You conduct a risk assessment and conclude that your most vulnerable lone workers need to be monitored more effectively by using an automated system which always remembers to call and check they are safe.
You then embark upon a long selection process to decide which system to deploy. You may even be tempted to buy a system which optimistically claims to offer ‘999 queue jumping’ via a so-called guaranteed police response!
Alas, after all your hard work, you are later disappointed to find that only a few of your lone workers actually use the system. You may well ask “why are we spending so much on something that is used so infrequently and has yet to involve the police?”
In our experience, the following common factors exist when low system usage occurs :-
- Lone workers are independently-minded people who enjoy working alone, so despite various risks having been identified they often dislike anything being introduced which may erode their freedom [‘Big Brother concerns’].
- Fear of accidentally raising false alarms may negatively impact upon usage, particularly if managers are unsympathetic when they occur.
- Techno-fear may exist if the system is too complex. Did your staff have an initial free pilot period?
- Are management keeping a regular eye on usage? Nagging helps!
- Does your official lone worker policy document include a direct order for staff to always use the system?
- Do you train new staff during induction – and urgently update personnel changes on the system?
- Are your most experienced staff complacent about risk?
- Do your staff often forget to carry their device?
- Do your nominated Alarm Responders know how to deal with alarms?
- Did key managers disengage from the topic shortly after system deployment?
Most of the list above may be addressed by :-
- Choosing a simple to deploy system.
- Minimising techno-fear and forgetfulness by using familiar ‘tried and tested’ technology such as the workers mobile phone instead of introducing new equipment.
- Keeping staff fully involved after the system has gone live.
- Praising the highest system users and those who report any new risks.
If you are you looking for an affordable and simple system to deploy ~ we can help.