Security Blog

Lone worker protection

Posted by Spartan 24 Hour Security on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 Under: Personal Security
Many organisations are under increasing pressure to provide better protection and security for lone workers, but what is the best way to maintain contact and ensure the safety of employees when they are working remotely away from the office?



According to the British Security Industry Association, there are now more than six million people in the UK who can be classed as lone workers. There are many roles in both private and public sector organisations that involve working either in isolation or without direct supervision, often in places or circumstances that put workers at potential risk. Of these, tens of thousands of employees are abused, attacked or victims of an accident in the UK every year.

Employers have obligations to protect their employees and members of the public under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and this applies equally to those at risk of violence and aggression. In addition, there have also been a number of successful prosecutions in recent years where company directors have been held accountable under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, and although these were not related to lone working, it clearly makes sense to ensure that mobile employees are working responsibly and safely.

The welfare of vulnerable lone workers is also now a priority and must be considered to ensure appropriate measures are taken and processes implemented. With mobile employees constantly away from the office and on the move, one of the biggest challenges is to ensure their health and safety. Therefore, organisations increasingly want the ability to monitor the well-being of these employees, while enabling them to call for assistance should a problem occur. With advances in technology in recent years there are now a range of options available.

Vehicle tracking

The benefits of vehicle tracking have been widely publicised and this offers a means of boosting fleet performance by reducing costs, increasing productivity and enhancing customer service. However, this technology also provides an effective tool to gain visibility over mobile workers, access asset location and monitor the activities of vehicles.

This kind of solution can also include an integrated built-in or remote panic alarm, with the latest remote technology effective at a distance in excess of one kilometre from the vehicle. Meanwhile, ‘geofencing’ enables organisations to create virtual exclusion zones that trigger an email or SMS alert should an employee enter a certain area. These zones can also be set up by time of day to better target when a lone worker will be most at risk.

Proactive monitoring

The latest tracking technology can now determine when a harsh event has occurred involving a vehicle, which provides a way of offering live protection to lone workers direct from the office. A 24/7 monitoring system will provide notification of any potential incident, enabling a driver to be quickly contacted to ascertain whether there has been a problem and whether support is required.

In addition, it is then possible to download detailed vehicle data to gather key facts and determine the events leading up to an incident, which can provide added protection for the employee.

Personal tracking

Mobile personal tracking and panic button devices can now give workers the freedom to operate in isolated or unfamiliar locations without being cut off, whilst providing organisations with added peace of mind.

This kind of device can provide employees with direct access to round-the-clock assistance in case of an emergency or accident. In particular, they can provide voice monitoring assistance for high risk situations where a voice channel can be opened from an office to a device without it ringing or vibrating. Meanwhile, a status request can also be sent that will automatically generate an SOS alert if not confirmed by the lone worker.

The arrival of mobile and tracking tools offers a massive advance for lone worker protection and can help go a long way towards providing the necessary levels of protection. However, adopting any technology solutions needs to be part of a much wider strategy that is designed to minimise the risks and puts processes and measures in place to improve safety. By doing this, technology can provide an effective enabler towards safeguarding employees working alone in vulnerable circumstances.

In : Personal Security 


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