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Lone Worker Alarms

June 08, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 231

As a business owner you have a legal duty to ensure the safety and security of your staff - including those that you may not see very often due to shift patterns or if they are visiting clients or residential addresses. By providing a lone worker alarm, you provide a significant assistance to their general safety and wellbeing.

The amount of lone workers in the UK is not known, but estimates put the figure at over 3 million, although it could be as high as 7 million, with further research indicating that at least 150 people are attacked every day. Whilst this may only be less than 2% of the total number it does mean a problem exists and an employer needs to look at the risk and take appropriate action. For the vast majority of staff, lone working is not hazardous, but even simple accidents, e.g. a slip or trip, can have more serious consequences if you are working alone.

A risk assessment will identify what actions you need to take and in some cases a lone worker personal safety alarm may be of benefit. An alarm's main objective is to alert a control point that something may have happened to an individual and the assumption is that help is required. A system needs to be in place behind the alarm itself to identify who is possibly harmed, where they might be and who will provide assistance.

Alarms themselves vary in specification and cost and can include other facilities that may help in an emergency situation eg voice calls or loudspeaker. As with most items these days, a large number of alarms are now on the market and choosing one maybe more difficult than first anticipated. Most people find it useful to look at a number of alarms and review each one against a pre-defined list of requirements.

A new standard BS8484 was recently introduced to help people select an appropriate alarm. Alarms that meet this standard are more likely to be responded to by a local police force as they have more rigorous levels of specification, staff response training and police alarm receiving centre compliance to reduce the frequency of false alarms.

It is important to remember that the alarm is only one element and will not solve a lone working situation and remove all the risks. A total solution involving dynamic risk assessments, co-operation between departments, a robust lone working policy and safety training will help reduce the risks to a more acceptable level.

Nowadays almost everyone has a personal mobile phone and this could be used in a workplace lone working scenario. Some staff even having tracking applications on their phones although obviously using these non-work devices in a workplace setting could be awkward as they may think you are checking up on them.

Have you considered any staff who work alone and the risks they maybe facing? Would providing these staff with lone worker alarms make their working day safer?

Nigel J Welford is a qualified Health & Safety professional and believes in making the process of health and safety in the workplace as simple as possible whilst still being effective and meeting all the regulations. Get a copy of his free report "The Secret To How Health & Safety Can Improve Your Business And Profits: 7 Everyday Pitfalls To Avoid" from http://www.healthandsafetyintheworkplace.com

Source: EzineArticles
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