Man Down Alarm
What are Man Down alarms?
Man Down alarms are devices that detect falls or impact and send a Man Down alert to an external monitor. There are a number of Man Down alarm options available today, from mobile apps to wearable technology.
Man Down alarms are a great solution for those working in environments where slips, trips and falls are a risk, those suffering from medical conditions and those at risk of violence.
These types of incidents happen worryingly often; 693,000 injuries were reported in the UK alone in 2019/20, and slips trips and falls were the most common accident. There were also over 600,000 incidents of violence at work reported, with similar figures being seen around the world.
Man Down Alarms and Safety Devices
Man Down alarms are a particularly important tool for lone workers, who – by virtue of being alone – may be unable to alert someone if they suffer a fall and are knocked unconscious, or are otherwise unable to call for help.
As an employer, you have a duty of care to ensure that all of your staff are protected whilst they work. You have a responsibility under health and safety legislation to identify any potential hazards and put measures in place to mitigate them. Man Down alarms form part of your health and safety provision and help to demonstrate your commitment to meeting your moral and legal obligations. Man Down alarms also give peace of mind to both managers and employees that should an accident occur, help will be sent, even if the employee is unable to call for assistance.
What are the benefits of a lone worker Man Down alarm?
The biggest benefit of a lone worker Man Down alarm is that if an employee has an accident, medical emergency or is the victim of an attack, the man down alarm will trigger an alert and immediate help can be sent – even if the employee is unconscious or otherwise unable to signal for help themselves.
Man Down alarms are needed because there are many instances during the working day (or night) where an accident or emergency could occur and unfortunately, accidents and violence at work are commonplace.
Slips, trips and falls remain the biggest cause of workplace accidents across many industries around the world – accounting for 29% of all non-fatal workplace injuries in the UK. Whether falling from a height, tripping on wiring or other hazards, falls can cause serious injury to your employees and can even be fatal.
Knowing when a fall happens and sending immediate medical assistance can be the difference between a minor injury and a life changing one. But what if your employees work alone or out of sight? How can they raise the alarm if they are injured?
Man Down alarms and devices are becoming an increasingly popular solution to ensure employees get the help they need at all times..
Employees can also be at risk of violence at work, especially in public facing roles. In fact, nearly 1 in 10 injuries at work are caused through violence. If your staff member was attacked whilst alone and left unconscious, it could take a while before the alarm was raised.
Implementing a lone worker Man Down alarm can help organisations to protect the safety of their lone workers and meet their legal duty of care by ensuring employees who need assistance get it quickly – even when they are unable to seek help themselves.
What are the hazards of lone working?
Lone workers come across the same hazards as other employees, yet the risk is further increased, as any hazards are faced alone. Lone working can increase the likelihood of employees waiting longer to receive assistance in an emergency, or possibly not getting help at all.
Different work environments have different types of hazards, ranging from common safety hazards like slips trips and falls, through to chemicals or environmental risks.
All workplaces have risks, however these differ between industries and work patterns. For example police and NHS workers can be more likely to face abuse from the public, whereas construction workers and engineers can be at higher risk of falls from height. Surveyors may carry expensive equipment and therefore are at higher risk of violent theft.
Employees who work late in the evening or overnight, such as security guards or care assistants, can be at higher risk of violence because there are less people around to act as a deterrent. Staff who work from home could have an accident or medical emergency whilst alone and not be able to seek assistance.
You have a duty of care to all members of staff, at all times, including when they are travelling for work and working from home. It is important to conduct risk assessments for all workers and put measures in place to keep them safe, no matter their work environment.
What are the main types of hazards?
Lone workers are at a higher risk of violence, robberies and aggression as they are often considered by attackers as easier targets. A lone worker could be knocked unconscious during an attack leaving them unable to call for help or emergency assistance.
All employees have the potential to come across environmental risks such as slip hazards, moving vehicles and electrocution to name a few. However, this risk is heightened when working alone as receiving immediate assistance and medical help may not be possible.
If a lone worker suffers a medical emergency such as a stroke or loss of consciousness, receiving immediate support and alerting emergency services could prove difficult particularly if working remotely or out of sight.
How do Man Down alarms work?
Man Down devices will usually work through the use of an accelerometer or Man Down sensor. They may detect a change in position, a lack of movement or a sudden impact.
Accelerometers are electronic sensors that measure the acceleration forces acting on an object. For example, they are used in cars to automatically deploy the airbags in an accident.
This same technology can be used to monitor the external forces acting upon a person. For example, during a fall, the sudden change in speed will trigger the Man Down alarm, or if they were involved in a car accident the shock would be felt by the sensor. The use of a Man Down alarm in these scenarios allows a panic alert to be sent and help deployed, even if the person is unable to call for help themselves.
Wearable Man Down Devices
StaySafe offers a man down device in the form of the V.BTTN, a small wearable button that can be worn in a variety of ways including around the wrist, on a lanyard, clipped to a bra strap or belt or attached to a car dashboard. The V.BTTN works using accelerometer technology and is linked via bluetooth to a smartphone, which in turn runs the StaySafe app. When a fall or impact is detected by the V.BBTN, the StaySafe app will automatically notify relevant monitors immediately with an alert and location so that they can respond accordingly and ensure the lone worker receives the support they need.
Using a dedicated man down device like the V.BTTN is a great way to offer additional protection, particularly to staff members who often work at height or in other more dangerous environments.
Lone Worker Man Down App
The StaySafe app has a built-in man down alarm, which works without the need of any additional equipment, and provides a non movement alert that is sufficient for the majority of work environments.
Apps work in a slightly different way to wearable devices, in that they detect non-movement rather than impact.
The StaySafe app utilises built-in smartphone accelerometers to detect periods of non-movement. If the device does not move for 10 minutes, a non-movement alert will be sent to the user to check that they are ok. If they do not check in as safe, an alert will be sent to the monitor allowing them to check on the person’s safety and send assistance if necessary. Non-movement alerts are a standard feature of the StaySafe app, so all users can benefit from the additional protection that a man down alert provides.
If an employer feels that an impact-triggered man down alarm would also be useful in addition to the built in non-movement alerts, the StaySafe app can be paired with the V.BTTN for additional protection.
Who could benefit from a Man Down system?
Remote and Lone Workers
Any employee working alone, across any industry – including working from home – could benefit from a Man Down alarm.
This is because if a lone employee has an accident or has a medical emergency, there is no one to call for help. If that person is unconscious, they cannot raise the alarm themselves – and if no one has witnessed the incident it could be hours – or more – before anyone realises anything has happened. In an emergency situation, this can mean the difference between life and death.
By using an app like StaySafe, non-movement and man down functionality allows employers to meet their duty of care to staff and give peace of mind to employees that should something happen to them, someone will send help immediately, even when they cannot raise an alarm themselves.
Working at Height
Falls from height remain the biggest cause of workplace fatalities. Due to the high risk involved, all possible steps should be taken by the business to prevent falls from occurring. However, if an employee does suffer a fall, man down alarms will ensure someone is alerted immediately.
When working at height, it is important to have a man down system that detects fall and impact rather than just non-movement, for example using the StaySafe app or pairing the StaySafe app with the V.BTTN device.
Coombes Forestry, whose employees are often required to work at height, uses the StaySafe app to ensure that they are quickly alerted of any emergencies, including Man Down.
For employees with known medical conditions, man down alarms can alert you if they fall unconscious or are unable to move. In these situations, a man down app that detects non-movement may be the best option, as not all medical emergencies involve a fall.
In Areas of Low Signal
Being in an area of low signal can be problematic if an employee has an accident and needs help. If an employee suffers an accident in an area with low mobile signal, many specialist alarm systems will fail.
However, the StaySafe app can continue to send non-movement alerts even in areas of low signal by using SMS instead of wifi or data. Through the use of our low signal mode, staff remain protected in the event of a fall, even in areas of low connectivity.
Personal Panic Alarms
As well as having a Man Down alarm, it is important for at-risk employees, including lone workers, to be equipped with personal panic alarms. Personal panic alarms allow employees to raise an alarm any time they feel at risk or are in need of assistance.
Mobile Safety Alarms
The great thing about mobile safety alarms such as lone worker apps is that they offer much more than just a non-movement alert. The StaySafe app also works as a GPS tracking solution with panic alert options and missed check-in alerts. This means that someone will be alerted, even in a non-fall related emergency.
Wearable lone working technology from StaySafe
The StaySafe app gives employers visibility of the location and safety status of lone workers in an emergency and allows them to check-in safely once they have finished a lone working or travel session.
As well as built in non-movement alerts and an optional wearable impact-triggered man-down alarm, the StaySafe app also features accurate GPS location monitoring, missed check-in and panic alerts to ensure that staff are protected in a range of scenarios.
What our customers are saying about us
- Richard Young Health and Safety Manager at Dennis Eagle.
- Kim Bedford Coombes Forestry.
Find out more about the StaySafe app
Hundreds of clients, from large corporate organisations to SMEs, use StaySafe to protect their staff
If you are interested in any of StaySafe’s lone worker alarm and man down solutions, get in contact and we will help find the right option for you.
Alternatively, click here to view our health and safety resources