worker safety

Understanding the cost vs ROI of lone worker solutions: A comprehensive guide for HSE/OHS managers

Dive into the cost vs ROI of lone worker solutions. Enhance safety, response, and efficiency. A comprehensive guide for HSE/OHS managers.



Lone workers are individuals who operate in diverse industries and carry out tasks in isolated settings without the presence of immediate colleagues or supervisors. This unique work environment introduces heightened levels of risk that necessitate specific attention. 

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), there are currently over 1.3 billion lone or mobile workers independently operating across various industries worldwide. These workers can be found in sectors ranging from healthcare and social work to oil & gas and utilities, emphasizing the urgent need for safety solutions that empower organizations to effectively mitigate, evaluate, and respond to potential risks.

Let’s explore the challenges lone workers face, the role of solutions in mitigating risks, and the cost and ROI considerations associated with implementing these solutions. Expect an informative and practical guide to help you understand whether a safety solution is right for your organization.

Table of contents

  1. The importance of lone worker safety for HSE/OHS Managers
  2. Understanding the cost of lone worker solutions
  3. Response center
  4. Cost analysis
  5. Evaluating the return on investment (ROI) of lone worker solutions
  6. Quantifying the ROI
  7. Final thoughts on the cost vs ROI of lone worker solutions

The importance of lone worker safety for HSE/OHS Managers

Health, safety, and environment (HSE) and occupational health and safety (OHS) managers play a critical role in ensuring the safety of lone workers, driven by both legal requirements and ethical responsibilities. Compliance with regulations is crucial, as failure to provide a safe work environment can lead to severe legal consequences. However, the impact of incidents involving lone workers extends beyond legality.

The well-being of workers is at stake, as lone workers face heightened vulnerability, potential stress, and isolation. These adverse effects can lead to decreased productivity, reduced job satisfaction, and increased turnover rates. From a financial perspective, incidents can result in liabilities, medical expenses, higher insurance costs, and reputational damage. Illustrating the urgency for preventive measures, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 5,190 work-related fatalities in the US alone in 2021.

By prioritizing lone worker safety by implementing solutions and fostering a safety culture, you can fulfill your obligations while protecting worker well-being, maintaining productivity, and safeguarding your organization's reputation.

Understanding the cost of lone worker solutions

When considering the implementation of lone worker solutions, it is essential to understand the various factors that influence the overall cost. By understanding these factors, you can make informed decisions that strike a balance between effectiveness and budgetary considerations.

Solutions and devices

One crucial aspect of ensuring lone worker safety is the selection of safety solutions and devices. At Aware360, we specialize in delivering safety solutions that prioritize the well-being of lone workers, ensuring their safe return home. Our advanced connected worker ecosystem revolves around the innovative PeopleIoT™ platform, which serves as the backbone for worker safety. By leveraging real-time data on workers' activities, conditions, locations, and schedules, organizations can effectively implement preventive and proactive safety measures while simultaneously optimizing productivity throughout their workforce.

We also offer an array of cutting-edge wearable safety devices, such as the Belle X. This innovative device is equipped with various features, such as SOS alerting and fall detection, which play a crucial role in enabling prompt responses and potentially saving lives. These advanced capabilities ensure that in times of emergency, appropriate actions can be taken swiftly and efficiently.

To make the best decision for your organization, it is a good idea to assess both the specific needs and budgetary constraints. By considering these factors, you can select the most effective solution to ensure the safety of your lone workers.

Response center

A response center serves as a centralized hub where trained professionals monitor lone workers' activities, receive distress signals, and initiate responses. These services provide an additional layer of security and reassurance, as dedicated personnel are available round-the-clock to handle emergency situations and coordinate appropriate actions. 

By leveraging response center services, you can ensure prompt and efficient response times, mitigate potential risks, and enhance the overall safety of your lone workers. While there may be associated costs with implementing such services, the peace of mind and increased safety provided to your lone workers make it a valuable investment for any organization seeking to optimize their lone worker solutions' ROI. 

Although not all solutions offer this response center service, it is a valuable and indispensable component of Aware360's comprehensive lone worker solutions. 

Training and implementation

Comprehensive training programs should cover both workers and management, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively utilize the implemented safety measures. 

While training may involve upfront costs, it is important to recognize its long-term benefits. Well-trained workers and management are more confident in using lone worker solutions, resulting in improved adoption rates and overall effectiveness. Training also reduces the risk of errors, promotes a safety-conscious culture, and enhances the organization's reputation for prioritizing worker safety.

Compliance requirements

Compliance ensures that your organization fulfills its legal obligations and minimizes the risk of penalties or legal consequences. While meeting compliance requirements may incur costs, it is essential to recognize that non-compliance can lead to legal and financial risks, including penalties, fines, and reputational damage (we will take a look at these a little later in the post).

To manage compliance costs effectively, you should conduct a thorough assessment of the applicable OSHA regulations and allocate appropriate resources for compliance measures.

Learn more: Understanding OSHA Laws About Working Alone

Cost analysis

A cost analysis provides a clear overview of the financial implications associated with implementing and maintaining these solutions. By analyzing the costs involved, you can make informed decisions, allocate budgets effectively, and maximize the ROI. 

Initial investment

The initial investment is always a significant consideration when implementing lone worker solutions. It includes the upfront costs associated with purchasing devices, software, and training programs. Understanding and estimating these costs accurately is essential for budgeting purposes. By carefully considering the initial investment, you can ensure that you allocate sufficient funds to implement effective solutions without compromising other essential areas of the organization.

When implementing lone worker solutions, it is crucial to take into account the different aspects of costs involved. These costs can be categorized into one-time investments, such as devices and training, and recurrent investments, such as software subscriptions paid on a monthly or yearly basis. Understanding this distinction is essential for accurate budgeting purposes. A dedicated lone worker safety app, for example, can cost between $4 US to $45 US per user per month, depending on the needs of your organization. Lone working devices, on their part, can range between $100 USD and $400 USD. By carefully considering both types of investments, you can ensure that you allocate sufficient funds to implement effective solutions without compromising other essential areas of the organization.

To manage the initial investment effectively, it is advisable to develop a clear budgeting strategy. This strategy should include a thorough assessment of needs, comparison of costs among different suppliers or vendors, and consideration of long-term scalability. By planning and budgeting wisely, you can make the most efficient use of available resources and ensure the successful implementation of lone worker solutions.

Aware360's connected worker platform is designed to cater to the needs of businesses of all sizes. Whether you are a small business looking for a straightforward and efficient system or a large enterprise in need of customized solutions to align with your safety objectives and requirements.

Regardless of the number of workers you have or the specific solutions you require, it is crucial to prioritize the protection of your workforce. So, when considering the costs, it is important to keep in mind that protecting a workforce costs less than buying each employee a cup of coffee.

Ongoing expenses

Beyond the initial investment, you are going to want to consider the ongoing expenses associated with maintaining and operating lone worker solutions. These recurring costs can include software, technical support, training refreshers, and periodic equipment replacements.

To manage these expenses effectively, you should explore cost management and optimization strategies. This can involve seeking favorable terms with suppliers and regularly assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of the implemented solutions. By actively managing ongoing expenses, you can ensure the long-term sustainability and affordability of your lone worker safety program.

Potential cost savings

Implementing lone worker solutions involves costs, but it is important to recognize that by enhancing worker safety and preventing incidents, you can minimize the financial impacts associated with accidents, injuries, and reputational damage. The potential cost savings arise from reduced workers' compensation claims, insurance premiums, legal liabilities, and operational disruptions. While businesses may find it challenging to shift their focus beyond immediate expenditures, it is crucial to establish a strong case for safety that extends beyond mere ROI

These figures underscore the critical importance of investing in safety solutions to prevent such incidents and mitigate their potential consequences. By highlighting the potential cost savings and positive outcomes, you can build a compelling business case for investing in lone worker solutions and demonstrate the long-term financial benefits to key stakeholders.

Evaluating the ROI of lone worker solutions

Identifying the benefits of lone worker solutions

Lone worker solutions offer a wide range of benefits that contribute to both worker safety and organizational performance. To evaluate the effectiveness and financial viability of these initiatives, it is essential to measure the ROI. Conducting an ROI analysis for lone worker solutions helps in making informed decisions and effectively demonstrates the value of these solutions to key stakeholders. The easiest way to do this is by using an ROI calculator

Enhanced worker safety

Lone worker solutions, like the comprehensive ones available at Aware360, offer a diverse range of capabilities, all with one primary objective: safeguarding the safety and well-being of workers. By implementing these solutions, you can significantly mitigate the risk of accidents, injuries, and potential fatalities. Ultimately, the main goal is to prioritize saving your workers' lives, which, without a doubt, represents the most crucial return on investment. 

Improved emergency response

Lone worker solutions play a crucial role in facilitating efficient emergency responses. For example, with features like GPS monitoring and fall detection, you can significantly reduce response times. This quick response leads to better outcomes for lone workers in emergency situations, potentially saving lives and minimizing the severity of injuries.

Increased productivity

The impact of work-related injuries on productivity is significant, as highlighted by The National Safety Council's report indicating the loss of 103,000,000 workdays in 2021. This staggering number emphasizes how an effective safety solution can increase productivity simply by mitigating the occurrence of injuries. 

Reduced liability and insurance costs

Lone worker solutions can lead to lower insurance premiums and reduced liability risks. By actively addressing worker safety through comprehensive safety measures, you demonstrate your commitment to risk management and employee well-being. Insurance providers may offer lower premiums as a result, recognizing the reduced risk associated with the implementation of robust lone worker solutions.

Compliance is another critical organizational concern when implementing a safety solution. Businesses must ensure their safety solution is up to date with relevant laws and regulations and meets industry standards, otherwise, they could risk legal and financial liabilities.

If work practices are deemed unsafe, and you do not have a safety solution that gives all workers easy access to professional help whenever required, federal agencies such as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) have the responsibility to take action. 

In the event of a serious workplace accident, it is crucial to be aware that OSHA inspectors may conduct a formal investigation into your EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) program. Noncompliance with safety regulations can result in substantial fines, reaching up to $100,000 per violation, and can also have a detrimental impact on your organization's reputation.

A recent example that highlighted the consequences of noncompliance is the case of the city of Anchorage, which faced fines of up to $600,000 for failing to adhere to various health and safety laws. The safety concerns identified in the investigation varied widely, including the absence of proper guardrails, workers being exposed to electrical hazards, and delayed reporting of workplace injuries.

These incidents illustrate how important investing in an effective safety software solution like Aware360’s SafetyAware is if you are looking to stay ahead of constantly changing health and safety regulations.

Quantifying the ROI

Tangible metrics

Tangible metrics encompass measurable factors such as cost savings, incident reduction, worker downtime, and insurance premium reductions. Analyzing these metrics allows for quantifying the ROI of lone worker solutions. For instance, you can calculate the costs saved from reduced workers' compensation claims, lowered insurance premiums, or minimized operational disruptions. These quantifiable measures provide valuable insights into the financial benefits.

Intangible metrics

When assessing ROI, it is important to consider intangible metrics, which, although more challenging to quantify, hold equal importance. These intangible metrics encompass factors like improved worker satisfaction, reduced stress, enhanced company reputation, and increased employee retention. 

Strategies such as surveys, feedback mechanisms, and qualitative assessments can be utilized to evaluate and effectively communicate these intangible benefits to stakeholders. By leveraging these approaches, you can gain a more comprehensive evaluation of the overall ROI.

Empowering HSE/OHS managers to make informed decisions

Our goal in this article has been to empower you and all HSE/OHS managers and safety professionals with valuable information and guidance in understanding the cost and ROI considerations associated with lone worker solutions. By considering both the financial aspects and the potential benefits, you can make informed decisions that prioritize worker safety and well-being.

We encourage you to apply this knowledge to improve the safety and well-being of your own lone workers. By doing so, you can establish a secure work environment and cultivate a culture of safety within your organization.

Get in touch with us at Aware360

If you have any further questions, need additional guidance, or want to explore lone worker solutions further, our team at Aware360 is here to assist you. 

Feel free to contact us to discuss your specific requirements and learn how we can support you and your lone workers. Get in touch and find out how we can bring safety to your workplace.

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