With the increase in the number of lone workers in the workforce, ensuring everyone gets home safe at the end of every day takes more than simply identifying day-to-day workplace hazards. Today’s employers must have a comprehensive and effective safety solution in place. Unfortunately, safety solutions can vary and many on the market lack a variety of essential features such as real-time management, emergency response and end-user privacy considerations. In order to pick the right software, and prioritize the right set of capabilities, organizations need to understand their workers, their needs, and protect their privacy along the way. Below, we discuss the top nine safety solutions capabilities to look for.
If it’s not real-time, it’s not real safety. Real-time management allows organizations to respond quickly to changing situations and potential threats. Mitigating risks and taking action in a timely manner are especially important in emergency situations, where quick action can be the difference between life and death.
Real-time management isn’t just a rapid reaction to a potentially dangerous situation. Real-time management ensures that a real person is on the other end of the helpline to get workers the help. That means that at-risk workers know that a trained individual is always on hand to provide immediate assistance, whenever they need it.
Real-time systems ensure that there is always someone available to attend to any safety concerns or issues that may arise.
Customizable emergency procedures and protocols
Customizable emergency procedures and protocols allow organizations to tailor their safety response to their specific needs and risks. Seeing that every organization and worker has its unique set of safety challenges and risks, having the ability to customize escalation plans ensures that the solution is best suited to addressing those challenges. This can help organizations to respond more effectively in emergency situations and improve overall safety outcomes.
Customizable emergency procedures and protocols allow organizations to notify as many people as needed and set forth a pre-established escalation plan, according to the type of event registered.
Geofencing uses GPS to create a virtual boundary around a specific geographic area. It is commonly used to restrict access to certain dangerous areas, and send an alert if a worker enters or leaves a designated area.
Overall, geofencing is an important tool for ensuring safety and security of individuals in a variety of settings and industries. It can be especially useful in industries such as construction where the location and movements of equipment and vehicles are critical for safety and security. Or for mobile workers such as healthcare or utilities professionals, who must constantly travel to locations which may be unknown to them. An additional layer of awareness about their surroundings is key in taking a preventative approach to safety.
Solutions like Aware360’s SafetyAware also offers a geofence location tracing feature that stores historical data. This means that you can determine who was within your geofence at a certain time on certain days. For compliance and audit trail purposes this safety solution capability is ideal for companies looking to focus more on worker safety in 2023.
SOS alerts are one of the more basic safety solution capabilities, yet that doesn’t make them any less essential. They work by emitting a signal to alert monitors of the worker's emergency situation. These SOS alerts are an effective tool for ensuring the safety of lone workers by providing them with a simple and efficient means of getting help.
While some alarms are activated manually by the user, others can be triggered automatically by specific conditions such as a sudden change in movement. This basic feature is suitable for any type of lone worker, from those working outside of cellular coverage in the field, at the mercy of hazardous terrains and unpredictable weather conditions, to those working in suburban areas at risk of confrontation with an aggressor. See how our SOS alerts at The Alex helped reduce the social risk from interacting with the public.
One of the main downfalls of safety solutions is very simple: the willingness of workers to adopt new safety devices and solutions. Workers tend to push back against any sense of micromanagement. Too many GPS tracking devices, check-in and work management systems can come across as an attempt from the employer to control the lone or remote work force. However, by having a people-centric solution built upon privacy, you can not only protect the physical well-being of the workers, but also the privacy.
This privacy feature can be set up so that the current location is only shared when the worker is registered as being in trouble. This garners the trust of workers, who can be shown that these safety solutions do not invade their privacy under the pretense of safety. This key capability is likely to increase the worker support for safety solutions.
Quick and simple integration should be a key feature of any software on the market, let alone a modern safety solution. Many organizations invest heavily in expensive operating systems and technologies. However, with easy integration they can continue using their existing systems with ease while also taking advantage of new safety solution capabilities.
When integrating a new system or hardware, it is important to minimize the amount of time it takes for implementation, so that the organization can start reaping the benefits as soon as possible. Easy integration can help to minimize downtime, facilitate user adoption and reduce disruptions to operations.
Organizations with ever-changing and dynamic needs might require an adaptable solution that can be scaled up or down as required. Easy integration enables scalability as organizations move into new markets or grow.
Some providers also offer hardware agnostic solutions. This means you can take your pick among devices and easily and quickly integrate them into your operations. Aware360’s SafetyAware is a great example of an effective hardware agnostic solution, that allows for smooth and efficient implementation.
Generating reports on various aspects of worker activity and safety management is an important capability for any safety solution because it helps organizations track progress, and identify trends and patterns.
Accurate reporting can provide valuable insights into how the solution is being used, if your safety initiatives are seeing results, and even identify any areas that require improvement in regards to safety management. This can help organizations make informed decisions about how to best use the solution as we see with Technical Safety BC, where the reporting capabilities of Aware360’s SafetyAware solution proved to be essential when it came to helping the organization further improve their overall safety practices.
On-going user support
User support is an important safety solution capability. There are a number of ways that user support can be provided, including documentation, training materials, and customer support individuals.
User support is particularly important when it comes to safety because ensuring workers are trained and effectively using a solution could prevent accidents and even save lives. It is likely that users will have a different level of expertise and may need different levels of support, but with effective user support, all workers should feel comfortable and supported when utilizing the safety solution.
Safety solutions like SafetyAware from Aware360 offer live support. This can be especially important for organizations that may not have in-house expertise or resources to fully implement and maintain the solution on their own. On-going user support can help organizations to scale with the solution and quickly resolve any issues that may arise.
In 2020, 18% of non-fatal work injuries that resulted in time off work in the US were caused by slips, trips, and falls. Falls that occur in remote areas or to lone workers who lack the support or care of others nearby can be even more dangerous. This is where fall detection devices can be essential for safety.
Fall detection is a key safety solution capability when it comes to ensuring the safety of lone workers. Fall detection can take the form of wearable devices, such as pendants or smart watches, that are equipped with technology to detect falls and alert a designated contact.
These devices provide employers with a cost-effective and efficient solution to a common workplace hazard. This safety solution allows employers to monitor and respond to fall incidents in remote areas helping to minimize the risk of serious injuries and lost productivity due to slips, trips, and falls.
The importance of safety solutions
As technology evolves, safety solutions and their capabilities also become more sophisticated, providing a wide range of capabilities to meet the changing needs of individuals and organizations. It is essential that organizations select solutions that are adaptable and can keep up with the constantly changing regulatory standards. Potential safety solution vendors should be able to support this with an extensive product roadmap.
When effectively implemented, safety solutions can help organizations to protect their personnel, assets, and operations, and can be the key difference between a safe and unsafe work environment. It's important for organizations to understand and evaluate these safety solution capabilities when choosing a safety solution that best suits their needs.
Aware360 provides solutions that prioritize the health and well-being of workers through a range of effective safety solutions. These solutions prioritize each individual and help to keep workers safe, no matter where they are located. To learn more about how the latest safety solutions can help protect your workers, get in touch with our dedicated team of safety experts.