Applications | Lone Worker Solutions

Lone workers are becoming increasingly common with the development of technology within the workplace and the increase in flexible working options. Much of this increase has come about due to the ever increasing cost of employing people. Furthermore the responsibility on employers in ensuring a duty of care to these employees has increased. Today, company directors may be personally liable for the safety of their employees.

Companies are looking at low cost and effective solutions to meet this growing demand. There are a number of solutions which can be employed to meet this requirement. Brabourne have delivered hundreds of systems throughout the UK. These fall into two categories – on site and wide area.

On Site Lone Worker Solutions

The traditional method for a lone worker solution in a factory of office location is to make an arrangement with employees to contact one another at regular intervals by telephone. This may include involvement of on-site security staff to periodically check on lone workers and to take action when an expected call has not been received.

Entel E-PoC radio network diagram

Whilst this solution is undoubtedly cheap it does bring with it some major drawbacks and may not provide either the employer or employee with sufficient safeguards in the event of a problem. The system relies upon staff proactively making contact with security staff or a colleague and this is its major weakness. Additionally it is a cumbersome and inefficient method to ensure lone worker safety.

An on-site solution normally involves the user carrying a small digital two way radio which is equipped with a number of alarm types. The alarms can be enabled by the user individually on a ‘need to use’ basis. Once an alarm is activated the other radios on site, or a control room can take the appropriate action. Alarms include manually activated emergency, lone worker and man down.

Adding Bluetooth beacons positioned at strategic points around a site, such as stairwells, building entrances etc allows a control room to determine the location of a radio user indoors. The same capability exists for outdoor locations using the radios internal GPS receiver.

BrabourneProtect is another solution that allows lone worker alarms to be sent off site to alert colleagues via text or pre recorded voice messages received on their smartphone. This is particularly useful when only one radio user is on site. Further details available here BrabourneProtect

Wide Area Lone Worker Solutions

For employees that are mobile and away from a fixed location a PoC solution is available. This employs PTT over Cellular [PoC] technology. A work colleague will carry a small PoC radio which is equipped with a GSM SIM card. It therefore gains access to a national mobile phone network.

Communication is instant because the system employs Press To Talk [PTT] capabilities more common to radio systems. Alarms can be sent to any other PoC radio or a despatcher console or iOS or Android smartphones.

Location information is also provided using GPS. Convergence of these two communication technologies offers capabilities hitherto unavailable to employees working away from an office or factory site.