If you are considering buying a lone worker solution, you will have come across a wide range of lone worker apps and devices – it can feel a little bit confusing deciding which solution is the best option for your lone workers.
This post explains some of the key differences between lone worker apps and devices, and what preparation and research you can do before committing to a solution.
The Key Differences Between Apps and Devices
Lone worker apps are incredibly popular and are now available on most operating systems, including Windows. There are several reasons you might consider purchasing apps instead of devices:
- Cost – lone worker apps are a good value solution for smaller budgets, this makes them ideal for small businesses, self-employed lone workers, or anyone who wants additional protection whilst going about their day.
- Ease of use – most people have a smartphone and are familiar with how they work. This means training may not need to be as intensive as with lone worker devices.
- Setup – lone worker apps can be deployed very quickly, although some planning is still required, your workforce can be up and running very quickly once your contract is signed.
- Convenience – some employees prefer apps as it means their safety solution can be added to a device they already have, rather than having to carry another bit of kit.
- Bluetooth accessories – in the past, some were concerned that apps weren’t very discrete in an emergency, that’s why some apps now come with accessories which pair up with smartphones via Bluetooth; acting as the red alert button.
Sounds great right? In addition, the lower cost of lone worker apps doesn’t in any way mean you are compromising the safety of you lone workers; the First2HelpYou lone worker app connects to our Alarm Receiving Centre in the same way our lone worker device does. This means that your employees still get the same fast response in an emergency.
Despite all the great features, there are some situations in which lone workers apps aren’t an appropriate choice. Before purchasing a lone worker app solution, you must carefully consider the areas your lone workers visit as lone worker apps rely on a mobile phone signal, coverage may be varied.
In addition, lone worker apps are not BS8484 compliant when used on Apple devices. This is because IOS (Apple operating system) is so locked down that the app can’t override the device lock. This means that in an emergency, a lone worker would have to log in before activating a red alert. If one of your requirements is a BS8484 compliant device, then our KIT Lone Worker Device will be more suitable.
A dedicated lone worker device has a few other benefits that a lone worker app can’t offer:
- Longevity – lone worker devices are more suitable for people who work in harsher environments. Smartphones can be quite delicate and are easily lost.
- Ideal for technophobes – our lone worker device, the KIT is incredibly easy to use, especially for people who don’t use, or like smartphones. Amber and red alerts can be set by remembering just a couple of buttons.
- Flexible – lone worker devices can be used to suit your employee’s needs, especially when purchasing a solution like ours which comes with an accessory kit; allowing your employees to wear their device several ways.
How to Choose a Solution
You might already be looking at apps and devices, but it’s very important that you first carry out a risk assessment for your lone workers. Risk assessments are a vital part of the buying process that can’t be ignored. A risk assessment will provide you with most of the information you need to decide which is the best solution.
If your staff face higher risks while performing their duties, or are public facing, then a lone worker device is the best option. Lone worker devices offer a discreet, fast way to summon help in an emergency – perfect for those who face people risks.
If the risk of violence or threats is much lower amongst your staff, but your risk assessment still shows an extra precaution should be taken to help protect employees, then a lone worker app is the ideal solution. Apps are also great for occasional lone workers, or for pool devices, for example, an office phone for the last person to the leave the building or stay working late.
Remember, you don’t have to have one or the other exclusively, most providers, including us, offer flexible contracts where you can have a selection of solutions. After all, it’s all about implementing a solution that works best for your employees, each of whom may have their own individual risks and challenges.
Have Any Questions About Lone Worker Apps or Device?
If you have any question about lone worker apps or want more advice on selecting the best solution to meet your organisation’s needs, then please get in touch and we’ll get back to you right away.
You may also find it useful to look at our guide to buying lone worker solutions.