Protecting Your Lone Workers - 7 Things to Think About
Updated: Aug 17
If lone workers in your organisation are your responsibility, we’re guessing your time is a pretty critical resource. It’s important to take time out to assess whether you could improve the way you’re looking after your lone worker, but making time is the problem. This post highlights 7 key areas to focus on.
You have a legal requirement to assess the risks of various job roles and ensure the safety and health of your employees and other people on your property. Depending on how ‘rugged’ your industry is, you may need to be aware of the controls over the types of alerting devices your staff can use and how you need to strengthen or improve those devices due to the specific environmental conditions.
Your obligation: are you clear on your compliance requirements for your lone worker team, your specific industry and your region?
Speed kills, as the road traffic advertisements say, but speed also saves lives. In a critical, potentially life-threatening situation, speed of response is crucial. Some approaches use call centres, CCTV or response centres to manage alerts. Others adopt the latest monitoring and alerting technologies which automate manual steps in alert processing and response co-ordination.
Your obligation: are you getting the fastest possible processing and relaying of alerts to first responders?
Costs for monitoring, alerting and communications can include hardware, software, people, or a combination of methods. New technologies can makes the traditional ways – and the older technologies too – redundant. While the costs of technology tend to go down and become more affordable after its introduction, the costs of people do not. Software can automate some of the services of third party people and equipment, while still giving you constant protection, at a fraction of the cost.
Your obligation: how can technology and automation reduce the cost of your solution?
The KISS principle of Keep It Simple, Stupid applies very well to your monitoring and alerting approaches, especially when time is critical and lone worker wellbeing are at stake in an emergency. Increased complexity brings with it the increased risk of failure. This is true both for the devices your lone workers use and the systems that you and your supervisory staff rely on for monitoring wellbeing, processing and responding to alerts, and communicating effectively.
Your obligation: what is the simple solution for you lone workers and your organisation?
Flexibility pays when it comes to different requirements within your lone worker teams, and the different communications protocols that your system has access tofor processing and relaying alerts and vital communications. The wider the range of devices from your supplier, the better the fit to each lone worker’s needs, and the more communication protocols your system can use to get the message through (mobile data, WiFi data, SMS or call), the better you can respond, even in areas of poor or no signal.
Your obligation: do you have multiple options for your varying requirements and for getting emergency alerts through?
Control equates to your time and your priorities for the organisation. It’s far better to be in control of different monitoring, alerting and communications systems rather than them being in control of you. Advanced systems are capable of providing you with one monitoring and alert processing ‘window’ across all your systems, lone worker devices and sites. This gives you better and quicker visibility, and easier auditing and reporting.
Your obligation: which systems can you bring under one communications umbrella?
Deeper consideration of lone worker protection and wellbeing turns the conversation away from a compliance necessity and towards to the opportunity to increase productivity, which directly impacts profitability. A unified, automated system should mean lower monitoring costs, quicker responses to stricken people, infrastructure and machinery, and better deployment of resources, especially yours!
Your obligation: can you quantify the increased productivity you might get from a unified system?
This post is an abridged part of ‘The Worry-free Guide to Lone Worker Monitoring, Alerting and Communications Compliance.’ For more detail on these important considerations, you can get the guide here. (You’ll need to give us your name and email address so we can send it to you, but that’s all.)
To talk to us directly about your lone worker protection requirements, please send us a short note here.