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Lone Worker Protection: What is it?


Lone Worker Protection is the set of measures that an employer must take to ensure the safety of its lone workers. The employer must identify, prevent and reduce all risks faced by employees that are working in isolation. This includes providing an alarm system that sends an alert in the event of an employee incident.

Lone worker protection: what risks does it prevent and mitigate?

Working in isolation increases the dangers. No one else is present to quickly alert the emergency services in case of an emergency. If the employee feels unwell, for example, there is little chance of being spotted and rescued as quickly as if they were working in a team. Furthermore, the risks are related to the context of the work that the employee is conducting. Isolated workers may be confronted with accidents, aggression or unattended medical emergencies. According to The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 law, all these risks must be identified and listed by the employer in the risk assessment document.

What personal alarm devices are needed to protect lone workers? 

A lone worker safety device is the most common solution for lone worker protection. The purpose of this type of electronic device is to enable the lone worker to trigger an alarm either voluntarily or automatically. They are equipped with fall or mobility detectors, they are geolocated,and connected to a 24/7 remote monitoring centre. 

These systems allow the employer to guarantee safety and assistance to lone working employees on a continuous basis and to cover all types of risk. They come in various forms such as a safety watch, SOS button, or smartphone app, so it is important to choose a system that is adapted to the employee’s activity so that it does not become a constraint. 

Can the protection of lone workers be provided internally?

An employer can decide to provide lone worker protection and monitor it inhouse. However, it must be able to provide the same level of protection to the lone worker as is offered by professionals in the sector. In this scenario, the employer is responsible and liable for any incident response rather than a professional.  

The employee in charge of lone worker protection would have to be qualified to deal with alarms very quickly (within 30 seconds at most) and to carry out a confirmation process to identify the emergency in order to identify and alert the appropriate help. It is recommended that you use a certified professional because in an emergency, every second counts. If an our of hours call occurs, would an inhouse employee be on hand to deal with the incident effectively?

Are there certifications for lone worker protection? 

Lone worker protection solutions include the provision of the safety device and access to remote monitoring services. To ensure that you choose the best partner and the best protection for your employees, you must make sure that the monitoring services meet the British Standard Institution’s code of practice BS EN 50518. This certification guarantee you rapid processing of your employees’ alerts regardless of their location and guaranteed continuity of service. If a power cut disables the primary monitoring centre, there should be a full backup centre which immediately takes over communication.