As the government pushes for safer work environments for all employees, it’s crucial for employers with lone workers to also find ways to better protect everyone in its employ. Lone workers can make things trickier for a lot of operations as they require special setups.
If this is your first time looking into lone worker safety, you might be wondering what your options are. To help you, we’ve rounded up a few of the most effective methods that lots of employers use today. Check them out below.
An age-old technique in keeping mobile workers safe is by ensuring that they don’t go around completing their tasks alone. The buddy system has been long employed by the police force and other professions, so it’s bound to work. This eliminates the biggest danger to lone workers which is being alone when they need a hand.
By using the buddy system, your lone workers aren’t alone in completing their tasks anymore. This can help guarantee that they always have someone who got their back when threats arise.
However, this can be a costly and inefficient affair. Some professions don’t really need two professionals to complete a single task, so it will be wiser to let some employees work independently. This is why this system isn’t always the best option even if it’s one of the most effective ways to ensure your lone workers’ safety.
Phone-Based Check-In Systems
Usually combined with a clear-cut scheduling system, this technique will require your team members to contact the home base by phone at predetermined times and instances. These check-ins are frequently required every hour or bi-hourly to closely monitor the location and situation of the lone worker. An employee’s failure to check-in will necessitate a visit to the employee’s home or last known location.
Use of Safety Monitoring Technologies
For the operations that find the phone check-ins tedious and time-consuming, safety monitoring technologies were developed. These are generally available in these two formats:
With the easy availability of smartphones, a lot of companies now opt to utilize the capabilities of these technologies to closely monitor their lone workers. Apps are designed to help track the whereabouts of employees as well as quickly send distress signals in times of emergency. They also simplify check-ins so your employees can focus on their actual task at hand instead of fussing over their phones to get in touch with your home base. Some apps also have more functionalities than others so they can be better options for your line of work.
The best part about using apps is that your employees don’t need to learn how to use other devices anymore. They can install these programs on their own smartphones, making its use simpler for them.
Some employers prefer using special devices instead of using smartphones during work hours. These prove to offer an efficient means of communication without the risk of your employees getting distracted by their smartphones or being prevented by poor cellular service to send distress signals.
Most of the time, these devices are best options for lone workers who perform their tasks in a single, predetermined space. It can be a designated work site where they’ll have to work away from their colleagues, so a communication device would still prove to be necessary.
No matter what method, technique, or piece of technology you plan to use for your lone working employees, the most important thing to remember is that none of these will work without the full cooperation and understanding of your employees.
If your lone workers aren’t willing to be monitored or if they don’t know why they need to take such safety precautions, your efforts to protect them will be in vain. Making them understand the necessity of checking in and using the safety systems you got for them should be the very first thing you do when putting such measures in place.