When the term ‘lone worker‘ comes to mind, it often conjures up images of individuals who work alone on an oil or natural gas rig or in a manufacturing plant. However, this is a big misconception. And because of it, many team managers, in various industries, fail to identify the lone workers that they oversee. For managers everywhere it is important to remember that these solitary workers can be found in traffic or transit, security, treasury and risk management, private and social housing, natural gas and oil, outside sales, facilities management, technical assistance, utilities, health care, food delivery, education, retail, agriculture, and much more.
Lone workers in all of these sectors, as well as others, need to be protected. While some of their jobs do entail activities that are high-risk, the real danger is the fact that they are alone. If something happens, whether it be them falling ill, a dangerous intruder confronting them, negligence, malfunctioning machinery, or any other accident, big or small, there is no one there to help them. For this very reason, team managers, especially in the manufacturing sector, must make lone worker safety their number one priority. The reasons for and the benefits of doing this are numerous.
1. The Lone Worker
Ensuring that the lone worker has effective safety protocol in place creates several benefits for the lone worker. First and foremost, it lowers the risk of injury or fatality significantly. When a lone worker can reach out for help quickly and efficiently receive a response, the likelihood of danger plummets. This is exactly why some companies have started using IntouchInsight to make sure they know here their workers are at all times.
Second, at a more regional level, police and other emergency services can quickly be alarmed. Third, the lone worker won’t feel as isolated while they work. This type of safety creates greater confidence and more efficiency. Fourth, with a strong system in place, lone workers will feel more valued by their employer. And finally, fifth, the lone worker, due to protocol training, will have a better understanding how to dynamically assess risk.
2. The Lone Worker Manager
But it’s not just the lone worker who gains from having a safety system in place. The manager can also see advantages from these implementations. One of the lesser-known benefits is that the device usage creates a clear audit trail. Now the manager can see how often lone workers run into problems and the return on investment that the protocol is creating.
Another advantage is that the manager has a more defined list of responsibilities when it comes to overseeing lone workers. Not only will this help them do their job, but it will also assist them in illustrating how valuable their position is. Additionally, with many lone worker alert systems, the manager has access to a customer service team that can assist them in creating a stronger lone worker training program and improved safety protocol. Finally, because many of the systems offer monthly reporting, the benefits are more visibly tangible.
3. The Wider Organisation
Making lone worker safety a priority for team managers creates advantages beyond just the team in the manufacturing plant. It spreads to the wider organisation. Protecting employees, in this case lone workers, protects the value of the brand’s equity. When accidents don’t happen and when employees feel secure, investors and stakeholders also feel secure.
Additionally, when employers take these steps it indicates that they take corporate responsibility seriously. This then comes across to the entire workforce, leading them to be more loyal to the company and more driven to accomplish their work. Another advantage of taking lone worker safety seriously is that fewer accidents will lead to fewer fines that are caused by legislation breaches and employee lawsuits. And when it comes to finances, less private litigation and lower staff-churn will mean that the company profits are less eroded. Many organizations are now partnering with companies like Mozr to develop lone worker safety apps to address the various hazards.
4. The Police
Outside of the organisation, there are other groups, like the local police, who will also appreciate the use of an integrated lone worker safety program. Because of these safety systems, emergency responders are often able to give the highest response level available and they are able to handle alarms more effectively than delayed calls. In addition, when there is a good system in place, there are fewer instances of false alarms, such as calls sent out due to a worker who couldn’t be found or a non-emergency accident.
5. The Community
Prioritising lone worker safety goes well beyond just benefiting the lone worker, the team manager, the organisation as a whole and the police. It is just the right thing to do. Managers and the organisation they work for need to protect their employees and value them far above profits.
When this becomes the gold standard, the advantages of doing this will follow. Managers and the lone workers will be able to breathe easy knowing that there is a plan in place that ensures health and safety; organisations, when they illustrate how dedicated they are to their workforce, will be able to attract and retain the best employees; manufacturing plants will save money by not having to pay for work that is not performed, not being impact by a low-efficiency workforce, lower insurance, administrative and training fees, reduced fines and avoidance of equipment repair and replacement.
In the end, a safer work environment is a happier and more efficient workplace. While there may be an upfront investment that is required, both in terms of time and money. The long-term savings and benefits of implementing a lone worker safety system will far outweigh these costs. A good place to start is by integrating a security system like Outlier, allowing organizations and management to better ensure the safety of all employees, especially those who work solo.