Why You Should Protect Lone Workers
The background to why it's important to protect lone workers, the types of related roles in UK employment, and the importance of BS 8484 when specifying a solution for your staff.
What is a Lone Worker?
Whilst working alone is perfectly legal, any employer owes all staff a duty of care, and as such they need to consider the risks to that worker's safety in the workplace. By definition, "lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision" - Source: "Working Alone", Health and Safety Executive.
Clearly, a section of lone workers will also happen to be mobile workers - this means that any employing organisation will also be required to provide, a number of mechanisms to mitigate the fact a staff member is either based in the community, or working outside of a single office, site or location.
SoloProtect supplies lone worker solutions to employers across a wide range of market sectors. Please click the link to find out more about how our range of solutions that can help reduce physical risk to staff, and financial risk to a business or organisation.
Industries where Staff Work Alone:
There are lone worker roles in every industry. Conservative estimates suggest there are at least 6 million in the U.K. - that equates to around one fifth of the total working population. (n.b. May 2016 data from ONS estimates the total working population aged over 16, as just over 31.58 million). For more info on some of the sectors using SoloProtect, please see below.
Working Alone, and Why is BS 8484:2016 relevant?
BS 8484:2016 (The British Standard for Lone Worker Device Services) is the bench-mark for a credible lone worker solution in the United Kingdom. The standard is important for three key reasons:
- It determines the category of Police response a lone worker receives. A BS 8484 approved solution is escalated directly into the relevant control room one level higher than a 999 call. It's a quicker process, and a guaranteed Police response for your workers where appropriate.
- It gives a clear indication about whether or not, the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) element of a solution is accredited to EN 50518 (The European Standard for Alarm Receiving Centres).
- It indicates that a supplier is on a financial footing to successfully deliver your solution for the duration of a contract.
- It indicates the level of training and support a provider delivers to a customer.
For more information about the standard, please visit our dedicated BS 8484:2016 page.
Associated risks with not protecting lone workers, and Corporate Manslaughter legislation:
Not protecting staff who work alone presents a serious business risk to an organisation - it can easily affect a business' cash position, its share price, perceived brand equity value, and its ability to attract the best staff and customers. Equipping your staff with a SoloProtect lone worker solution can significantly reduce your business risk.
For more information on this subject, please visit our 'Penalties for not protecting lone workers' page.
In 2016, the Sentencing Council introduced new guidelines relating to all breaches in Health and Safety, and Corporate Manslaughter legislation, resulting in convictions sentenced from 1st February 2016 onwards. All fines levied were expected to increase significantly, and early indications bear that out. Fines are directly linked to the level of culpability to an individual or organisation, and the financial situation of that individual or business. For more information about this, please see our relevant news item.
For more information on the merits of choosing a SoloProtect Solution, please visit the 'Why choose SoloProtect?' page or give us a call directly on the details below.