Many organisations today, utilise lone worker safety solutions in the form of devices or apps to help them support and keep in touch with their lone workers. These can be especially useful when workers are out and about in the community, travelling or visiting clients.
But sometimes implementing these systems can be challenging for organisations and those tasked with ensuring that lone workers gain the best benefit from the investment. We spoke to Alicia Mather, Sales and Operations Director at First2HelpYou to ask her for her thoughts on how to avoid the pitfalls.
Implementing Lone Worker Safety Solutions
Rolling out a lone worker solution needs to be done in such a way that it secures user buy-in and maximises your return on investment.
If done incorrectly, it can result in low uptake, laborious admin tasks and even disgruntled staff.
However, if a rollout is done correctly it has minimal administration on your part, your staff feel valued, and they are safe to go about their working day. You are getting the maximum return on your investment.
Let’s examine what an effective rollout of a lone worker safety solution looks like.
Tailor The Solution
There should be no such thing as an ‘off the shelf’ lone worker safety solution. No two companies are the same and no two risk profiles are the same.
Any lone worker provider worth their salt will have a substantial initial consultation period with you. This should help to determine the hazards associated with the activities your team carry out, the environments in which they work, and any risks to their safety.
This allows the lone worker provider to suggest a tailored solution to fit in with your culture, risk profiles, and budget. A lone worker solution is not going to be effective if it is ‘one size fits all’ because when it comes to matters of safety, this is not the case.
Consult Your Team
Even before this consultation takes place, it is vital that you take the time to consult your colleagues and staff on what these risks are. There is a tendency, in some companies, to implement new policies and procedures from the top down.
Perception and personal feelings come into safety issues and speaking directly to staff will likely give you a perspective that you hadn’t otherwise considered. A lone worker risk assessment process is the natural vehicle for this.
By involving your staff very early on in the process you are implementing a lone workers safety solution with them, not on them. The difference will be huge when it comes to take-up.
Employees sometimes feel suspicious about why their bosses want to track where they are through GPS. They could also have concerns about their privacy rights due to the two-way listening capabilities.
If you, at as early a stage as possible, can involve your lone workers in the process, they will feel listened to, involved and able to contribute rather than having new processes imposed on them. Be honest with them about what the solution will do and how it might change the way they work. Talk about the benefits and allow them to voice any concerns.
Lone workers should then be able to see the benefits of lone worker devices and solutions instead of thinking they are being spied on.
Try Before You Buy
Committing to a lone worker solution without having tried it out can be a disaster. Because lone working risk profiles have so many variables it is always worth spending a bit of time getting to know the device or app and seeing it in the field.
If you have carried out a consultation process with your teams you might have an inkling about who the most resistant are. Experience has shown us getting these people to trial the solution usually wins them round. They also make the best testers as they are honest about the functionality and tend to push the technology to its limits.
Issuing The Lone Worker Devices
A good lone worker solution rollout is one that is as straight forward as possible.
No one wants to receive a big box of devices and have to spend ages assigning them to users. One option would be to choose a lone worker provider who providesthe devices already assigned and ready to go.
Make sure your staff receive the devices or app when you are ready for them to start using them. During the training is usually the best time. Too soon or too late and they forget all about them and leave them languishing in a drawer.
Lone Worker Training
Face to face training is proven to be the most effective way of getting a topic to stick.
During the face to face training, your colleagues can test out the devices, get comfortable with them, voice any concerns, and leave feeling confident and happy.
However, getting everyone in a room can be hard to arrange if you have a lot of remote workers. This is where online training comes in very handy.
If you would like to speak to one of the team from First2HelpYou at the Lone Worker Safety Expo conference, Alicia and her team will be amongst our trusted exhibitors available on the day and would be happy to answer any questions you have about implementing a lone worker safety solution.