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5 Best Lone Worker Safety Devices

Explore the top 5 safety devices that can help you protect your lone workers.

A lone worker is anyone who works alone, with little or no direct supervision, or in remote locations. Lone workers are a critical component to the success of most industries; they often possess niche skills, and have the authority and flexibility to work in a variety of locations and conditions. This means they can respond quickly to changing or unexpected demands of their work. They may work as field technicians, utility workers, healthcare representatives, park rangers, or any other role that requires them to work independently.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that there are over 1.3 billion mobile workers working independently throughout the world. And while they face similar risks to other types of workers, such as the potential for slips, trips, and falls, overexertion and fatigue, they also have the unique challenge of effectively communicating with others and receiving support or assistance in the event of an emergency - anytime and anywhere. Employers and organizations have the moral and legal obligation to protect lone workers and ensure their safety while on the job. With businesses continuing to leverage technology to keep their workers safer and more productive in 2023, investing in the right lone worker safety devices is more important than ever. Here we take a look at the top devices you should be considering for protecting your lone workers.

1. Smartphones 

Smartphones are among the simplest ways employers and organizations can keep in contact with lone workers. Smartphones can deploy different types of apps which can be particularly useful in keeping lone workers safe by providing a familiar and simple means of communication and assistance in the event of an emergency.

Organizations can choose from basic yet essential apps that offer one-touch emergency options to alert employers or supervisors in case of emergency, or more sophisticated solutions that allow for periodic check-ins, with customizable escalation plans and access to real-time response centers. Solutions like Aware360’s SafetyAware can help ensure that workers are safer and help prevent them from being stranded or isolated in a potentially dangerous situation.

2. Satellite Devices

Satellite devices are necessary because they provide a means of communication, assistance, and location monitoring in areas where there is no cellular connectivity, such as fields, rural areas, and even certain roads. What sets these devices apart from others is their ability to use satellite technology to transmit and receive data, ensuring lone workers can stay connected even in the most remote locations.

Satellite devices enable lone workers to use basic two-way communication to confirm their safety with supervisors or colleagues, request assistance, or send an SOS in an emergency. Satellite devices can also be equipped with location tracking capabilities to locate a worker who may be lost or injured and unable to communicate where they are. While most satellite devices are standalone communicators, newer innovations allow workers to connect via bluetooth with their smartphone - such devices, like the Bivy Stick with SafetyAware, are gaining popularity for their ease of use without sacrificing connectivity. 

3. Fall Detection Devices

In 2020, 18% of non-fatal work injuries that resulted in time off work were caused by slips, trips, and falls. Falls that occur in remote areas or to lone workers who lack support or care can be even more dangerous, and not being able to address them on time could be detrimental for your business. This is where fall detection devices can be essential for safety. 

Wearable and standalone devices, such as smart watches or wristbands, can be equipped with fall detection technology that can alert a designated contact if a fall is detected. Fall detection software is another option that can be installed on devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to detect falls and send alerts to a contact or a monitoring center.

Fall detection devices provide employers with a cost-effective and efficient solution to a common workplace problem.

4. One-Touch Devices

One-touch devices are quick and easy-to-use alternatives for lone workers. Best known as SOS alarms or panic buttons, these devices emit a signal – and sometimes even a sound – designed to alert others to the worker's situation. These alarms are an easy and effective tool for keeping lone workers safe by providing them with a hassle-free means of getting help in an emergency.

There are several types of alarm devices, including those activated manually by the user and those activated automatically in response to specific triggers, such as a sudden change in movement.

These types of devices can be adopted by workers in need of a fast response device, security guards who may be at risk of being confronted by an aggressor and therefore need a discrete means of calling for help, among many other lone workers.

5. Modems

Modem devices are frequently installed in trucks and service vehicles as part of an effective fleet tracking solution. These devices can also be placed throughout physical plants in order to provide improved connectivity for workers.

Modems work by connecting to a control center through satellite or cellular networks, which enables supervisors to monitor the location of the worker's vehicle. With motor vehicle accidents being the leading cause of work-related deaths in the US, modems are a key device that can help employers improve response times if a worker is involved in an accident or emergency.

A Future Focus on Safety

Lone workers in North America are too often at risk of injury or death on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics it is estimated that more than 90 workers die each week across the continent. Even though employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace for their employees, many have yet to implement smart safety solutions like the ones we have just covered.

Managing safety can be challenging and time-consuming for managers, who must navigate fast-changing regulations and juggle reporting, compliance, and training duties. In today's job market, companies must prioritize the safety of their workers to attract and retain top talent. To achieve this, companies should look to technology solutions like lone worker safety devices to ensure their protection. Ultimately, investing in workers is not only responsible but also essential.

Are you looking to provide a safer working environment for your lone workers with the latest safety solutions and devices? Get in touch with us; we'd be happy to help.

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