Lone Worker Safety Solutions - Part 2: What to Look for in a Lone Worker Device

Lone workers can often have a difficult and at times dangerous job. They work by themselves without close supervision, and while the idea might be attractive to some, it can introduce possibilities for risky situations. A lone worker on the factory floor during a graveyard shift might suffer an accident and have no one to turn to or call for help. An outside sales agent could run into an angry or even violent person while out on the run. A lone construction employee could get pinned by heavy equipment he or she regularly works with. Lone worker safety must be a priority for all companies that have them, but ensuring that safety can be a challenge. That’s why many organizations have adopted lone worker devices as a way to keep an eye on their lone workers without actually being there physically. A loner worker device can be extremely useful, but you may have questions about what to look for when choosing one. There are many options to consider, but a reliable lone worker device will usually include some key features you’ll want all your lone workers to have at their fingertips.

A good device for lone workers will be one that is easy to wear. Workers don’t want to be carrying around a bulky device while they perform their jobs. Most lone worker devices are fairly discreet, often taking the form of an ID badge. Many are about the size of your typical smartphone, meaning it’s easy to carry around. Workers won’t mind having one on their person since it’ll be lightweight and unobtrusive. At the same time, lone worker devices should be easy to use. In cases where an employee is confronted with a dangerous situation, you don’t want them fumbling around with a complicated device. Safety features should be a button press or two away, and other functions should be nearly automatic. If the device is easy to wear and easy to use, workers won’t object to having them.

But ease of use isn’t the only thing companies should pay attention to. Safety features are crucial for a lone worker device to be effective. One of the most important features to include is a GPS tracking system. This is especially vital for employees who work remotely, far away from the office. Should dangerous circumstances crop up or an accident occur, organizations will want to know exactly where the employee is. Having that capability can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

Being able to check in regularly is another feature work alone devices should have. The device needs a status check option to ensure everything is going smoothly while the lone worker is on the job. Some capabilities may include audio recording features, so organizations may have audio evidence of incidents as they take place. Man down detection should also be part of the package as it can set off an alarm if a worker is incapacitated for any reason and can’t use the device. A useful emergency button should also be available so the lone worker can quickly and easily send out an alert if they encounter any dangers.

Many of these features rely on having a good network connection no matter where the lone worker is located. At the very least, a lone worker device should have a 3G connection, but faster connections are preferable in most instances. This also allows the lone worker to be able to contact the proper emergency channels or remote video monitoring service when the occasion calls for it. Lone worker devices must be constantly connected, which means you should look for devices that have dual SIM card functionality. That means the device can connect to multiple networks at the same time, reducing the possibility of getting caught in a dead zone or blackout spot.

Many lone worker devices also come in the form of protection applications that can be downloaded to a regular smart device. Think of this as a convenient way to bring a safety device on the job without the hassle of carrying an extra gadget.

Since many lone workers conduct their jobs in dangerous environmental conditions, their devices also need to be durable, able to stand up to whatever extreme elements they may encounter. A lone worker device does little good if it is damaged in an accident. It’s one more thing to consider when using a protection app on a smartphone. If the smartphone is reliable and durable, that option is certainly a possibility.

Lone worker devices along with services like a dedicated virtual guard can do wonders for improving the safety of employees who don’t work under close supervision. By giving them quick access to emergency services and easy ways to check in and send out alerts, lone worker devices should be adopted by every company that employs lone workers.

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