Lone Worker Security

Lone worker security is the process of ensuring that your lone workers are safe when they are working or travelling alone. As an employer you have a legal duty of care to minimise or eliminate risk to your staff, whether they are office, site, community or home based.

Lone workers can be at additional risk at work because in an emergency there is no one to raise the alarm or provide assistance.

The latest guidance from the HSE, which was updated in March 2020, states that as an employer you must manage any health and safety risks before people can work alone. This applies to anyone contracted to work for you, including self-employed people.

It is important that you adhere to the legal responsibilities for lone worker safety. Failure to do so can result in substantial fines, reputational damage and, for severe breaches, custodial sentences.

There are several laws which hold the employer responsible for protecting the safety of everyone in their employment:

  •  The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

 

The HSE guidance states that under the management of health and safety at work regulations, you must manage the risk to lone workers. This involves thinking about who is classed as a lone worker and which hazards could harm those working alone. You must also train, supervise and monitor lone workers as well as keep in touch with them and respond to any incidents.

For more information on lone worker legislation visit our Guide to Lone Working.

What are the roles of lone workers? 

HSE guidance describes lone workers as employees those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision, for example:

  • as delivery drivers, health workers or engineers
  • as security staff or cleaners
  • in warehouses or petrol stations
  • at home

Lone workers are found within a range of industries, including:

 

Housing and local authorities

Utilities

Property & estate agents

Field services

Charities

NHS

According to the British Safety Council, the number of lone workers in the UK is estimated to be between six and eight million out of a total workforce of around 31 million – so around 20% of the workforce.

Sometimes work is undertaken in areas which are remote or one-to-one with members of the public or clients, which can place them at extra risk. 

Vulnerable workers include those who are public-facing, such as social care workers, paramedics and security guards. These types of workers may be faced with violent aggressors, which is far more dangerous if they are working alone.

According to HSE statististics, the number of incidents of work related violence in 2017/18 was estimated at 694,000 with assaults accounting for 330,000 of these and 364,000 were threats made to victims. 

Other job roles are more susceptible to injury, for example construction workers, engineers, field service workers and delivery drivers. 69,208 injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations)  in 2018/19.

How can security be achieved in the workplace?

There are a number of measures employers can take to mitigate risks to lone working employees:

Risk assessments

Risk assessments should be carried out before and after a lone worker enters their field of operation in order to ascertain whether it’s safe to send them out alone and underpin the development of a policy for dealing with potential risks.

Talk to line managers who are closer to the business’ day-to-day working patterns and think outside of traditional lone working roles. Are there other employees who could be vulnerable?

Tailored lone worker policy

A blanket policy is rarely sufficient. Policies on dealing with risk should be tailored to each individual lone working task.

Employee training

Training can be extremely helpful in providing lone workers with an understanding of the risks they face and how to deal with them. Whether this is how to operate a piece of machinery safely or de-escalating an uncomfortable client situation, there are many training programmes available that can be tailored to your individual business needs.

Lone worker monitoring

As part of the company’s lone worker policy, the employer may choose to implement a monitoring system. While many businesses already operate a ‘buddy’ or check-in system, monitoring solutions – such as tracking devices, panic buttons and apps – can provide both a reliable and time-effective solution for lone worker safety.

While monitoring doesn’t prevent accidents or incidents from happening, it’s extremely effective in limiting the severity of a situation by providing immediate contact and allowing for a much quicker emergency response time.

How StaySafe can enhance your lone worker security with lone worker apps and technology

The StaySafe solution has been specifically designed to ensure lone workers are protected. Consisting of an app and cloud-based online hub, StaySafe gives you visibility of staff locations in real time and enables employees to quickly signal for help in an emergency.

The online hub accurately locates workers on a map and provides real-time updates on their location. This means that you always know their whereabouts and if they are safe, even when schedules change at the last minute.

If an employee activates the app’s panic button or fails to check in, alerts are instantly visible in the online hub. Chosen managers are automatically notified via text, call and email. As well as a panic button facility, the StaySafe app also has additional features such as GPS tracking, man down alerts and discreet and duress panic alerts.

The app is also compatible with a wearable bluetooth button which links to the app can be used by an employee to signal for help without needing to unlock their phone. We also offer a range of satellite devices for employees who regularly work in very remote locations. 

If you do not want to monitor your teams in-house, you can outsource employee safety monitoring and alert escalation to our 24/7 specialist monitoring partners.

 

Who has benefited from StaySafe’s security-based app already?

Our easy-to-use lone worker solution is ideal for a range of organisations operating in different industries, such as Utilities, Housing, Field Service, Construction, Surveying, Education, B2B services, Manufacturing and Retail.

View our case studies.

Our solution is scalable for or organisations of any size and our monitoring Hub can be customised to fit your unique organisational structure. The optional additions of a wearable button and satellite device mean that StaySafe can keep lone workers secure in any circumstance. We have successfully rolled out our solution to 100’s of organisations remotely, in over 47 countries around the globe.

Why clients love the StaySafe monitoring solution
  • “The app and Hub itself are intuitive and easy to use with a great range of functions and alerts. The fact that employees start and end their own sessions has also gone down well as staff are in control of when they are being monitored rather than feeling we are tracking them intrusively.”

    Nick Coley

    Head of Telecare, St John National Headquarters, New Zealand
  •  

    “I was really impressed with how easy the app was to use and I thought it was great value. The app has been well utilised by our employees and having our

    alerts monitored by Securitas gives us added peace of mind.”

    Emma Jones

    Project Support Manager at Signposts
5/5

If you are looking for a lone worker solution trusted by clients all over the globe, we would love to hear from you.

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