24 March 2020
Employers must protect all employees in order to protect themselves from personal prosecution. This article discusses the key reasons why employers should invest in lone worker solutions to aid in protecting their employees.
Establishing a safe working environment for lone workers can be more difficult than for other employees. As an employer, you have a legal obligation to protect your employees at work, which includes assessing the risks they face and putting measures in place to control, reduce or avoid these risks. When you protect your employees from the risk of violent assault and injury, you are also protecting yourself from personal prosecution.
As an employer, you should carry out a risk assessment to determine what risks your lone workers may be facing. This means identifying what hazards exist in the workplace and how likely it is that that they will cause harm to employees and others. The results will provide valuable information and help form the first step in deciding what prevention or control measures you need to take to protect your employees from harm.
Lone workers could also learn from each other’s experiences. For example, if a housing officer has encountered a problem with a certain tenant, this should be shared amongst the rest of their colleagues. Do you have the resources to set up conversations between your staff or develop a reporting system that is accessible to all of your employees?
You may find that the risks uncovered in your risk assessment can only be controlled or reduced by investing in lone worker solutions such as lone worker apps or personal alarms. We know that searching for the right solution may initially be daunting so we’ve put together a list of 5 reasons why you should get in touch with a lone worker solution provider today.
1. Employers have a duty to provide a healthy and safe working environment
Lone workers are not an exception. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers are required to take steps to provide a safe working environment for their employees. Failure to do so could result in fines or prosecution.
2. A safe workplace is a happy workforce
Would you want to come to work every day knowing that there was a chance you could be injured, attacked or, in a worst-case scenario, killed? Employees who feel safe will not only feel more comfortable carrying out the duties of their role but will also feel happier knowing that their employer cares enough about their welfare to take steps to protect them.
3. Mobile phones are not a solution without a dedicated app
While providing your employees with mobile phones can be helpful, they won’t necessarily provide lone worker protection without a dedicated lone worker solution app. A lone worker solution app will have a designated panic button on the app which uses GPS tracking technology to pinpoint an employee’s exact location during an emergency. The alarm will also connect to an Alarm Receiving Centre, whose operators can determine whether the situation is a true emergency and connect to emergency services in that location.
4. Lone worker solutions are more accessible than you think
Lone workers are typically categorised into two types, ‘low/medium risk’ and ‘medium/high risk’. Those who are classed as ‘low/medium risk’ may not require the same solution as those who are classed as ‘medium/high risk’. Your lone worker solution provider should work with you, based on your completed risk assessment and your employees’ duties and needs, to determine which solution is right for you and your workforce.
5. Incidents can be costly
The Health and Safety Executive estimates the cost of a single physical assault to cost an organisation in excess of £20,000. Forward-thinking businesses view lone worker solutions as a type of business insurance, which can protect them against costly litigation that would apply if the business had no precautionary measures in place.
Don’t let personal safety be taken for granted. By taking sensible precautions and investing in lone worker solutions, you protect, not only your employees but you as an employer.