This week marked a milestone in the UK, with celebrations of 100 years since women first got the vote in 1918. Of course, this centenary feeds into wider conversations about gender and equality, and how far things have changed. A prominent segment on Channel 4 has highlighted how people have stopped saying that women can’t do things that were previously the preserve of men.
Equal pay for equal work. Is it a reality yet?
Many of these prohibitions were to do with women’s presence in the workplace. Over the century, we’ve seen more and more women working outside the home. The latest official figures show nearly 75% of women aged 16-64 participating in the workforce (i.e. employed, or available for and seeking work), only a few percentage points behind the rate for men. And the roles which women take have become greatly more varied. From the prime minister down, women are doing an ever-increasing range of job functions – from customer-facing roles, to lone working off-site.
In terms of women in the workplace, much of the debate recently has been through the prism of the ‘gender pay gap’. It’s nearly fifty years since the introduction of the Equal Pay Act in 1970, yet this issue is still a live one. There have been cases ranging from high-profile women at the BBC, to women working in major supermarket chains. Employers are being forced to review what it actually means to ensure equal pay for equal work.
Arguments about pay must not distract from a safe, healthy workplace
But whatever roles women fulfil in the workplace, one element of equality remains essential. All workers must operate in a safe and healthy workplace. Employers must take a proactive stance on completing risk assessments for each individual job role. They must eliminate risks as far as possible, and take steps to mitigate any risks that are unavoidable.
In many organisations, this is complicated by the fact that lone workers face a specific set of risks. Indeed, some duties in certain industrial sectors are prohibited from being undertaken by lone workers at all. In essence, lone workers can’t get immediate assistance from colleagues in the event of an accident or another incident. That’s where technology such as Safe Hub can provide valuable and powerful assistance.
Safe Hub responds to the needs of the individual end-user
Our lone worker protection system is completely gender neutral. Safe Hub’s broad range of protection features can be deployed according to the needs of the jobholder and the functions of their job role. For instance, slips, trips and falls can affect any lone worker, so Worker Down provides reactive support to respond appropriately. Focusing on particular roles, workers such as health visitors can utilise our Safe Check feature as a proactive welfare check when visiting clients in their homes. And with our Red Alert and Yellow Alert functions, all lone workers have direct access to emergency help, and a virtual buddy if they are in threatening circumstances.
Similarly, Safe Hub works on a variety of devices. Even within one organisation, lone workers can use multiple devices but be managed through the same interface. For many customer-facing roles where discretion is key, our wearable dedicated safety devices such as SOS Fob and SOS Button provide an added level of comfort. Employees working in remote or hazardous locations will benefit from satellite or intrinsically safe devices. For workers who already use their smartphones as part of their job, they can access Safe Hub using our mobile app. And if they’re desk-based, they can even use the desktop and laptop apps to summon emergency help or to confirm their welfare as necessary.
Celebrating past achievements – and focusing on future lone workers
So we’re celebrating 100 years since women initially got the vote in the UK. And we’re continuing to protect all those women (and men) working alone, remotely or out-of-sight of their colleagues. We’re proud to provide all lone workers with the help and support they need, as soon as they need it.
Contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today Call: +44-(0)161 885 2122
Post by George Stavrinidis
George is Chief Executive Officer of Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). He 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, it’s our business to protect 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, buddy, proactive, reactive, broadcast and virtual barrier protection for lone workers. Safe Hub supports lone and remote workers on the widest possible array of devices including Android, Apple and Windows smartphones, BlackBerrys, standard mobiles, PCs, intrinsically safe devices, specialist personal safety devices and satellite phones.