During the UK coronavirus lockdown, as many people as possible have been staying home to save lives and protect the NHS. But staff in the NHS and other key worker roles need to get to places of work. This has meant that the people who get them there and supply them with essential equipment have also become key workers. It might seem obvious that workers in the transport and logistics sector spend much of their time away from colleagues when they’re on the road. But even when they’re not driving, they might be at large storage facilities or elsewhere out of sight and hearing of colleagues. In this blog we’ll look at how transport and logistics lone workers are working during lockdown – and how Safe Hub’s features and discreet personal devices can offer protection.
Transport lone worker safety against a rising tide of violence
For many workers in transport and logistics, risks are based around being tired. But for workers on public transport, there may also be risks associated with interacting with the public. A survey by the RMT transport union published in December 2019 showed that 72% of frontline transport workers have experienced workplace violence in the previous year alone. And almost nine-tenths of them had been subjected to violence on multiple occasions. The most common form of attack was verbal abuse, accounting for over 90% of incidents. Transport workers also describe being spat at, sexually assaulted, racially abused and threatened with violence or physical assault.
Public transport is, of course, less crowded during the coronavirus lockdown, and anecdotally the number of incidents of violence against transport lone workers has reduced. This is partly because transport lone workers are deemed to be key workers. They are among the groups who are doing most to keep the country going during the lockdown period. However, workers do still face risks of inappropriate behaviour, as well as slips, trips and falls. Safe Hub can provide a valuable way to mitigate all these risks. Whether it’s Red Alert in a crisis, or reactive Worker Down support, we’ve got their backs.
Protecting logistics lone workers from everyday risks
During the lockdown, supply chains have been strained by the economy’s altered circumstances. The rise of internet retail businesses has prompted a corresponding increase in the number of people employed in logistics and supply chain roles in recent years. The logistics 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. It may be delivered via the Safe Hub App for smartphones or a device such as SOS Fob, but we can get them the help they need when they need it.
Repairs and maintenance keep going during lockdown
Even during the lockdown, it’s critical to keep up with repairs and maintenance schedules for the transport infrastructure. Often, trackside engineers don’t have immediate access to standard emergency services when working alone. For instance, they may be operating in an area where mobile phone coverage is patchy. Clearly, many lone workers in this category will also require personal protective equipment. It’s therefore vital to ensure that any lone worker safety device is compatible with such equipment. Often therefore the priority for engineers will be using a satellite device such as our SPOT Gen3 or SPOT X. These devices provide emergency protection wherever the worker may be as they’re not reliant on phone signal – and robust buttons mean that it’s easy to trigger a Red Alert even when used with safety gloves.
Conversely, the priority for engineers working in less remote regions may be getting reactive help in the event that they slip, trip or fall. A device with built-in motion and shock sensors will be ideal, so that they can deploy Worker Down. This Safe Hub safety feature is available on the Safe Hub App for smartphones and many of our dedicated devices.
Our commitment to protecting transport and logistics lone workers
With its range of safety features available on apps and dedicated devices, Safe Hub provides vital protection to transport and logistics lone workers. While lockdown measures are in place, we’re here to support these lone workers, whose roles have become so important to the economy. And as restrictions are eased, we’ll still be here to make sure that whatever happens, transport and logistics lone workers have access to help in an emergency. #TransportLoneWorkers #LogisticsLoneWorkers #KeyWorkers #CustomisedSafety #LoneWorkerSafety
Contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today to find out more about protecting transport and logistics lone workers.
Post by Spencer Wild
Spencer is an Account Executive at Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). As well as supporting existing clients, he works to introduce new clients to Safe Hub, and its package of emergency, buddy, proactive, reactive, broadcast and virtual barrier protection for anyone working alone or out of sight of colleagues. 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.