Lone worker monitoring software is an important part of your comprehensive approach to lone workers safety. It should come as standard with your lone worker device provision, but not all monitoring software is created equal.
Deciding which lone worker provider to trust with your staff is a big deal.
We’ve put together this handy guide to help you decide which portal is right for your teams.
In our experience, the quality of the portal is a good indicator of the level of care the lone worker provider will put in to looking after your staff, and how much of the hard work you will have to do yourself.
Why Monitor Lone Workers?
It is a fact that lone workers are more vulnerable than their colleagues who work with supervision.
Monitoring lone workers not only enables you to check on the status of the lone worker in real time, but you can spot patterns in activations.
Being able to check the real time status of your staff vital in the event of an activation. Sometimes, internal assistance is the most appropriate course of action, and being able to see the status, location, and amber alert message of the colleague can help you get assistance there faster.
Not only that, but false alerts are common. Being able to quickly check on the status of your colleague prevents you having to do a lot of leg work to close down a false alert.
Spotting patterns in activations is a very important part of making sure your lone worker risk assessments and lone worker policies are fit for purpose. (Have a look here for help and templates on writing these policies).
Seeing historical activations and reports lets you build up an overview of hot spots for activity, or specific times of day when your staff are most vulnerable.
Is It Ethical To Monitor Lone Workers?
Absolutely! You have a duty of care to your staff to protect them from harm and a robust lone worker safety provision is part of that.
We can’t speak for other lone worker providers, but our lone worker devices are easy to turn on and off and do not monitor when off. So your staff will be confident they are not being monitored when they are not working.
What Should I Look For In Lone Worker Monitoring Software?
Of course, every provider will build their lone worker monitoring portal differently. Because there are no guidelines for portals in BS8484, there is a lot of variation between providers.
Dave Atkins, Head of Products and Implementation at First2HelpYou, utilised his vast experience in the industry to create a super portal and has compiled his top tips for identifying the best portal.
1. No Additional or Hidden Costs:
We know that some lone worker providers charge for their client management portal separately, of charge extra for certain functionalities.
It is our belief that the portal is a vital part of the lone worker safety provision, for the reasons mentioned above, and we do not charge extra for any aspect of it.
2. Easy to use
There are some seriously complicated lone worker portals out there. You shouldn’t need a degree in computer science to be able to add a user or check the status of a device.
That’s why we made our portal really easy to use with as few steps as possible.
3. Real Time Updates
Having no delay in your system updating is so important in protecting your staff. Your staff are vulnerable if alerts, locations, and statuses are not showing immediately on your screen.
Not only that but having to wait for changes to uses to update leaves them vulnerable or your device redundant.
We have heard of cases where it takes over 24 hours for a phone number to update, which means that lone worker isn’t protected.
A lone worker portal should update with statuses and user information instantly.
4. Customisable Reporting Tools
We understand that you might not want to see the same reports as everyone else. Sure, there will be some standard reports that are fairly universal, but the chances are you will have specific requirements.
A good lone worker provider will create bespoke reporting capabilities in the lone worker monitoring software, rather than just providing the standard.
5. Amber Alert Audio Playback
Sometimes, a device is triggered, and it isn’t very clear what is happening. The Alarm Receiving Centre can listen to the amber alert and be none the wiser, but the lone worker’s line manager has a clearer understanding of the context in which the lone worker is operating and will be in a better position to understand what could be happening.
Being able to listen to the amber alert messages left by your lone workers adds another layer of safety.
What Else Should I Look For?
Of course, there are lots of other things you should be on the look out for, such as can you see the GPS location of the user, can you have a hierarchical view of colleagues, and can you restrict access for certain individuals?
Have a look here at our Connect Portal to see how else we tick the boxes.