The UK coronavirus lockdown has changed behaviour across the board, as people stay home to protect the NHS and save lives. Yet there are some trends which have only been exacerbated by closures of businesses across the country. Now more than ever, we’re reliant on home deliveries for everything from food for the body to stimulation for the soul. Of course, the drivers who are delivering the nation what it needs are rightly now seen as essential key workers. But they’re also lone workers, as they’re out of sight and earshot for their colleagues throughout most of their working day. In this blog, we’re going to take a closer look at lone working delivery drivers.
The everyday risks of the role for lone working delivery drivers
Food delivery drivers are now classed as key workers by the government, essential to the running of the country during lockdown. Of course, many are members of the gig economy and technically self-employed. Many more are among the lowest-paid workers in the country, until recently classed as ‘unskilled’. But whether they’re out and about on the road, delivering directly to the public, or at a warehouse facility, they can face a range of risk scenarios.
Just as deliveries were a fact of life before the lockdown, so was violence against drivers. Indeed, a food delivery driver was sadly the first murder victim in London in 2020. Drivers are often responsible for transporting stock of significant value to retail and trade customers. And they may also be carrying substantial amounts of cash. This element of risk has been reduced due to the fact that most restaurant delivery services have switched to contactless and cash-free deliveries. Nevertheless, their position while they’re working remains far from secure. From accidents to abuse, and from assault to the theft of their vehicle, lone working delivery drivers need to be protected.
How Safe Hub protects lone working delivery drivers on the road and at the warehouse
As a result, transport and delivery companies are drawn to the range of protection features which Safe Hub offers, both when drivers are on the road and when they arrive back at the warehouse. Of course, many delivery drivers will already be using a smartphone to help schedule and direct them to deliveries. Designed to work seamlessly across all handsets, the Safe Hub Smartphone app is available for Android, Windows and iOS smartphones. The apps can be easily downloaded by end-users from their relevant app store or mobile device management software. The app uses both GPS and GPRS technology to provide accurate location data and the fastest possible alert transmission in the event of any emergency.
The app features an SOS button which overrides the handset’s keypad lock allowing fast access in an emergency. This Red Alert feature adds an extra layer of protection and security for when drivers are leaving or arriving back at a warehouse. Meanwhile, features such as Safe Check and Worker Down run seamlessly in the background without interrupting the normal function of the smartphone. The periodic welfare check provided by Safe Check gives peace of mind to drivers on the road. Additionally, Worker Down provides useful reactive support feature in the event of a driver falling or being involved in an accident.
Key workers keeping the country fed and watered
Whether they’re on a bike or in a van, lone working delivery drivers rely on technology to do their job. They always need to know where they are and where they need to be next. With the Safe Hub Smartphone app, they’ll have a powerful lone worker safety device in their pockets. It will let us know where they are too, so we can send them help if they need it. It remains to be seen how many people will continue to rely more heavily on deliveries once the lockdown is lifted. But whatever the future holds, we’re here to protect lone working delivery drivers whenever they’re on the job.
To find out more about protecting lone working delivery drivers, contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today
Post by Henry Robinson
As an Account Manager at Lone Worker Solutions (LWS), Henry introduces new clients to Safe Hub, our award-winning system to protect and monitor lone workers. Safe Hub is a package of emergency buddy, proactive, reactive, broadcast and virtual barrier protection for lone workers. The system supports lone and remote workers on the widest possible array of BS8484:2016 Gold Certified devices, including Android, Apple and Windows smartphones, BlackBerrys, standard mobiles, PCs, intrinsically safe devices, specialist personal safety devices and satellite phones.