A new guide has been published by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) to help end users of lone worker devices or smart phone apps understand exactly when to summon help by using their device.
Published on Monday 6 October to coincide with National Personal Safety Day 2014, the two-page guide outlines a number of threat situations and recommends the appropriate action to be taken.
Designed to provide a means to call for help for those individuals working alone or without direct supervision, lone worker devices and smart phone apps provide essential peace of mind for many of the six million individuals across the UK who qualify as lone workers (including those in the healthcare, transport and retail sectors).
Connecting employees with an emergency response system that has direct links to the police, lone worker solutions range from applications on smart phones through to dedicated GPS/GSM devices connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) whose operators receive and manage alarm calls and quickly request attendance on scene from the emergency services or summon other forms of response if required.
Two-fold approach to lone worker protection
Patrick Dealtry, chairman of the BSIA’s Lone Worker Section, commented: “Almost by definition, lone working can be both intimidating and at times dangerous. The protection of lone workers involves a two-fold approach, not only to provide safeguards but also to offer reassurances to the individuals involved.”
Dealtry continued: “In order for lone worker devices to operate effectively, it’s important for end users to understand exactly what constitutes an emergency situation and use their devices accordingly. Lone worker devices should only be employed in situations where individuals face a direct threat of assault, or if they’ve suffered an accident. Using these devices to summon help in situations where there’s no direct threat, for example to report an act of shoplifting, theft or threats to other people can actually compromise the emergency response.”
Educating employers and employees on the value of using lone worker solutions is the key aim of the BSIA’s Lone Worker Section which recommends the use of devices or smart phone apps certified to British Standard BS 8484 and monitored by an ARC certificated to BS 8484 (Part 6) and BS 5979 (Cat II).
Promoting and ensuring personal safety
The new BSIA guide represents the latest in a series of documents produced by the Trade Association to help both employers and employees understand the role that lone worker solutions can play in protecting vulnerable employees.
Rachel Griffin, director of personal safety charity The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, explained: “Lone worker devices can play an important role in promoting and ensuring the personal safety of employees, but all-too-too often we hear from lone workers that they’re unsure of how best to use their device or what it’s really for. The new guide stresses the importance of such solutions and provides simple instruction on how and when to use them.”
*‘Use of a Lone Worker Device or App’ can be downloaded from the BSIA’s website. For more information on the BSIA’s Lone Worker Section visit: http://www.bsia.co.uk/lone-worker