Do you know how lone worker solutions work? If not, you wouldn’t be alone. There are a few misunderstandings about some of the features of devices. This blog will clearly explain what amber and red alerts are, and how help is sent out when lone workers need it the most.

Amber Alerts

An amber alert is a great way for lone workers to notify their service provider or employer to be on ‘standby’ as they are entering a high-risk situation. Users can leave a message saying what they are about to do or where they are. The amber alert then acts as a timer for that activity – if a user hasn’t checked out of an amber to signal that their high-risk activity is over, then a red alert will automatically be triggered.

A real-life example of this would be a social worker entering a service users property. They would roughly know the amount of time that they intend to spend in the property, any time spent in the property beyond that could be because they were in trouble. If it’s a simple mistake and the user is ok then they can cancel the red alert. The amber alert is a precaution that could potentially save a life if something had gone wrong.

Red Alerts

A red alert is what a lone worker would trigger if they felt they were in danger. This could be because someone was acting in a threating manner towards them, they had become ill or had an accident.

picture showing a police car to illustrate a blog by First2HelpYou on lone working solutions

Most lone worker devices will feature a button that requires just a single press to activate a red alarm (on our KIT devices, it is the silver SOS button) this is much easier to navigate and press in an emergency, than having to locate a phone to call 999, or other assistance.

What Happens When a Red Alert is Triggered?

There is a common misconception that red alerts are only to be used in extreme situations, as triggering an alert will involve the emergency services. It’s very important when implementing lone worker devices to reassure users that a red alert will NOT immediately bring the police or an ambulance. The red alert is there to be used when a lone worker feels even the smallest bit intimidated or threatened.

When a red alert is triggered, it will prompt a responder in our monitoring centre to first listen in via the device and then quickly assess the situation. If they feel it is safe to speak, they will then speak to the user to ask them to confirm that they are ok. Sometimes by this point, the threat has passed or the user feels reassured and the two-way audio will be closed down.

If however, one of our responders feels that the situation is dangerous based on what they can hear, or because the lone worker has stated that they need immediate help, the responder will then set in motion the arrival of the emergency services. The responder will usually keep the line open to the user until they can hear that the appropriate help has arrived. Two-way audios are also recorded  – they are often used in court as evidence.

Escalation Contacts

The above process is a typical response to a red alert, but most lone worker solution provider will be able to tailor the process to the customers’ requirements. It may be that an emergency response isn’t usually required and that the customer would prefer that our monitoring centre contact the lone workers’ employer first. This could be to send a colleague to look for the lone worker, meet them, or check in on them.

a concerned looking woman on the phone to illustrate a blog by First2HelpYou on lone working solutions

In either case, the lone worker device provider and monitoring centre will need to have the details of escalation contacts. These are usually set up at the beginning of your contract and can be changed whenever an escalation contact is on annual leave or leaves the company.

Man Down

A man down alerts is activated when a device senses a period of fast movement, followed by stillness. This could indicate a lone worker has fallen – that makes this an especially essential feature for those who work at height. It could also just indicate that someone has fallen over, this could be because of illness or a trip.

Similar to a red alert, this will open up a line so that our monitoring centre can listen in and try and speak to the user. If there is no response then next steps will be taken.

First2HelpYou Lone Worker Solutions

If you would like to know more about lone worker devices and solutions or believe you may need a more bespoke system, then please get in touch with us using our contact page and we’ll get back to you right away.