Lone Worker Apps – Buyers Guide
If you are thinking about buying lone worker apps or using a free app to help protect your lone working staff, take a look at our advice below.
Five Reasons To Consider Lone Worker Apps
Lone worker apps are a good value solution for businesses with a smaller budget and are a good solution for self-employed lone workers, or anyone who wants additional protection whilst doing their job.
- Easy To Use
Most people nowadays have a smartphone so are already familiar with how to work it and charge it. A lone worker app is as easy to use as most other apps your employees will already interact with. This also eliminates the need for lots of training.
- Speed of Implementation
Although planning is still required, lone worker apps can be deployed faster than most devices. Your lone workers will n be up and running with their safety apps very quickly once your contract is signed.
Some 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 Panic Button
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.
Are There Any Limitations to Lone Worker Apps?
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.
Can’t I Just Rely On The In-built Safety Features On my Smartphone?
Many modern smartphones, most recently iPhones have some great safety features. One such feature is Advanced Mobile Location (AML).
AML is a caller location technique, developed by BT, EE and HTC. It can be used to locate 999 callers who aren’t able to give their location. During an emergency call, AML will turn on mobile data, contact Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers and then send call handlers an SMS message, with the caller’s location. It then switches back off.
There is no doubt that it’s a great feature – it has already saved lives, but it’s not a suitable replacement for a dedicated lone worker app. Smartphones with AML enabled are great for the general population, but a lone worker will face specific risks that need a more robust safety solution to be in place. It isn’t enough to expect lone workers to be able to dial 999 in an emergency.
The primary reason we believe lone worker apps are a better choice for staff at risk is the amber alert functionality. Requesting employees make a 999 call in an emergency is a reactive measure: it happens after the event. With AML your employee will be found quickly, that’s if they can even make an emergency call, but using a lone worker app means that your staff are able to set an amber alert timer before entering risky areas.
What About The ‘Free’ Personal Safety Apps?
One look in your smartphones app store and you will be able to find hundreds of personal safety or SOS apps. Free to download and use, these seem like the perfect solutions. You might be tempted to ask your lone workers to download one such app for when they’re working alone.
However, the majority of these apps do not have the dedicated support and monitoring which comes with a dedicated lone worker app.
Personal safety apps often allow you to set up emergency numbers which you can quickly alert to your whereabouts should you get into trouble. The problem with that is, what if your emergency contacts are unavailable, or asleep? It could be hours before somebody responds. It’s not a robust enough solution to rely on for your employees.
With a dedicated lone worker app, the app is just the part that the lone worker will see and interact with. Behind the scenes is a support team, monitoring app users for any signs of trouble. Our monitoring centre, for instance, are available and ready to take action in an emergency, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
Get in Touch
Whether you are ready to buy lone worker apps or need more advice fist, please don’t hesitate to contact us.