How IoT Brings Connected Support to Lone Workers

Posted by on September 19, 2018 at 5:00 AM Carmi Brandis  
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In the United Kingdom, more than 609,000 self-reported injuries occurred between 2016 and 2017, according to the Health and Safety Executive. As an article from Safety Line outlines, nations across the globe are examining how to minimize work-related injuries, specifically for lone workers who perform tasks independently, without monitoring or supervision, in field settings that are remote and often outside of an office or institution.

While safety can be enforced by watchfulness among a team to minimize work-related injuries, lone workers do not benefit from this measure of workplace security. Surveyors, social workers, remote operators, and in-home caregivers are all examples of lone workers at higher risk of work-related injuries or occupational challenges.

Similar to the ways that IoT devices can aid in public safety, off-site conditions for lone workers can be improved with connected safety monitoring technology that lowers the risk of danger or injury and increases emergency response time. With IoT safety monitoring, lone workers immediately can call for help in high-risk situations, and employers and supervisors can track employees’ location and movements, which can help with both workflow and emergency support.

Creating a Stronger Contact During the Workday

Connected safety monitoring technology comes in the form of devices such as wristbands, handsets, lanyard attachments, or downloadable apps supplied to lone workers. Similar to the way walkie talkies enhance the sense of teamwork among a dispersed group, these safety monitoring devices allow lone workers to experience a greater sense of teamwork and safety on the job by knowing that they have immediate access to supervisors or other members of their team, as well as an emergency alert option.

In conjunction with supplied devices or apps, supporting software and emergency response services can be provided to employers. Safety monitoring software gives employers an interface from which to check in on the workflow and safety of lone workers. Arrival and departure schedules, as well as job-site activity, can all be openly monitored.

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For example, a worker from an electrical utility company may be assigned to repair a broken transformer and leaves the office to embark on their job alone. Using safety monitoring devices, the worker’s project manager can know, remotely, when the employee arrives to the work site, follow their path of travel when leaving the site to run errands or gather supplies, and track their activity levels within the work zone. This ability to track workflow can help supervisors indicate what areas of the project are making progress in a given time frame, and identify when the employee is in a particularly precarious phase of the process, for instance when working on a particularly dangerous piece of equipment (in the case of field technicians).

For emergency situations, in particular, push notifications can be sent to supervisors, paramedics, or law enforcement officials when a worker signals an emergency alert. In conjunction with notifying employers, lone worker safety technology is designed to immediately initiate rescue chain services that send immediate help in cases where an emergency call is made.

Support in Challenging Circumstances

Certain industries, such as social work, healthcare, or municipal utilities, have high counts of lone workers. These industries also require their lone workers to engage in high-risk tasks, such as climbing, lifting, or exposing themselves to powerful machinery, illnesses, and high-stress situations. In scenarios where an employee is expected to tackle a risky job alone, connected safety monitoring technology may be beneficial at providing emergency protection and an additional sense of support for that worker.

Consider a social worker whose responsibility involves traversing a large metropolitan area to visit various communities and make one-on-one contact with civilians throughout the day. The employee must work closely with people, off-site, and unsupervised. Given the nature of social work, high-stress situations may arise as the employee follows through with their responsibilities, thus creating the exact kind of high-risk situation in which safety monitoring technology can help. If a situation escalates and gets out of hand, the employee quickly can call for help with a connected safety monitoring device, and this alert will be instantly met with an emergency call and a notification to the employer. In less severe situations, two-way communication can be initiated discreetly through the device so the lone worker can be supported by backup supervision in case an emergency does arise.  

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Secure a New Level of Lone Worker Safety with Aeris  

Implementing the right tools to keep your team safe is important for any supervisor, and especially those who must consider the security risks that come from the occupational nature of lone workers. At Aeris, we envision how IoT and smart devices can bridge the gap between safety and autonomy for employees working in any industry that requires them to enter into remote job sites alone.

If lone workers within your company could benefit from a heightened level of safety, contact Aeris today to discuss what connected safety monitoring technology solution is right for you.

Topics: IoT tracking, IoT safety, lone worker, worker safety