Mobile phones have become an extension of our hands. It’s hard leaving home without them, and even when we’re in the office, they’re essential for pinging messages and utilising an ever-increasing array of apps. Lone workers, in particular are a growing part of the UK’s workforce to benefit from using mobile phones in the workplace. With access to maps, alarms, positioning trackers, HD video recorder and a camera, lone workers are able anticipate, assess and manage potentially dangerous or threatening situations.
But whilst mobile phones are a utility for every day communication, they should not necessarily be relied upon to protect lone workers in every situation. Here are just some of reasons why:
If a lone worker suffers injury
A phone is unable to monitor a user’s movements or detect lack of motion in the same way say, a man-down device can. If a lone worker falls unconscious or is attacked, a user may not be able to interact with a mobile phone in order to summon for help.
If a lone worker works in remote locations
Mobile signal black spots can be frustrating at the best of times, but if a lone worker is faced with an emergency situation, losing mobile coverage can prevent alerting others and calling for help.
A mobile phone has limited battery life
Making calls, browsing on the internet and app usage can eat away at your phone’s battery life, and you never know when your phone’s battery might pack up – leaving lone workers even more vulnerable without any means of communication.
Lack of monitoring and tracking capability
Whilst a lone worker solution can be integrated into a users mobile phone, on their own they are not enough. If a lone worker system is not integrated with a company’s unique methods of communication systems, nothing meaningful can be tracked or recorded.
Introducing a lone worker app
Integrating a lone worker app via a smartphone can provide so much more than just help lone workers and their employers communicate with each another. They provide vital positioning information to help employers locate lone workers, alarm systems for when they find themselves in dangerous situations, and no-motion sensors to provide alerts when a lone worker may be injured or unconscious.
LONEALERT’s lone worker app allows employers to effectively manage their workforce through a central online management suite. A live dashboard view shows the current status of all active lone workers, coupled with their GPS position. A full log and audit trail of staff messages and locations can also be viewed, and two-way communication between managers and end-users is constantly maintained and tracked.
Reporting and managing
A fully integrated lone worker solution not only helps managers become more responsive to problems, they also improve health and safety compliance. Employers’ duties under RIDDOR require them to report and keep records of all work-related accidents and incidents. Storing information on individual smartphones is fragmented and hard to collate. Whereas a lone worker app allows supervisors to leave detailed notes on the cause and response of incidents, which are then stored in the Management Suite for audit, review and evidencing purposes.
Lone workers need to be constantly connected, and this goes beyond just having the ability to make calls or texts. Organisations need to deploy solutions that allow lone workers to communicate and call for backup regardless of geography or mobile blackspots. A well-thought-out lone worker policy involves tailoring a lone worker system to suit a company’s diverse communications needs, as well as meeting the unique requirements of your lone worker’s daily tasks.