Choosing The Right Lone Worker Solution
Choosing a good supplier with an excellent level of service is just as important as selecting the right device. But with so many lone worker solution providers and devices out there, it’s fair to say that the task can seem a little daunting.
First2HelpYou would like to relieve you of some of the stress, so here is our simplified step by step guide to choosing a lone worker solution.
Step One – Preparing and Planning
Before you start the process of looking for a lone worker solution, a little bit of homework and preparation will make the process much easier. First2HelpYou recommend that you should:
- Define your lone workers. You might already have a description and be clear what a lone worker is, but if not you can go by the simple definition provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). HSE describe a lone worker as: “an employee who performs an activity that is intended to be carried out in isolation without close or direct supervision.”
- Put together a lone worker team. Implementing a lone worker solution can be a big project, so ensure that you get together with everyone likely to be involved in the project, and one person is leading the project. This helps when contacting suppliers and will keep things organised at your end.
- Consulting with lone workers. Talking to staff about their concerns, what solution they would feel comfortable using, and gathering their feedback will not only provide you with valuable information for the project, but it will make your employees feel invested in the solution and devices right from the start.
- Carry out a lone worker risk assessment. This is really important as your risk assessment will help you when it comes to creating your lone worker policy and when choosing a device for your team.
Step Two – Choosing a Provider
Now you are off to a well-planned start, it’s time to start looking at providers. When looking for a provider, it’s important to choose a company that you feel comfortable working with, if something feels off or they rush you into choosing a device, then step away.
Once you have established that they’re nice guys, you should take a look at their accreditations. Do they:
- Meet the requirements laid out in BS8484 for lone worker providers?
- Have an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) which also meets BS8484 requirements?
- Have devices which conform to BS8484 standards?
- Hold a certificate from a third party accreditation inspectorate such as The National Security Inspectorate (NSI)?
Accreditations out of the way, there are some questions that the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) recommend asking your supplier:
- How quickly will an alert be responded to (BS 8484, Section 7) and who will respond (your supervisor, another member of staff, a guarding company, or the police)?
- Does your Alarm Receiving Centre hold a Unique Reference Number (URN) from the police to enable an immediate response from them to your lone worker device if required?
- Does the supplier have flexibility in terms of alarm escalation contacts; different contacts for different times of the day and times of the week; prioritisation of escalation contacts?
- Does the supplier provide comprehensive initial and ongoing training options?
Step Three – Choosing a Lone Worker Alarm
When choosing a lone worker alarm it’s important that you establish the needs of your lone workers and the risks they face (this is where your lone worker risk assessment comes in handy)
What type of lone workers do you have? Most lone workers can be roughly separated into three types:
- Mobile workers – lone workers who spend most of their day travelling, may or may not visit remote locations. Some examples are; HGV drivers, engineers working for utility companies, surveyors, and delivery drivers. Associated risks are; crashed vehicles or breakdowns, becoming ill or having an accident in a remote location, and not as common – carjacking/theft of load.
- Fixed location workers – are usually based in the same place, are at lower risk but still vulnerable to certain risks. This includes; security guards, shop assistants, and factory workers. Associated risks; slips, trips or falls, sudden illness, robbery or break-ins.
- Public facing workers – usually at the highest risk as their jobs can involve working with potentially harmful people. This category includes probation officers, social workers, housing officers, and community workers. Associated risks include; physical or verbal attacks, and kidnapping/being taken hostage.
Each type of lone worker will have some shared needs and some common ones, once you have categorised your lone workers, and worked out what they need from a lone worker alarm, you will be in a better position to look at devices and apps.
First2HelpYou – An Excellent Choice For Your Lone Worker Solution
First2HelpYou pride ourselves on our innovative solutions and excellent values as a business. We take lone worker safety seriously and the best interests of your staff is what drives us. Choosing a solution from us will give you a great device, a reliable service, and a friendly and knowledgeable friend on hand when you need it.
If you are currently considering a lone worker solution then get in touch and let us know what your requirements are. We are happy to help you through the selection process, switching providers or just looking at what is available on the market.