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Reissue for Lone Worker Standard

The code of practice for the provision of lone worker services is re-issued, with interesting implications for suppliers.

BS 8484 remains the benchmark for credible lone worker solutions in the UK, however, BS 8484:2016 is the latest version of the British Standard for the delivery of lone worker services, and supersedes BS 8484:2011, which will be withdrawn on 28 February 2017.

The BS 8484 standard was introduced to give organisations supplying a lone worker solution a stronger understanding of the key components, including the provider, the lone worker device or application, and the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) supporting the lone worker alarms.

As a result of the upcoming reissue, while developing plans for a new purpose-built, lone worker dedicated, Alarm Receiving Centre, SoloProtect took a view that tailoring the environment towards the specification outlined in both BS 8591 and EN 50518 represented the best option in the longer term.

The SoloProtect ARC uses state-of-the-art alarm handling technology, ensuring that audio from a lone worker alarm is presented to our operators quickly and efficiently. Every second counts in a genuine 'Red Alert' situation; so enabling a highly trained operator to listen to, assess, and record, the lone worker alarm as soon as possible is imperative.

As previously indicated, the response a lone worker solution is able to elicit for emergency assistance is fundamental. Only BS 8484 approved suppliers can escalate a lone worker alarm to the Police via a URN (Unique Reference Number). The Police can issue a URN to the ARC, this allows the latter to request a Level 1 – Priority Response on behalf of a lone worker, where appropriate; this is basically a speed dial from an ARC, into a specific police force control room, which sidesteps the central 999 system.

The updated standard provides greater supplier transparency; new guidelines outline the required process an ARC should follow in the event of a lone worker alarm. This encompasses guidance that any sanctioned device or app, from the initial button press to the alarm connection at the ARC, achieves an effective activation message, or call, within 30 seconds. As well as this, all suppliers will now be required to report a number of ARC statistics to their customers on a monthly basis.

Reporting this kind of data has not previously been common practice and therefore, represents a huge step forward for any lone worker customer looking for increased transparency on how their lone worker solution works. It also permits clear and reliable parameters on which to judge, and compare performance relating to the ARC solution component of any lone worker solution.

As a result of this, the latest version of BS 8484 will continue to drive credible suppliers to deliver greater transparency to lone worker specifiers; both in terms of being able to demonstrate a clear return on investment, but also to ensure the highest quality and fastest response to an incident is fully managed by the solution supplier.

The standard also further promotes the likelihood that a lone worker requiring assistance, gets necessary and timely support, but also gives an employer looking to implement a new, or to evaluate an incumbent solution, a clearer mechanism for judging between BS 8484 accredited, lone worker solutions.

The SoloProtect ARC is operated by a highly skilled team; there are over 75 years of relevant experience shared between the ARC Operators and Managers, and all personnel are trained and equipped beyond the requirements. The aim is to achieve zero downtime in the ARC, meaning a SoloProtect ARC Operator will maintain total support to your lone workers, with minimal disruption to 'Red Alert' handling, in the event that the worst occurs. Rest assured that when your lone workers need help, we'll be there to provide the best possible response.

 

Article Published 19.8.2016