How Can Security Installers Help Businesses Protect Lone Workers and Vulnerable Employees? 
Find out how the right security solutions can help businesses protect their vulnerable employees and lone workers. 

Who are lone workers?

A lone worker is defined as an employee who performs an activity that is carried out in isolation from other workers, without any close or direct supervision. With that in mind, employees who regularly find themselves in these situations are vulnerable to higher risks to their personal safety.  

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, amongst other things, there are now an estimated 8 million people in the United Kingdom that are now classified as lone workers, which is around 22% of the UK’s working population. 

There are benefits for both businesses and employees themselves to lone working but there are also challenges with regard to safety and security that must be addressed. In this article, we’ll discuss what some of those challenges may be and how the right security solutions can support them. 

















What are the main risks to lone workers? 

The workplace is inherent with risks, which is why every business needs its own health and safety protocols. Every employee is vulnerable to a certain level of risk depending on their role and workplace environment, whether it’s a slip hazard in the office or more serious risks on a factory floor. So, what makes lone workers more vulnerable? 


Delayed response to personal injury 

The biggest vulnerability for lone workers is that they are not supported by a close network of colleagues around them, so the threat level of the risks they face is compounded by the lack of potential respondents around them. When an employee trips and injures themselves on a production floor, there will likely be a colleague on hand to give them first aid immediately. If a courier, for example, were to have a road traffic accident in a remote location or at night, there is a chance they may not receive any attention for a long time. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) offers good general advice on maintaining workplace safety for lone workers. 


Violence or abuse 

It’s a sad truth that many employees face the risk of confrontation from another member of the public, again this can be an area where lone workers do not have the support of colleagues around them for support.  

Due to the lack of numbers, lone workers can be seen as easy targets as they are often working behind closed doors, meeting unknown new people, and working closely with the public. Many lone workers also need to visit multiple sites in areas they may not be familiar with. This leaves lone workers at a much higher risk of danger from other people. 


COVID-19 and other diseases 

Recently, one of the biggest concerns we’ve all had to manage is the risk of catching COVID-19. Now more than ever, employers need to know that their staff is healthy a free from infection due to the seriousness and volatility of the disease.  

This combined with higher levels of lone working remotely has called for better solutions to help employees report their health status to their employers. We’ll get to discussing how security solutions like STANLEY Guard can help shortly. 

Of course, for care workers who provide vital support to their communities, the risk is even more grave and so the need to be able to monitor their health is all the more important. 










Simple solutions to support the safety of lone workers  

As you can see, employers need to consider the safety of their lone workers differently to how they would for people who regularly work in their office or facility. Many are now investing in cost-effective lone worker solutions to help keep their employees safe whilst working by themselves. 


Thankfully, many systems require little or no new equipment to be purchased, as they work as a mobile application. The STANLEY Guard app is a perfect example for employers looking for a cost-effective solution for protecting their lone workers. It was designed from the ground up to be as simple as possible to use but at the same time provide the best support available – and fast! 


How Does It Work? 

STANLEY Guard takes a proactive approach to employees’ safety and therefore encourages the employee to turn on the app BEFORE they are in a potentially dangerous situation; for example, before getting in the car to attend a customer meeting or personally walking home after a night out. 

Lone workers are tracked in real-time from the moment STANLEY Guard is activated, even though an alert has not been raised. This is done so that movements can be back-tracked and CCTV footage can be found on the route for further evidence, if necessary to support an investigation. 

If the lone worker feels threatened, an alert can be sent out by either shaking the phone or by using the slider on the app. When this happens, it is assumed that this has been done for a reason and INSTANTLY and automatically several actions follow: 

As soon as the alert is activated, the current location and the route from the time an activation is sent to the security monitoring centre your company uses. Southern Monitoring Services can support security installers in providing this service.  

The location is tracked and viewed in real-time by the trained operators located at the Monitoring Station.  

Both video and audio footage are then assessed by the operators before deciding what process to follow. If the scenario is urgent and the lone worker’s life is in possible imminent danger, the emergency services are alerted with no further contact required with the end-user to keep them as safe as possible. 


 
 

There are three different types of alarm profiles that have been built within the app, as every scenario the end-user will find themselves in will be different and cannot be treated with the same approach. It may not always be safe to let an attacker know that an alarm has been raised for example. 


  • Basic – after a few seconds the phone will go into maximum alarm mode with strobe lighting;  

  • Deterrent – this makes it very obvious to everyone looking at the phone that an alarm has been raised

  • Stealth - for those times urgent action is required but raising only awareness to the operators at SMS 


Activating the alarm in Basic or Deterrent mode means that the phone will emit an ear-piercing alarm sound and the flash on the phone will start to strobe in order to attract maximum attention.  The alarm should be activated if the end-user feels that the situation is getting dangerous and they want the attacker to know that they are being tracked to scare the attacker off. 


Other Features within the App 

The STANLEY Guard app has many other benefits other than the main alarm feature, two core ones being: 


Man-Down Alert 

The Man Down feature provides the ultimate level of protection in situations where injury or personal mobilisation has occurred based on three trigger detections: 


● Freefall

● Idleness

● Sudden movement 


Man-Down provides an extra level of protection to end-users who work in situations where injury or personal immobilisation can be a threat.  

An alert is activated and raised through SMS if the end-user is involved in an impact or collision (i.e. a car accident or a fall) or if they are not moving.  There are so many scenarios in which this feature is helpful, but a few include: 


● Working at a height/climbing a ladder

● Traveling for work

● Working with heavy or dangerous equipment

● Working in an area with limited signal/ connectivity

● Just out for a run


Journey Tracking 

The Journey feature gives the end user the confidence to travel safely by allowing a start and endpoint to be set before leaving. It will notify SMS once the end-user has arrived safely at their chosen destination. An alert will automatically be triggered if the end-user does not arrive at the destination within the time parameters set. 

How security installers can support businesses and their lone workers today 

There are so many great features built into the STANLEY Guard app to help businesses maintain the welfare of their vital lone workers. Making its solution unique and perfect for the majority of the 8 million lone workers in the UK today. It is estimated that by 2022 there will still only be 1.1 million lone workers with a support system like the STANLEY Guard app – which means there are a lot of businesses out there that need your support. 

To discuss the Southern and Northern Monitoring products and services you can provide to your clients, please complete the form below, give us a call on 0844 871 2223 or complete the form below. 

We also offer a wide range of security solutions for homes and businesses, such as guard replacement, CCTV, personal safety, fire detection, and intruder alarm monitoring. 

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