We understand that there are a number of reasons why companies purchase a system like Lookout Call. Lone worker safety is paramount to our clients, but there are often additional factors that persuade them to purchase an automated safety system, rather than sticking with in house monitoring. For many, particularly those looking to become BS OHSAS 18001 accredited, they need an established third party tracking system in order to answer part of the Standard – Clause 4.3.1, which deals with Hazard Identification and Determining Controls. So let’s take a look at the external pressures that companies may be under…
Every company is under pressure to meet health and safety regulations, and for businesses that employ remote or lone working staff there are two main pieces of legislation that apply:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974: Section 2. This sets out a duty of care on employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees whilst they are at work.
- The Management of Health and Safety at work Regulations 1999: Regulation 3. This states that every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of: “the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking”.
Visit the Health and Safety Executive website for more specific information on your obligations under the Health and Safety Act.
Although there is no general legal prohibition on working alone, the broad duties of the HSW Act and MHSW Regulations still apply. These require “identifying hazards of the work, assessing the risks involved, and putting measures in place to avoid or control the risks”.
So, Lookout Call has traditionally been purchased by organisations as a means of “putting measures in place to control the risks”. The system is a safety net for employees, but it also effectively acts as an insurance policy for employers who can demonstrate that they have met the these obligations.
But increasingly we are speaking with companies who need a lone worker safety system because of other pressures – the tender process being an obvious one.
Government contracts often stipulate that they will only accept submissions to tender from BS OHSAS 18001 accredited organisations. To be BS OHSAS 18001 involves demonstrating you have a robust lone worker safety system. For organisations who have traditionally managed this in house, with a buddy system or office diary, the BS OHSAS 18001 is the stimulus for changing to an automated check in system.
We are also increasingly hearing from security firms – again, many of these companies have been managing lone worker safety in house for many years. However they are now under pressure to demonstrate sufficient protection measures for their lone working guards, as the Security Industry Authority (SIA) is clamping down on The Private Industry Act 2011, which includes reference to lone workers.
In an ideal world we’d like to see all organisations with lone workers implement an automated lone worker safety system. However, we understand that many companies come to Lookout Call when there is an external pressure – such as legislative obligations. If your organisation needs a lone worker safety system to meet external pressures, such as the ones already mentioned, then please get in touch. Our system is mobile based making it low cost and quick to deploy.