For many employers, there are certain times when they need to know where their lone workers are in a hurry. And for the workers themselves, it’s essential for their wellbeing to know that they can be found – and helped – when they’re in a crisis. Thankfully, Safe Hub’s GPS Locate feature provides pinpoint accuracy in understanding where lone workers are. In this blog, we’ll look at the out-of-this-world technology that drives GPS, and the real-world applications for lone workers in a crisis.
Satellite communications provide a neat solution
For something so central to modern life, GPS is a mystery to many people. At its heart, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is a network of satellites. The network consists of 30 satellites broadcasting radio signals in a permanent near-Earth orbit of approximately 20,000 km. Now used widely around the globe, GPS was initially set up for US military navigation. The first satellite in the system, Navstar 1, was launched in February 1978.
But the technology, and its uses, have exploded into prominence in the twenty-first century. It’s used by companies in almost every sector to help with logistics, transport and security. It’s transformed the way we travel, as we’re no longer reliant on map-reading in the car but instead use satnav. And indeed, many of us have a GPS-enables device with us all the time in the form of our smartphone.
Trilateration and the operation of GPS
We’re going to take a closer look at how GPS works – and it turns out that it’s a practical application of a school maths topic. Trigonometry may not have been a favourite subject at school. Chances are you haven’t used it actively in your adult life, even if you got to grips with it at all. But you don’t have to understand trigonometry to benefit from it. GPS location is founded on some very simple but powerful trigonometric truths.
From any point on the globe, four GPS satellites are visible all the time. At regular intervals, they each transmit the current time and their location to a high degree of accuracy. The signals from all four satellites reach your GPS-enabled device. It then calculates how long the message took to reach you from each satellite, and therefore your distance from each of them. By overlaying the information from three of the visible satellites, GPS uses the distances and the angles between the signals to pinpoint your location. This process is called trilateration.
Satellites meet Safe Hub to protect lone workers on the ground
It’s what Safe Hub does with this information on the lone worker's safety device or Safe Hub app that protects them. When using Safe Hub, the lone worker’s GPS location is reported to the system every ten minutes as standard, and whenever a Red Alert, Yellow Alert or Worker Down alert is raised. This GPS information is then immediately available to the operators at our Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), who can take action to help a lone worker in trouble.
A key advantage of Safe Hub is that it lets us customise the settings for each client. One option is to alter the frequency of regular non-alert GPS reporting. We can also adapt reporting to ensure the use of GPS Locate complies with our clients’ individual policies and procedures around privacy. Clients can choose exactly who can see a worker's GPS location, and how that information can be used. Each activity performed within Safe Hub is tracked to allow for monitoring and compliance.
The GPS Locate function is available on all of our Safe Hub phone apps and dedicated devices. With Safe Hub in their pocket or around their neck, lone workers in a crisis know they can be found quickly and receive any help they need. And when our clients need to know where their lone workers are in a hurry, we’ve got them covered.
To find out more about how to find lone workers in a crisis with GPS Locate, contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today.
Call: +44-(0)161 885 2122
Post by Rob Gilbert
Rob is Chief Sales Officer at Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). He is responsible for introducing new clients to the benefits of Safe Hub, and ensuring their experience is straightforward, simple and truly effective. His consultative, customer-focused approach means our clients have full access to every possible resource to achieve lasting, best-of-breed solutions and service excellence.