News Archive

Lone Worker

by msecadm4921

The biggest asset any business has is the staff that it employs and in today’s environment protecting and looking after them is a key requirement.

With new legislation ensuring heightened responsibility for the welfare and security of employees, such as the strengthening of the laws governing ‘Corporate Manslaughter’, many organisations are reassessing their risk management policies with regard to ‘lone workers’.
Perhaps one of the biggest shifts in policy is down to the realisation that the common misconceptions of lone workers simply being those who are out on the road or in remote locations; is actually an incorrect assumption.
The superstore managers, the retail outlet supervisor, the convenience store clerk – these people are not lone workers – or are they?
Once the cashiers, cleaners, security guards and shelf stackers have gone home, leaving the superstore manager alone to cash-up and lock the doors at the end of another days trading, almost by default they become a lone worker.
Or perhaps consider the petrol station attendant who is working on the night shift at a 24-hour garage. There might be CCTV, with transactions taking place through a small ‘security-window’ – but this person is another equally vulnerable lone worker. If they work alone, what, or perhaps whom is going provide assistance should they and encounter a unsafe situation – indeed lone workers are generally considered to amongst the highest ‘at risk’ of serious injury or attack in the workplace.

New law

Under the obligations of the ‘Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007’, the UK Government has closed a loophole that enabled companies to escape prosecution for fatalities at work. Previously, only individuals within the firm could be held accountable if negligence was proved, but the new laws mean companies can be prosecuted too. In addition, the Health and Safety Executive now has the authority to issue unlimited fines on the company, publicise its failings and order it to take remedial action to prevent a repeat of the incident.

As a result, many organisations in sectors such as retail – not previously associated necessarily with lone workers – are joining businesses from sectors such as homecare and security, by turning to hi-tech mobile communication devices for protection of their employees – and of themselves.

Lancashire-based, Mobile-e-Solutions, believes it is able to supply the perfect lone worker protection solution, to operations of any type or size, which can also potentially help them to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Mobile-e-Solutions’ Managing Director, Mike Lister, said that his company’s multi-functional solutions can play a part in ensuring the personal safety of employees; empowering them to participate fully in managing their own safety and time management. He said: "With real real-time proof-of-attendance, data capture, and lone worker protection all via the users’ mobile phone; our solutions offer reassurance to employees operating in a diversity of situations, where they may face any number of different scenarios or circumstances. The devices can also ensure that employees go about their work in a much more efficient and independent way – due to how the technology works and the ‘tagging’ system its uses; workers should always know what they should be doing, where and when – as an addition to ensuring their personal safety."

Mobile-e-Solutions technology contains features to help protect lone workers in potentially hazardous or even dangerous situations. As well as "overt" notification functionality, the product allows for "discreet" notifications too – whereby a worker can request assistance without making their potential assailant aware that they have done so. By using their mobile phone to activate an alert tag located in another object, such as a pen carried in their pocket, the mobile will then immediately send a silent alert to a monitoring system, or dial a pre-defined number to allow someone to listen in, speak, or record what is happening. The ‘overt’ solution operates in a similar manner, but with the mobile phone beeping or vibrating to indicate an alert has been sent.

Andrea Jackson of Beechwood HR and Business Support, specialists in advising employers of working practices and Health and Safety, believes that this technology is integral to every organisation because they all have a duty of care to employees.
She said: "I work with companies to set up lone worker and planning policies, we ensure that each department and employee is prepared and knows how to deal with any situation that they may potentially face; training them how to protect themselves or even something simple such as being conscious of how where they park their car may affect their personal safety.

So whilst it is important not to frighten staff so that they do not want to work alone, it is also important avoid naivety because should an employee face any form of jeopardy where they could not get help quickly or at least raise an alarm, the consequences of such do not bare thinking about. Andrea agrees that it is a balancing act: "In certain situations, for example when sales staffs make home visits, they must be conscious of the fact that no one can never be totally sure of the type of environment they are about to enter or what they potentially might encounter.

"I think this is where Mobile-e-Solutions system becomes integral because it tracks attendance and timings along with the reassurance of a fast and effective way to alert others should a hazardous situation arise."

Andrea added: "It also offers huge benefits because of the savings it presents meaning that managers do not have to waste time or resources making phone calls to check on employees. This is why I believe that is it an ideal solution to lone workers and their employers alike – regardless of whether they work in retail, sales, homecare, debt collecting or otherwise."

With management now directly held responsible for the welfare and protection of employees, in every industry; it is clear to see that the peace of mind that lone worker protection technology can provide, to both employer and employee alike, is the reason why so many businesses are turning to Mobile-e-Solutions.

For further information –

Related News

  • News Archive

    Installer Awards

    by msecadm4921

    The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is inviting nominations from electronic security companies and colleges for its Apprentice Security System Installer Awards…

  • News Archive

    Mersey Beat

    by msecadm4921

    The remit of Liverpool Chamber’s Business Crime Direct Team (BCD) is expanding thanks to funding from Government Office North West. Peter Jones,…

Newsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay on top of security news and events.

© 2024 Professional Security Magazine. All rights reserved.

Website by MSEC Marketing