Lone working in the utilities sector

In our previous blog about utilities, we divided lone working roles in the sector into three categories. In this blog, we’re going to look at what risks these different groups of lone workers face. And we’ll detail how Lone Worker Solutions’ Safe Hub system can address those risks, with the latest voice and data communications technologies.

Working in the field or at a plant: Safe Hub reacts to slips and falls

In the utilities sector, lone working teams often work alone for extended periods of time at wastewater treatment plants or up high on power lines. Working with high-voltage materials, contaminated water, toxic chemicals and gases everyday can be hazardous. For this group of workers, physical security is a priority and must be seriously considered. Companies must prepare for the worst, as human error is inevitable and accidents do happen from time to time.

Lone workers operating in utilities plants and in the field primarily face the risk of incapacitation or injury, due to slips, trips or falls. To support such workers, Safe Hub has support features which can be delivered using a range of devices. Critically for this type of lone worker, our Worker Down feature uses in-built motion sensor technology to detect sudden impacts or changes in the handset’s orientation. And given that these workers will often be operating in areas with poor or non-existent mobile phone signal, devices such as our ProtectMe may be most suitable.

Working directly with the public: Safe Hub’s emergency response to threats or abuse

For lone workers in this category, there are a range of risks associated with travelling to different locations and entering people’s properties. Dependent on the role, there may also be a factor of task-related risk, such as working from height or in a potentially hazardous environment. For workers requesting payments, there are also risks of potential aggression or violence from non-compliant customers at these properties.

Safe Hub has a number of support features and discreet devices which are useful here. A good choice for such workers is our SOS Fob device, which combines GPS and communications technologies. In the event of an emergency, pinpointing a worker’s location saves valuable minutes when a Red Alert is triggered. We also have our Yellow Alert service, where workers can leave identifying information which will further help should they need to escalate to a Red Alert. And for a more proactive approach, we have Safe Check; workers must check in at set intervals, and should they fail to do so, there are escalation procedures which will include emergency support.

Working in an office or remotely: Safe Hub’s proactive periodic welfare check

While this category of lone workers is generally the lowest-risk, there are still risks associated with these roles. Due to IT technology now available, staff can undertake office work during normal daytime hours anywhere and at any time remotely. Risk assessments for individual roles need to consider issues of location, timing relating to personal safety, and access to valuable organisational resources.

Many workers in this category will be best supported with our proactive Safe Check feature. This provision for users to ‘check in and out’ of their lone working tasks means that a company can verify the safety of their workers during their working hours. Similarly, Red Alert and Yellow Alert can sometimes be useful for such workers too. Often this group of workers will be using a mobile phone app or a laptop to access Safe Hub, all of which work seamlessly with our software.

Lone Worker Solutions: bespoke packages for each client

Our proprietary Safe Hub software allows you to offer a range of emergency, proactive and reactive support to different groups of workers. The platform provides the highest-possible degree of flexibility around the number of lone workers, and the level of protection which each of them requires. We can deploy a range of devices, apps and features to make a bespoke package work, managed in one simple user interface. For each worker, we can allocate protection, monitoring, escalation and response procedures tailored to each individual worker’s risk assessment.

At the core of our services, we ensure direct access to emergency services, bypassing the usual 999 call procedures in the event of emergency. Responders can be directed in real-time not only to a precise outdoor location, but the exact floor and room where an employee is located if indoors. All this is made possible as Safe Hub is supported by Mitec, a state-of-the art Technology Centre and Category II Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). Just like the utilities sector, Mitec’s ARC operates around the clock and throughout the year, so that Lone Worker Solutions can protect your workers whenever they’re working alone.

If you have any questions about how we support businesses in the utilities sector, then contact one of our team today.

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Post by George Stavrinidis.

Chief Executive Officer of Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). George believes passionately that everyone should be protected and supported at work. George supports LWS clients to make sure they enjoy the most effective relationship with the team and maximise the effectiveness of their deployment of Safe Hub.

About Lone Worker Solutions

At Lone Worker Solutions, our business is about protecting employees, managers and shareholders from the risks associated with working alone. This includes the potential hazards faced by staff who work by themselves, remotely, or out-of-sight or earshot of colleagues. When it comes to safety we don't believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, instead we tailor our solution to each organisation's exact needs.

About Safe Hub

Safe Hub is an award-winning BS8484 2016 Gold Certified package of emergency, proactive and reactive protection for lone workers. Safe Hub supports lone and remote workers on the widest possible array of devices including Android, Apple and Windows smartphones, BlackBerry, standard mobiles, PCs, intrinsically safe devices, specialist personal safety devices and satellite phones.

Post update

This post has been updated to reflect recent changes and improvements to the naming of Lone Worker Solutions' platform and the safety features that it provides. Prior to 2018, Safe Hub was called LoneWorker Manager, Safe Check was called Heartbeat, and Group Alert was called Broadcast Messaging. These updates reflect advancements in the platform and help to improve end-user comprehension.

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