Reacting to the challenges brought about by the pandemic, most businesses have got their heads around managing the challenges of supporting the needs of their staff through lockdown. Remote working from home is one thing, but what about workers who can’t work from home? Are they safe? Business managers across the UK are asking this and assessing the need for greater Lone Worker Protection measures – as of course, it is their duty to ensure that staff members are not put into dangerous situations.
Most people associate the need for lone worker protection with certain job roles where lone remote working is par for the course, like emergency services, social care, community health workers etc. And of course they’d be right. Taking health workers as an example, Nursing Standard revealed data provided from 31 NHS Community, learning disability and mental health trusts showing that hundreds of nurses who work alone in the community have been victims of violence.
Over a three-year period there were 1,544 assaults against lone workers such as district nurses or mental health nurses, including sexual assault, hostage situations, headbutting, biting, strangulation and use of a weapon.
Frontline care workers too can face untold risks when carrying out their lone worker activities. Figures revealed by GMB Union show that care workers suffered more than 6,000 violent attacks during the last five years.
However, there are many other lone workers out there, operating across a multitude and public and private sector job roles that need them to work alone. They are equally at risk of abuse, assault, theft, robbery, victimisation or accident – whether they are visiting homes, businesses or commercial locations such as on construction sites (where crime during lockdown has increased by 50%). The risks to them exist whether they’re driving delivery vehicles, maintaining utility installations, carrying out estate agent viewings, carers making home visits, sales reps on the the road or even installers fitting security systems! The list goes on…
The way most businesses are running during lockdown has changed how staff are working together. Many people, who would previously have been working around others, are now having to work alone, some out in the public domain. For some, manning an office or workplace may mean being completely alone for periods of time with so many office blocks, industrial estates and even entire commercial districts standing empty while the other staff work from home during lockdown. This of course, can put lone worker staff at risk, and lone worker protection should be considered by employers and a good place to start is to review your lone working policies and procedures.
The Increased need for Lone Worker Protection during Lockdown
Lockdown has further impacted on the risks lone workers face on daily basis. In the first month of lockdown alone there were more than 300 prosecutions for assaults on police and emergency workers were completed during the first month of lockdown. The media is bursting with news stories of key workers across the UK experiencing dangerous situations in 2020. Here are just a few:
- ‘Key worker spat at and attacked by gang of yobs‘ – Cheshire
- ‘Teenager accused of axe attack on social workers’ – Aberdeen
- ‘Almost 100 attacked on key workers have been made in Devon, Cornwall since lockdown’ – Devon / Cornwall
- ‘Thugs attack Key worker and steal food in Glasgow Assault’ – Glasgow
- ‘Key workers attacked in despicable acts’ – North Yorkhsire
The above news article are just the tip of the iceberg – and it seems clear that any business that has workers working alone, especially keyworkers should be considering Lone Worker Protection measures if they haven’t already. That’s where Farsight can help. As your read this article, Farsight’s team of remote security operators are monitoring the safety of lone workers across the UK, people like this delivery driver…
Why not find out how we help you to keep your staff safe with Farsight’s Lone Worker Protection packages – let’s talk.
What is Lone Worker Protection?
Lone worker protection systems are implemented by employers for their solitary or lone working employees in accordance with employment laws and regulations. Lone worker protection devices provide safety and security assurance for staff who work alone or on large sites where they are often ‘out-of-reach’ of other staff.
This video explains how Farsight’s Lone Worker Protection works…
We can put together a bespoke safe working environment package, including the installation of panic alarms, supported by remote monitoring at the Farsight Observatory. Providing a cost-effective solution to ensuring safety and security around the clock for staff required to work alone or staff working on large sites that are out of reach from one other.
Here at Farsight, we support several major security devices enabled with GPS, GPRS and SOS functionality as part of our lone worker protection service.
Farsight partners with leading security system manufacturers, including Oysta Technology which provides tried and tested lone worker devices that ensure the reliability giving peace of mind that Farsight’s highly trained lone worker response operators be there 24/7 or when needed – every time.
In the case of an emergency, staff can trigger the SOS button on their device should they need immediate assistance. This send the professional monitoring team at the Farsight remote monitoring station an alarm signal along with accurate map coordinates of the worker’s last recorded position on the GPS.
When an SOS alarm is activated, the lone worker security device establishes an audio connection between the device and our team. This allows observers to initiate two-way communication directly with the worker or simply listen to what is happening that may be preventing anyone in the immediate area being alerted to the lone worker or lone worker device.
If necessary, we will then dispatch emergency services to the last known map coordinates.
An additional security feature of many security devices is a man down alarm option. The alarm requires users to regularly check-in to advise monitoring stations of their presence and wellbeing. Should the user fail to trigger the device during a given time period, an alert is sent to the team in our remote monitoring service station to manually try to reach out to the worker and dispatch emergency services where necessary.
We work with a variety of large and small businesses providing bespoke lone worker systems across the UK. To find out how our lone worker monitoring system services could improve your security, your business efficiency and the safety of your employees, phone us today on 0845 371 0101 or drop us a line here or using our contact form below: