Many people we speak to are confused about the huge range of lone worker protection solutions and the options available.
What is BS8484?
Should we use stand-alone devices or smartphone apps?
How do we get our staff to use the system?
We spoke to Pick Protection , one of our brand new exhibitors in 2019, and their CEO Rebecca Pick, to find out her views on some of the perceptions and misconceptions people may have about technology based lone worker solutions.
Gone are the days of one size fits all. A huge range of technology and style has opened up a plethora of tailored solutions for many business practices. Lone worker protection is one of them.
So, when it comes to deciding what security devices to purchase for your lone workers, as with any important purchase, it’s worth exploring the options and making sure you are equipped with as much knowledge and advice as possible to choose the solution that is right for you.
# 1: Dedicated devices are technically the best lone worker solution
Dedicated devices are typically a more expensive solution but technically they can fall short
When considering which lone worker solution to purchase, it is important to check exactly what is included within your solution. Many of the most common devices available on the market today utilise older style GPS technology, requiring “line of sight” to provide an accurate location when the alarm is raised in an emergency. In the confines of a building, the location accuracy can be compromised.
Alternatively, the more sophisticated technology in both standalone devices and the smartphones of today can make it easier to accurately pinpoint locations. Additional hardware, such as Bluetooth beacons, can be placed in buildings to improve accuracy too.
When deciding what to buy, it is important to ask questions to understand exactly what the device/app does. Apps can provide a cost-effective way of utilising the most advanced location technology available to us inside the smartphones of today.
# 2: Smartphone applications are cheaper because they are less effective
Smartphone applications can deliver higher levels of user adoption
The most important aspect of any safety equipment or solution is that it is used. What use is a hard hat on a building site if it is lying in the back of a van? In that sense, when we look across our customer base between users of smartphone apps and dedicated devices, we see that the trend of active usage is higher for smartphone-based users.
Of course, there are a lot of factors that can influence user adoption such as how users are trained, how users perceive risk and how the solution is incorporated in the organisation’s lone worker policy. However, by utilising a device that is naturally a part of daywear, never more than arms’ length away from the individual, can improve usage levels.
# 3: You must choose a BS:8484 accredited lone worker solution to show you have taken your duty of care seriously
You don’t need a BS:8484 accredited lone worker solution to fulfil your duty of care
Having an accredited lone worker solution will give certainty to you as the customer that any incidents are handled using a tried and tested set of processes and with technology that meets with best practice standards. However, for some organisations, simply finding a service that is BS:8484 accredited end-to-end might not be what is best for you.
The BS:8484 accreditation denotes service levels such as operator response time and expertise, but if your organisation has the resource to monitor your employees internally, there may be a better fit for you. With a 24/7 centre such as a CCTV control room, risk management centre or call centre, one of the most effective options to maintain maximum protection is to monitor workers in-house. The added advantage of this method is the intuitive response of your own monitoring resource, along with the ability to tap into local emergency networks rather than more remote surveillance.
For example, many local authorities have the capability to deliver a comprehensive lone worker solution from within their existing 24/7 control rooms. With close integration to local police and emergency services, and with the ability to put “eyes on” an incident where CCTV monitoring takes place, these self-managed solutions can be more cost effective, without compromising on safety.
We hope Rebecca’s short rundown, has helped to iron out a few questions about dedicated devices and smartphone applications when choosing the right solution to keep your employees safe.
If you want to speak to Rebecca or her team about their views and the solutions Pick Protection have available, make sure you book your ticket soon as delegate numbers are limited this year.