Can You Afford Not to Protect Your Lone Workers? The Financial Argument for Lone Worker Safety

Keeping your lone working staff safe by implementing a lone worker safety solution does involve a degree of investment, but have you ever considered the financial implications if you don’t invest?….

There were an estimated 649,000 incidents of violence at work in 2012/13 according to the Crime Survey England & Wales (CSEW)

In 2012/13 the HSE imposed fines totalling £15 million on convicted organisations breaching legislation. It is crucial companies consider the impact to their organisation should they fail to proactively manage staff’s personal safety.

Workplace violence has caused the UK industry a loss of more than 3 million working days each year. Staff absence can occur because of many reasons. ‘Man-down’ incidents causing injury from trips, slips and falls to injury from physical assault and stress resulting from verbal abuse. This puts additional cost onto the organisation. Not least the time it takes to investigate and report on such incidents. Furthermore, the cost involved in providing temporary staff to cover those absent. Alongside this, low morale and stress can occur amongst other employees whose workload has increased to provide cover. This in turn leads to overworked, de-motivated staff with decreased staff performance which impacts on areas such as poor customer service and low customer retention as customers take their business elsewhere.

There is an increased focus on health and safety as companies tighten up on their policies and push areas such as risk assessment to the top of the agenda to prevent financial burdens. With the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, many companies have had their eyes opened to the potential for prosecution and the huge penalties that could be imposed if the organisation was found guilty under the act.

The recommended fine for a public corporate manslaughter prosecution to be imposed on any business is now £500,000 or greater.

Therefore, it stands to reason that managing the aftermath of incidents once they have occurred may well be more expensive to an organisation that proactively controlling the risks. The Health and Safety Executive estimates that it costs an organisation approximately £18,000 to investigate and manage each serious incident. Failure to comply with legal requirements can also lead to litigation. Cases quoted recently involved payments ranging from £67,000 to £203,000. This does not take into consideration the unseen costs. Hidden costs such as the damage that can be caused to the reputation of an organisation. Negative publicity can end up costing a business far more than a finance penalty and often takes much longer to recover from.

The Guardian24 lone worker solution provides a powerful and much valued service for our users. In these times of cost reduction and efficiency a strong ROI argument is clear when adopting Guardian24 especially when you consider the investment and results compared to using internal manual monitoring such as a ‘buddy’ system. Normally, the manual approach involves an administrator being tasked to manage the calls in, confirming movement and next appointment etc. and is also responsible for monitoring when Lone Workers have not confirmed completion. This, for the nominated ‘respondent’ or ‘buddy’ is time consuming but our telephone based system allows for automated activity management, removing the manual time involved.

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The solution is not dependent on individual, human response and time or work pressures. It doesn’t get busy, forget or mislay information. In addition, Guardian24 also delivers additional capabilities that manual processes cannot replicate no matter how much is invested. For example, our panic alarm allows the user to summon help discreetly with a professional resource handling the alarm. When an alarm is raised, audio from the device is transmitted. Thus providing further support for the Alarm Receiving Centre staff to base decisions on. There is no need for internal staff to act as out of hour’s duty officers. The time savings in simple worked hours are substantial and quantitative. Regardless of the possible savings in the points discussed above.

Review your health and safety procedures and implement a lone worker safety solution. Doing so, could protect your lone workers and organisation from these risks and cost implications. Using a lone worker solution can also increase staff morale and productivity. Staff feel safe and protected by their organisation. The return on investment with a lone worker safety solution will bring benefits that far outweigh the cost of implementing such a solution. You can’t afford not to protect your lone workers.

2018-10-29T12:50:16+01:00February 19th, 2014|