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A new study recommends that line managers who supervise remote or distributed workers should work closely with occupational safety and health professionals to control the risks they face Thinkstock

A new study recommends that line managers who supervise remote or distributed workers should work closely with occupational safety and health professionals to control the risks they face.

How to Improve Lone Worker Safety

Safety applications and audible alarms can help lone workers communicate in an emergency situation.

Lone workers occupy some of the most challenging and dangerous jobs.

Social workers, security officers, delivery agents, realtors and in-home healthcare providers, just to name a few, often spend great portions of the day away from their offices, peers and the security available in those familiar locations. Being alone and visiting unfamiliar and potentially volatile situations is a common challenge these lone workers face nearly every day. The constant fear of physical harm takes a toll on lone workers, and their lack of safety confidence can lead to a reduced level of performance, a lower level of engagement with the organization and increased employee turnover.

Organizations with lone workers have worked hard to improve the safety conditions of their remote employees. While each organization’s plan and safety device of choice may differ, just implementing a solution dedicated to protecting your people is a good start and a requirement to keep morale and performance at acceptable levels.

In a crowded marketplace of lone worker safety solutions, organizations are faced with many options for improving lone worker safety. Like all services some are better than others, offering superior workflows, features and benefits. Sorting through the available options becomes easier when the evaluation focuses on these four elements that can improve safety outcomes:

An Audible Alarm

During an attack, the immediate sounding of an audible alarm can help your workers communicate that they are not alone and send a warning to the aggressor, which can stall or halt an attack. Different smartphone safety apps provide alarms and alerts in a multitude of ways. Choose a product that allows your people to initiate the alarm without pressing any buttons or unlocking a phone, as these unnecessary steps take time.

A Strong Deterrent

Sometimes just having access to a safety system and law enforcement is enough to discourage an attacker. Having a visual deterrent, like a brightly-colored tether attached to a mobile phone, allows the worker to share information about their support and safety system. By letting a would-be aggressor know that pulling the tether will result in a notification to the police, the employee can operate more confidently while the potential aggressor will think twice about escalating a situation.

A Signal for Help

Lone worker safety applications (smartphone apps) give users the ability to notify employers and emergency personnel that help is needed via a simple action such as pulling a wrist tether from an unlocked phone. Once signaled, the appropriate authorities are immediately dispatched to the worker’s location, discovered via GPS monitoring from the user’s mobile device. In addition, previously-programmed information about the employee will be sent to the dispatch team, requiring the threatened worker to enter zero information while the event is taking place.

Improved Confidence

By providing your organization with the tools and resources to promote the well-being of your employees, you’re giving your workers the peace of mind that they are not alone. When workers feel safe, productivity remains intact and energy is geared towards getting the job done. 

Furthermore, statistics show employee perceptions of safety drastically can impact job satisfaction and productivity, while reduced employee stress is crucial to an organization’s business operations.

Technology has changed the game for the lone worker, and that’s great news for the case workers, in-home healthcare professionals, realtors and other professionals who brave the real world every day to deliver their services. If you haven’t already, consider investing in a lone worker safety solution to arm your people with a strong deterrent, an audible alarm, a direct connection to law enforcement and improved safety confidence. Your workers don’t need to feel alone when they are out on a job and away from the security of the office.

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