Lone Worker Panic Alarms
Equipping lone workers with panic alarms is extremely important, because unlike traditional employees, lone workers are unable to receive assistance from nearby colleagues in a difficult situation – such as an injury or attack.
Every employer holds a legal duty of care to their lone working staff. It is crucial to have lone worker policies and systems in place to ensure employees are safe, whether they work alone for all or only part of their working day. Panic alarms offer a way for organisations to ensure that in an emergency, lone workers can quickly signal that they need help and managers can provide immediate assistance.
There are several types of lone worker panic alarms, each of which have slightly different purposes. We take a look at some of these below.
What is a lone worker device?
Why would a lone worker need a panic alarm?
Can I use my phone as a panic buttion?
What types of lone worker alarms are available?
Lone worker apps and devices
What is a lone worker device?
A lone worker device is a system that allows lone workers to signal for help in an emergency situation. A lone worker device can take the form of a physical device to be worn on the lone worker’s person, or an app downloaded to the lone worker’s phone.
A lone worker device should offer a range of functionality, including GPS tracking and a panic alarm to allow the lone worker to quickly signal for help, while allowing the business to send support directly to their location.
Why would a lone worker need a panic alarm?
If a lone worker suffers an injury and is immobilised, or is faced with an attacker, they may not be able to receive help from someone nearby. They may be out of sight, working behind closed doors or in a remote location.
1) Reducing response times
The time taken to receive assistance could mean the difference between a minor incident and a serious one. Statistics show that in the case of severe bleeding, the survival rate decreases by 10% for every 15-minute delay (The Lancet, 2017). Cardiac arrest survival rates decrease 7-10% for every minute lost in response time (American Heart Association).
Lone worker devices and panic alarms ensure that if an accident or incident does occur, not only can the lone worker signal for help, they can also be located immediately, thus reducing response time.
2) Legal duty of care
From a business point of view, the employer holds a duty of care to ensure employees are safe while they work. To meet this legal and moral obligation, it is important to have a check-in system in place, as well as a reliable way for the lone worker to signal for help.
Can I use my phone as a panic button?
Lone worker apps such as StaySafe offer a panic button downloaded straight to a lone worker’s phone. This provides a low cost, easily accessible way for lone workers to signal for help without having to rely on remembering and charging an additional device.
How they work is simple. A lone worker downloads the app from the relevant app store and uses log in details provided to them. This ensures they are linked up to the monitoring hub. A panic alarm can be triggered at any time by tapping a large button on the app.
Lone worker apps offer a host of functionality aside from a panic button including low signal mode for those working in areas where making a data signal can be difficult.
What type of lone worker alarms are available?
There are a range of lone worker alarms available in the marketplace with the 3 most common being dedicated devices, apps and fixed panic buttons. Each of these serve their own purpose and help organisations to overcome specific lone worker challenges.
While lone worker devices were once the most widely used, lone worker apps are increasing in popularity as organisation’s begin to realise their potential. In fact, a recent report by Berg Insights predicts that app-based solutions will increase their share of the marker in the coming years. They currently make up over 20% of the market in Europe and 40% in North America.
Fixed panic buttons
Fixed panic buttons are typically found in stores dealing with large amounts of money, such as jewellery stores, banks, betting shops and other retail stores as well as behind receptionist desks. Often linked to a monitoring station or the emergency services, panic buttons can be triggered to call for help when faced with a robber or violent customer.
Placed somewhere discreetly, fixed panic buttons may be particularly useful when working alone, as with only one employee for the attacker to focus on, a single worker becomes more vulnerable.
However, fixed buttons are limited in that they can only be triggered from a certain location. Therefore, the lone worker has to be in close proximity to the button when an incident occurs to be able to trigger the panic alarm. While this may not be a problem when the lone worker is behind the desk, what if they are on the shop floor or in the back office during an incident?
Lone worker alarm apps and devices
Lone worker apps and devices can be beneficial in emergencies, as well as during travel and in work environments where no panic buttons are present.
Mobile apps and devices can be carried on a worker’s person or even worn around the neck or clipped to clothing. With convenient access, the lone worker panic alarm can be triggered quickly and easily.
Lone worker apps and devices also offer additional functionality that can be crucial in lone working situations. For example, man-down alerts will detect a fall or non-movement when a lone worker becomes immobilised, while discreet panic options allow an alert to be triggered when confronted by an aggressor.
StaySafe offers a wide range of functionality developed specifically for common lone worker challenges. The ability to update an app remotely also means that new functionality is continually developed as technology advances.
Personal alarms for lone workers from StaySafe
StaySafe offer a lone worker app that includes a panic button. The panic button can be triggered at any time by pressing a button on the app or alternatively, a panic can be triggered discreetly by pushing the phone’s power button 4 times.
For lone workers who may not be able to access their phone in an emergency situation, StaySafe also offer a small wearable button that can be linked to the app in order to trigger a panic. The button can be worn around the wrist, neck or clipped to clothing.
Triggering a panic alarm will send an SMS, email, and optionally, phone call notification to designated monitors. Whether this be a manager, group of managers or a monitoring station, is up to the business to decide. The monitor is then able to follow a response plan to verify the alert and send assistance.
With StaySafe, a GPS location is sent with the panic alarm to ensure help can be sent directly the lone worker.
No signal satellite device for lone workers
StaySafe also offers a satellite device for lone workers who operate in remote areas with no mobile signal. The device includes a panic button on the side of the device, for a quick, easy-to-access panic alert.
Like the app, alerts can be monitored in an online Hub and notifications sent to chosen monitors.
Contact StaySafe about panic alarms
What our customers say about StaySafe
“The app and Hub itself are intuitive and easy to use with a great range of functions and alerts. The fact that employees start and end their own sessions has also gone down well as staff are in control of when they are being monitored rather than feeling we are tracking them intrusively.”
“Our workers out in the field now feel reassured that they will receive help should they ever require it even in remote areas or while working out of hours. With the ability to set up check-in intervals, which we have set for every half hour, we are immediately alerted if an employee fails to check-in and we can send them the appropriate assistance.”
“Switching to the StaySafe solution has proven more reliable, more user-friendly and much more efficient for lone workers and their managers. We now feel assured and wise to where our staff are which is of utmost importance as schedules can change last minute, and our staff are regularly in contact with members of the public that they have never met with before.”