Although there are many risks associated with lone working, it can still be perfectly safe to work alone, as long as necessary steps are taken to protect the safety of the lone working employees.
Conducting risk assessments can help organisations to identify every single hazard associated with each job role. This would also help the employee to be alert and avoid possible hazards that could endanger their safety.
When conducting risk assessments, some organisations resort to providing lone workers with just a telephone number to call if they need help or suffer an accident when working alone. In all fairness, this is a reasonable solution for someone that’s working alone for a short period of time. However this is not the approach that should be taken for a high risk lone worker who may be working alone for long periods of time in an environment with varying risk factors affecting their safety.
Here at Guardian24, we provide a robust lone worker protection service that connects a lone worker directly to our Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), that’s fully monitored by trained Controllers 24/7. We highlight 3 key examples of lone working scenarios where calling a telephone number is not an appropriate solution for a high risk lone worker:
- Scenario 1: Slips, trips and falls are one of the major causes of accidents when working alone, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). So let’s say if a lone worker slips and falls unconscious, they wouldn’t be able to call for help using the telephone number provided. It’s also important to provide immediate medical assistance to these lone workers, because such incidents could have a serious impact to their health and well-being.
- Scenario 2: Employees who deals directly with the public may suffer verbal or physical abuse, depending on the situation that arises. This could be a very traumatic experience, especially if they are working alone. In such situations, it would be difficult for them to call a particular number without making it obvious and this at times could even aggravate the situation.
- Scenario 3: Now let’s look at a simple scenario where a lone worker suffers a minor accident or injury and they are able to call the number provided to them. Usually this is directly to their line manager or co-worker, but at that particular occasion they failed to answer the phone – maybe their phone was on silent or they were in a meeting.
All the scenarios highlighted above clearly shows why physically calling a particular telephone number is not an ideal solution for a high risk lone worker. Investing in a personal safety alarm like the MicroGuard that connects directly to a fully monitored ARC, would be an efficient solution for the above mentioned scenarios. For instance:
- MicroGuard comes with an optional ‘Fall Alarm’ feature that automatically raises an alarm to our ARC when the user slips, trips or falls unconscious – an ideal solution for scenario 1. The Controllers in our ARC will be able to see the user’s exact location thanks to GPS capabilities within the device and summon the emergency services to the user immediately.
- An alarm can be raised discreetly with a simple press on the dedicated SOS button on the MicroGuard, which connects directly to the Controllers in our ARC. The Controllers would be able to listen in to the conversation and contact the police if they believe the situation is escalating, thus providing immediate assistance to the lone worker in scenario 2.
- In scenario 3, the employee is relying on the quick response of their line manager or co-worker and this may be difficult if they have other day to day responsibilities. Our Controllers only responsibility is to provide assistance to lone workers… any day or any time! so when an alarm is raised, the Controller could speak directly to the user via the 2-way communication in the device and reassure them until help arrives.
Lone working can be a very effective and safe practice, once the organisation conducts a risk assessment and takes a solid approach towards the protection of their lone working employees. If you would like more information on how to implement a robust lone worker protection, please contact us on 0207 118 8247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org