Lone Worker Protection series
Module 6: Questions to ask a lone worker solutions provider
If you’re thinking about using a lone worker solutions’ provider to stay compliant with health and safety legislation, then you’ll want to be assured that they’re a good fit for you and your organisation. In this video, we go over some questions you should be putting to any prospective provider.
Questions to ask your lone worker solutions provider
In video five, we talked about practical steps in safeguarding your lone workers, and one of those key steps was around using technology and clear lines of communication, and that’s where a lone worker solutions provider can help.
A lone worker solution, such as that which we offer a Pick Protection, gives lone workers a way to raise an alarm quickly and effectively, even without actually taking any action themselves.
How does this work? Well, for example, one of the options at Pick Protection is our app, the PG Smart. This has a range of features including Fall Detection, and Time at Risk.
Fall detection uses an algorithm to detect if someone has had a fall, and raises an SOS. Time at risk raises an alarm if the user doesn’t cancel a set time where they might have gone to a meeting on their own, for example.
This is how someone can raise an alarm without actually pressing any buttons, although our app and all our other devices have this option too.
If this is something you think your organisation could benefit from, then you’ll want to ask yourself some questions as you research which provider is right for you.
So let’s take a look at some of these questions to put to a lone worker solutions provider.
Question 1: What devices or apps do you offer to raise an SOS?
There are many options out there, and it’s about deciding which is the best fit for your team. If you have someone who is used to charging up and carrying around a standalone alarm, then they’re less likely to leave it in a drawer.
In our experience, an app like the PG Smart is a popular choice, not only because it’s lower cost as there’s no additional hardware charge, but because it’s using the phone that your employee is already using throughout the day.
With an app, you might want to ask if there other options to raise an SOS without touching your phone. This might be important for those in people facing roles where they might not want to make it obvious that they’re calling for help. Something like our bluetooth trigger button, the PG Click is great for this, as it can attach to keys or a lanyard, and looks like a gym fob.
The battery lasts for at least 12 months, and the user just needs to double click it within a 15 metre range of the connected PG Smart App to raise an alarm and send their location to operators.
Question 2: Do they offer options for monitoring?
When we refer to monitoring, we’re talking about the operators who handle the SOS and get the necessary help to that person. Most lone worker solutions will have what’s called an Alarm Receiving Centre with trained operators ready to take a call 24/7.
If you have a similar set-up, like a CCTV centre, does the lone worker provider allow you to link apps and devices to that existing facility? Pick Protection have partnered with two ARCs for a fully monitored solution, but we also allow you to use your own operators with our self-monitored option. This offers flexibility on both cost and how your solution is managed.
Question 3: How is the system managed?
Do you have full visibility of how members of your team are using their app or device?
Can you add or remove users, and get real-time visibility of alerts raised?
How is the system integrated? Is it cloud-based or does it need to be installed and run on computers or servers located within a company’s physical premises?
These are important questions, as the way the system is managed affects your control, visibility and onboarding time.
Our management portal, the PG Cloud is cloud based, as the name suggests, and gives you greater control and visibility. And because it’s cloud based, it can be accessed anywhere and is very quick to set up.
Question 4: How long does it take to set up?
It’s always a nerve wracking time between realising you need to have a protective system in place for your employees, and actually getting this up and running. With the right solution, this shouldn’t take a long time to discuss what’s needed, set up all your users, and go live, so they’re ready to raise an SOS if they get into trouble.
At Pick Protection, we can have a new organisation on the system in less than an hour, and that includes training.
Question 5: Do they offer training?
If your workers have never used a lone worker solution before, are they going to be confident finding their way around? Are you going to have everything you need as a manager?
Training is vital, and can be the difference between a system being used and not. A good lone worker solutions provider should offer initial training for you and your team, and we offer this for free at Pick Protection, with a recording that you can access at any time later. This can be helpful if you have new lone workers who come on board.
Check what each provider offers in terms of training, and whether or not they charge a fee.
Question 6: Are they accredited?
There’s an accreditation which is important to lone worker solutions providers. And that’s a BS8484.
BS8484 is a British Standard that’s all about lone worker safety. It sets the requirements for lone worker device services and those alarm receiving centres I mentioned earlier.
You might be wondering, “Why should I care about this certification?”
Well, because it’s a big deal! When you see that a company has a BS8484 accreditation, it means their lone worker safety solutions are top-notch, following strict quality and safety standards.
And that’s important for your lone workers! They deserve the best protection out there.
So, the next time you’re looking for lone worker safety solutions, keep an eye out for that BS8484 accreditation.
Question 7: Do they offer a trial?
And if so, what’s involved? If it’s already quite a long process to set you up, offering a trial is only going to add to this. But equally, you don’t want to sign on the dotted line without taking something for a test run!
We give you and your team a couple of weeks to get to know our system, devices and apps. This allows your team to get comfortable with how, where and when they might use each feature, and lets you explore our management portal. Once you’re ready to go, we can move fast to get your workers protected within the same week.
Question 8: What are their contract length options?
Do you need a bit of flexibility on the contract lengths? Perhaps you want to give it 12 months and see how you get on with your lone worker solution. Not all providers offer this, with some starting contracts that are double that time.
We offer 1, 2 and 3 year contracts to give you more flexibility, although 96% of our customers stick with us far beyond their initial contract term! When that time’s up – we don’t auto-renew, but leave that decision to you.
Question 9: What’s included in the cost?
If you’re looking at a direct price comparison from one lone worker solution to another, are you absolutely clear that the cost you’re looking at is actually what you’re going to be paying?
Watch out for add-ons, or things you assumed would be included in your quoted price but aren’t. Some of these things might include important features, like fall detection, regular catch ups about usage, initial training and onboarding. We include all of these in our monthly cost, so you can keep a handle on your spendings.
Question 10: What’s next?
Have these questions in mind to make sure you’re going for a lone worker solution that’s going to be fit for purpose, and that your team are actually going to use. Use this crib sheet with these questions on there so you can refer back to them when doing your research.
You made it!
Are you feeling more confident in protecting your lone workers?
We hope that you feel better informed and more confident on how to move forward. Remember that you can come back to these modules at any time and make full use of the resources mentioned.
If you have questions around any of the topics in this course, get in touch with us at Pick Protection and we’d be very happy to help. Just drop us an email, or book a demo to find out more about how our lone worker solution works.
Thank you for joining us on this six-part series, and as ever, stay safe.