Protecting lone workers in the transport and environment sectors
Lone working in transport, storage, agriculture, forestry and fishing
In agriculture, forestry and fishing, a large proportion of people spend at least part of their working lives alone or out of sight of colleagues. Similarly, for those in the transportation and storage sector, much of their jobs are spent either on the road or at potentially large storage facilities. For many workers in this sector, risks are based around being tired – for instance, on the roads or out in the field. But for workers on public transport, as well as passengers, there may also be risks associated with interacting with the public. With its wide range of features and discreet personal devices, Safe Hub can offer lone worker protection to them all.
Safe Hub scenario: an engineer surveying track on a national rail network
Trackside engineers often don’t have immediate access to standard emergency services, for instance if they are operating in an area where mobile phone coverage is patchy. Clearly, many lone workers in this category will also require personal protective equipment, so it’s vital to ensure that any lone worker safety device is compatible with such equipment. And as with many lone worker roles, transport to sites and between them may bring its own risks, especially if tracks are in remote areas without road access.
Often the priority for engineers will be using a satellite device such as our SPOT Gen3 provides emergency protection wherever the worker may be – and its robust buttons mean that it’s easy to trigger a Red Alert even when used with safety gloves. However, for engineers where the priority is protecting against slips, trips and falls, a device with built-in motion and shock sensors will be ideal, so that they can deploy our Worker Down feature.
Out in the field
In the UK, agriculture, forestry and fishing has the highest rate of workplace injury of all economic sectors. In 2016/17, there were nearly 4,000 injuries per 100,000 workers in the sector, over twice the average across the whole economy.
Despite the fact that there are relatively few workers, there were 27 fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in that year. Being struck by a moving vehicle or other object accounted for nearly half of these fatalities. In contrast, slips, trips and falls were the cause of around a third of non-fatal injuries. Safe Hub provides valuable support, with features such as Worker Down, Safe Check and Group Alert.
On a day-to-day basis, the UK’s road network is under great pressure. In 2014 there are 35.6 million registered vehicles on Britain’s roads, and they covered some 311 billion vehicle miles.
While fatalities and serious injuries have been trending down in recent years, there were still nearly 1,800 deaths on the road in that year, together with over 22,800 serious injuries. Factoring in a further 170,000 less serious injuries, it makes it all the more important for employers in the transportation sector to protect their lone workers. With features such as Safe Check and Worker Down, Safe Hub can safeguard lone workers out on the road.
With the rise of internet retail businesses, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of people employed in logistics and supply chain roles in recent years. These can be broken down into: freight transportation; maritime and port operations; postal and courier activities; and warehousing, storage and handling.
As the sector is dominated by small- and medium-sized enterprises, it follows that many employees in various roles in the sector will frequently work alone or remotely. What’s more, there are often awkward shift patterns that necessitate workers operating out-of-sight of, or at different times, from colleagues. For all these workers, Safe Hub can provide a valuable lifeline to emergency, proactive and reactive support.