The Future of Lone Worker Solutions?
It’s always important to consider your personal safety and to be especially aware when working alone as unique situations and unforeseen circumstances can have serious consequences. It’s the moral and legal responsibility of all employers to provide a safe working environment for their workforce, ensuring your employees have tools for responding to unexpected and unsafe circumstances, particularly for employees who work alone.
Usually, proactive safety measures involve training, thorough risk assessments, a comprehensive lone worker policy and a lone worker solution. A wide variety of lone worker solutions are available, ranging from lone worker devices to cell phone applications. However, as in all aspects of life, these solutions must adapt to advances in technology and legislation changes. Body-worn cameras are one of these technologies gaining popularity with around 600,000 devices deployed globally. Over the course of the next 5 years, analysts predict that number will rise to almost 3 million devices.
While many employee safety monitoring solutions currently capture live audio, it’s clear a live video stream will provide an even better window into any dangerous situations that arise and the risks that face lone workers. This shift towards live video usage has further benefits, for example, future use in court proceedings. It will likely prove more helpful should it eventually be used as admissible evidence.
Of course, there are many implications with the recording and storage of video data. Many people see increased body camera usage as a threat to personal privacy. Protecting and appropriately using this footage is very important, and as lone worker solutions shift towards using live video, serious steps must also be taken to protect people’s privacy. Police departments around the US are currently having to quickly create their own policies regarding camera and data usage as due to increased interest in body-worn camera deployment, from within the police force and from the public. These policies seem to fall short in various ways, most often regarding specific requirements on footage use and access. What if audio is recorded? What if other, non-incident related people are captured in the video? Is recording allowed in someone’s home or on private property? These and many other questions will start to arise as more and more deployment scenarios occur.
It seems apparent that body-worn camera systems are a positive step for staff safety and are very likely to become the standard in coming years. It is also apparent that there is work to be done on how to best handle this change. With a lack of legislation, employers must consider how they use improved technologies to ensure they are meeting their duty of care. Companies like SoloProtect, who can see this vision, are investing now in their emergency monitoring centers, processes, and personnel to ensure they can better protect video data and keep employees safe.