Think of a lone worker and what springs to mind? Most probably a security guard patrolling a building site.
But there are many kinds of lone workers across several industries, and their personal safety is the employer’s responsibility.
We are going to examine the support that should be offered to lone workers, explain why, as a leading provider of security services, our lock and unlock service, as well as our security patrols can support a safe working environment.
Lone workers and protection under the law
UK companies and management have a legal duty to protect their staff under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.
They require employers to protect their staff, and provide a safe working environment for employees who are expected to be working alone, remote working or away from other colleagues.
But who benefits from this form of protection?
Types of lone worker
As we said at the start, most people think of one or two security guards patrolling a construction site or large building when imagining what a lone worker does.
But they are not the only ones. Nightclub bouncers are lone workers. Employees working on very large sites, where they are expected to be out of sight or hearing of colleagues or managers are considered lone workers.
Likewise, employees who travel to meet with consultants or clients, delivery drivers, service workers, staff who work from home, and employees who work outside the usual 9-5 hours.
All these people need protection.
Risks to lone workers
The UK government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says people who are lone working can face particular safety and security risks, including:
- stress and mental health or wellbeing
- their medical suitability to work alone
- the workplace itself: if it is in a rural or isolated area
While every company must assess and control the risks in their workplace and how they can affect employees, there is no requirement under law to conduct an assessment specifically for lone workers.
However, HSE calls on employers to consider how experienced the lone worker is, whether they are sufficiently trained and any vulnerabilities they may have as part of their risk assessments.
A nightclub bouncer who faces the very real threat of violence from an unpredictable crowd doesn’t have the same risks as a travelling salesperson.
Yet both would be lone working and it is the responsibility of the company to carry out a risk assessment and identify their protection requirements.
Is there a lone worker safety solution?
There are some companies that provide a lone worker device or alarm they can activate in an emergency, as part of their lone worker protection policy and in response to risk assessments.
These fob-style alarms can accurately locate a lone worker via GPS tracking, as well as record audio and video.
The device can also send out silent alarms or alerts for assistance from the user to the emergency services. They can be useful if the employee has become ill, fallen and can’t reach a phone, or, in the worst case scenario, has been injured by an intruder.
On the face of it, this monitoring technology can offer peace of mind to employees working alone and fulfil their employers’ legal duty of care. However, a digital monitoring device won’t actually protect or increase the safety of a lone worker.
As experts in the UK security industry, we can.
Our lock and unlock service
We offer a lock and unlock service: a system that is very popular with schools, councils and construction sites, and is an ideal addition to your lone worker policy.
Our expertly trained security operatives will ensure that everyone has left your building or location for the evening, conducting a rigorous examination before securely locking the premises.
The next day, at a time that has been agreed with each of our customers, a member of our security services team will arrive, unlock the site and carry out a thorough check after turning off the alarm.
Reducing lone worker stress
As security industry experts, we know our lock and unlock service reduces the risk of lone workers or other staff being exposed to unexpected threats or dangers out of office hours.
Because our team is on the alert for any dangers, your employee doesn’t have to worry, easing their anxiety levels and boosting their mental wellbeing.
As an additional security measure for an employer, it also includes full reporting of who accessed the building and when. Our team members can also identify any potential vulnerabilities.
This monitoring data not only helps keep lone workers safe, it could help enhance the safety and security of a businesses’ premises for all staff.
Protect employees with our 24-hour security patrols
You can further enhance your business premises’ security monitoring and your lone worker policy by signing up for our 24-hour security patrol service.
If a risk assessment identifies an employee that is working through the night, our highly visible patrols are a robust monitoring system that can ensure lone worker safety above and beyond a device or alarm.
It covers industrial parks, warehouses or development land, and we can also protect void property. Our skilled professionals can offer immediate assistance in the event of an alert or incident on or near your business premises, while also reducing the risk to an employee working alone at unsociable hours.
The technology behind our vetted patrols
Our security patrols feature vehicles equipped with the latest GPS tracking equipment and CCTV live streaming to our control rooms.
As part of pre-agreed control measures, and if required, our teams can directly contact the emergency services, giving businesses and their employers peace of mind that there is a professional, robust security system at work for them.
Our security staff are vetted to BS7858, licensed by the SIA and have enhanced DBS checks.
Whether you need an immediate response to an alarm detection or security system activation, enhanced data about who is accessing your premises, as a leading provider of security services, we can be there when your lone worker needs us.
Don’t put your faith in a device. Trust us to protect you, your employees and your business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.