What are the nature of the risks your lone workers will encounter?
The level of risk encountered by your lone workers will help you to determine the type of the lone worker solution that you need. Typically, a lone worker will fall into three categories:
- Public facing: Medical staff (e.g. doctors & nurses), dentists, social workers, charity workers, public transport workers, estate agents.
- Mobile: These are staff that work alone, but are not based in a fixed location.
- On site: Staff that based on site but have limited contact with colleagues e.g. factory, warehouse, maintenance, construction workers.
The nature of each job and the level of risk involved needs to be taken into account when choosing lone worker solutions to ensure that the most appropriate device is used and can provide the highest level of protection depending on the situation.
3. Have you spoken to your employees?
Including your employees from the beginning is essential. Allowing them to be part of the process will smooth over any ‘big brother’ concerns which they may have, therefore eradicating any barriers of implementation. Furthermore, involving your lone workers and understanding which device they are the most comfortable with will also help you in shaping your requirements. After all, they will be using the device daily and are acutely aware of the dangers they may face and will be able to raise concerns about their personal safety.
4. Will the lone worker solution be managed internally or outsourced?
Your employees must be confident that there is a commitment and support internally so that appropriate action can be taken, if they find themselves in a threatening or dangerous situation. Some organisations have the resources to self manage their lone worker systems, whilst others may need the experience and reliability of a dedicated alarm centre.
Assess the cost effectiveness and feasibility of a self managed lone worker system compared to the cost of outsourcing it to a third party or a dedicated monitoring and response centre.
5. Does your lone worker work remotely?
A device that operates through a smart phone may not be the ideal solution for lone workers who find themselves in remote geographic locations with unreliable mobile signal. LONEALERT offers a GPS phone tracker solution, which plots and sends a GPS position record even in areas where there is insufficient mobile signal.
6. How much training is involved?
The level of training is dependent on the level of the lone worker solution you choose. You will need to consider the complexity of the lone worker system against the features it offers and how much training is required so that each lone worker feels comfortable using the device.
Lone Workers also needs the right training to be able to recognise danger, and the appropriate action to take, as well as being confident both normally and under pressure when using the device.
We have trained, professional and dedicated staff that will help throughout the implementation process.
7. How will the system integrate with your existing IT and telecoms infrastructure?
Integrating a lone worker solution seamlessly with your existing IT and telecoms infrastructure can help to drive operational efficiency and improve emergency procedures. You will need to consider how a lone worker solution might integrate with your existing systems to ensure you can effectively monitor the safety of each lone worker. The LONEALERT platform is our operating system which can be tailored to suit your needs.
8. What is the procedure in the event of an emergency?
You will need to be clear on what the process will be if a lone worker raises the alarm and ensure that someone is available to respond in the event that an alarm is raised. Consider whether there should be a regular checking-in procedure to monitor staff in a vulnerable situation. We can help you through this process.
9. Do you need to monitor lone worker outside normal business hours?
If your employees work outside normal business hours, then you have to consider who will be notified if an alarm is raised? Smartphone devices may be an ideal solution for this scenario so that out-of-office lone workers are protected 24/7.
10. Is the system specifically built for lone workers?
Some businesses offer related services and rebrand them as ‘lone worker solutions’. Such products often lack the basic components that a true lone worker system should provide. When choosing a lone worker solution provider be sure that they are a specialist in lone worker safety and provide solutions purely for lone workers.
Taking time to consider these ten questions will provide you with a good starting point from which to determine the best lone worker system for your business, and also help you assess the risks associated with your lone workers.
Article Code: LABL201611