Lone workers have a tough job and feeling safe is a major concern. In a recent survey conducted by TrackPlus, almost one in five (19%) lone worker professionals report having an accident and struggled to get help, while almost half (44%) stated they felt unsafe while at work. The survey was completed by 250 lone workers and individuals responsible for the safety and supervision of lone workers in North America.
At issue is how lone workers remain safe and connected when out of cellular range. The survey found that less than one-third (32%) of respondents confirmed they were able to track the location of a lone worker out of cell phone range.
Moreover, only 49% of respondents reported having the ability to both send and receive messages while lone workers were out of cell phone range. This figure remained the same when recipients were asked whether they had a procedure that could always be followed (even if there had been an accident or equipment failure), that enabled messages to be sent and received without cell phone reception.
As Ben Travers, group product director at Ground Control, explains, “it’s imperative organizations and workers continually evaluate their equipment and procedures. For example, the sunsetting of 3G in the U.S. is imminent. Many devices within IoT (Internet of Things), including wearable medical equipment and fire alarms, still operate on 3G networks. And 3G devices are used in an array of industries, from aviation to trucking. So, there will be some organizations who soon find their devices are no longer fit for purpose.”
With regard to communication needs, overall the study found that 28% of respondents reported daily check-ins with their lone workers, 39% weekly and 45% as needed on a demand basis. Just 17% confirmed having a tracking system that allows lone workers to check-in themselves, and over 10% disclosed checking in multiple times per day. If managers and supervisors were able to confirm worker safety and location without the formality of check-in, it enables them to spend their expertise and time elsewhere.