Everything you need to know about employee monitoring systems
What is a lone worker tracking app?
Employee tracking systems allow businesses to know where their employees are when they are working away from a fixed base – through a mobile app, smart device or wearable technology. Lone worker tracking apps are developed specifically to monitor the safety of employees when working alone so that they can get help quickly in an emergency.
Despite the safety benefits of using lone worker apps, many employers and employees express concerns around privacy. As a provider who specialises in lone worker safety, we completely understand these concerns.
At StaySafe, we respect employee privacy, without compromising on safety.
Our lone worker safety app and monitoring system gives employers visibility of employee locations – but only when employees start a period of lone working in the app. Employers cannot track their employees whereabouts without them knowing. We also have Privacy Mode, so that employees can choose to only show their location in an emergency.
Why use an employee tracker?
Lone worker trackers are designed to help employers monitor the safety of their workers and provide employees with extra assistance should they need it.
Keeping track of your employees’ location can be used for a range of operational and safety reasons including:
- Keeping track of delivery route and progress
- Moving mobile employees between sites and assigning close-by jobs
- Overtime management
- Keeping track of whether employees are working the correct hours
- Ensuring employees aren’t breaking road laws, such as speeding
Remote and lone worker safety
- If employees work remotely or alone, tracking their location is critical for managing their safety.
Who can use a lone worker GPS tracking system?
Any business that hires remote or mobile workers could benefit from using a lone worker tracking system, including:
- Drivers, such as HGV drivers, couriers and taxi drivers
- On-call employees, such as engineers, inspectors, and repair and maintenance personnel
- Mobile employees, such as salespeople, security personnel, surveyors and park rangers
- Lone workers, such as estate agents, community staff, social workers and engineers
What are the benefits of an employee tracking solution?
Employee tracking systems can increase business efficiency as well as remove admin, time and cost burdens. Most importantly, they ensure your workers can get quick assistance should they need it. In addition, employee safety monitoring can help you to meet your legal duty of care to remote and lone workers.
How does our GPS tracker work?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System, which comprises of 27 satellites orbiting the Earth. These satellites transmit signals to GPS-enabled mobile devices at regular intervals to measure the receiver’s location against the location of the satellites. The distance between the phone and each satellite will determine an accurate location.
Most smartphone operating systems, including Android, iOS and Windows, have GPS capabilities, which can be turned on and off by the user.
Once a location is recorded, it can then be stored on the user’s device or transmitted to another device, such as a computer, using SMS, Wi-Fi or data connection. The StaySafe app is a GPS tracking app and uses this functionality.
How do employee monitoring systems work?
The most common location tracking system is GPS. Formed of 27 satellites, GPS broadcasts radio signals from space. Smartphones and devices containing a GPS receiver will gather and process these signals to create a location. Each device can then send its location to an external database, system or monitoring station that can track the location data as it comes in.
Is employee location tracking legal in the UK?
Tracking an employees’ location while they work is completely legal in the United Kingdom. However, tracking employees outside of working hours without consent is illegal and can lead to legal action against the employer. Employers should inform all staff members of any tracking apps and devices being introduced into the company ahead of implementation. Failure to inform staff can also lead to mistrust. Not only is it crucial that employees are told, messaging on why they are being tracked, which focuses on the safety aspect and how it can benefit them, should also be issued.
What are employees’ privacy concerns?
Some employees may have concerns about employee tracking software and how this will affect their privacy.
However, employees using StaySafe have full control over when their location is visible to their employer. Locations are only visible in the monitoring hub when an employee starts a period of lone working within the app. They will only be tracked whilst in one of these sessions, or if they activate the panic button.
At the end of each period of lone working, GPS tracking will cease. Employers cannot track an employee’s location without their knowledge. We also have Privacy Mode, where employers can give their employees the option to only show their location in an emergency.
Whilst the user’s routes are stored within the Hub, the only people who have access to this information are hub administrators.
How does StaySafe use GPS tracking?
Once a period of lone working is started in the StaySafe app, the GPS data transmitted from the employees’ phone is used to determine their location. The data is then sent to the StaySafe hub and displayed on a map. If the employee travels whilst in a session, the GPS will continue to update and the map will display their journey. This means that if something were to happen, the business would have clear, accurate information on the employees journey and their current location.
Location tracking will also begin if a panic alert is triggered outside of a session on the StaySafe app. This means that assistance can be sent directly to the lone worker’s location in an emergency.
The StaySafe Hub uses Google Maps to show employees’ locations, so the Hub is easy to use, accurate and works globally in real-time. If employees are likely to work in remote areas, where there is no Wi-Fi or data signal, StaySafe offers satellite solutions which would enable employees to be monitored wherever they work.
Lone worker monitoring FAQs
Yes. Our cloud based monitoring hub can be monitored in-house, or outsourced to a 24/7 professional monitoring service (ARC), who will monitor and respond to alerts on your behalf.
Not only does this mean alerts are never missed, ARC’s are also able to issue a Unique Response Number (URN) which requests a direct response from the police, bypassing the 999 service.
Some employees may feel that GPS tracking is an invasion of privacy and shows a lack of trust. However, employers are legally entitled to use GPS trackers, as long as their workforce is fully informed about their usage, and that the tracker is not used by employers outside of working hours. Failure to do so is a potential breach of the Data Protection Act which covers the use of all personal data including details of location. Under the Act, employers need to be able to show justification for using GPS tracking, including safety concerns.
Loe worker tracking devices are used to monitor the location and safety status of employees, as well as giving them a way to signal for help in an emergency. The widespread use of smartphones means that apps are now the fastest growing type of lone worker safety solution.
The StaySafe app can run on virtually all core operating systems such as Android, iOS and Windows. In areas of low signal strength, the app switches seamlessly between all available connection types (Wifi, Data, SMS).
As an alternative to running the app on mobile devices, we offer a satellite GPS tracking device which offers total global signal coverage, even in the most remote areas. The easy-to-use device is made from robust materials which can withstand shock, bad weather and wet conditions. It also offers a battery life of up to 30 days.
Every organisation which employs lone workers should consider methods of staff safety tracking including lone worker tracking devices. StaySafe clients span multiple sectors including construction, retail, telecoms, health services, care, exploration, engineering, forestry, criminal investigation, utilities, housing, community support and environmental services. See more about clients using StaySafe lone worker tracker systems.
Monitoring staff safety is an essential part of responsible management, and includes meeting legal standards under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Employers need to establish a clear justification for monitoring staff during working hours, and to communicate to staff their reasons and methods.
The StaySafe app can help you to better protect your lone working staff. Find out more about why organisations choose StaySafe to monitor their workforce.
“Helen has worked within the lone worker industry for nearly a decade. During that time she has written extensively about health and safety, risk, legislation, and lone working – including the Lone Worker Landscape Report.
Helen’s background is in marketing for start-ups and SMEs, where she has enjoyed working as part of the leadership team to grow the business. Outside of work, Helen is a mum of two and loves to drink wine in peace.”
Find out more about StaySafe solutions
Lone Worker App
Our intuitive app allows employees to check in safely following a lone working session and raise an alert in an emergency.