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Gasman  
#1 Posted : 16 January 2020 15:28:55(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Gasman

Hi,

We currently have sites across the country that are manned indvidually by site engineers. Engineers have each been given a lone worker alarm unit (Small type on lanyard ) Because all employees are lone workers these are vital and they are told to wear them upon entry into site. (They never do and just leave them on charge which shows it's on and used) We are struggling with complaince and how to supervise that it is being used. The sites are all minipower stations so high risk work enviroment. 

The question was asked "Shoud we ask they have them when travelling to and from site or during any other work journey" This may make them actually use the lone worker alarm, becuase it has to go with you when driving as well (All company vans ) 

Personally I don't see much benefit of this against the backlash of the engineers starting a mini riot. Some of the things I have heard include "Its against my human rights" and "How do I know you aren't listening to me" 

Anyway looking for any opinions on this. 

A Kurdziel  
#2 Posted : 16 January 2020 16:17:19(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Well the first question is why you think they need this sort of technology.  I am assuming that these are  tracking devices rather than just alarms and that they are monitored by someone external.

Is it that all of the mobile workers did not like the system or is it that a few gob[expletive deleted]es are stirring up trouble?

When I looked after 100 or so government inspectors, our Union was in the lead, demanding that we spend money and getting some sort of system provided to them when they visited farms etc. In fact they insisted that human rights required that we do this. They also knew that we would not be tracking them routinely as we had better things to do.

I you feel that there is no significant risk to them then by all means get rid of this options, but if something goes wrong the question will be asked why you did that.

 

thanks 3 users thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
Dazzling Puddock on 16/01/2020(UTC), Gasman on 16/01/2020(UTC), johnc on 16/01/2020(UTC)
Gasman  
#3 Posted : 16 January 2020 17:13:10(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Gasman

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

Well the first question is why you think they need this sort of technology.  I am assuming that these are  tracking devices rather than just alarms and that they are monitored by someone external.

Is it that all of the mobile workers did not like the system or is it that a few gob[expletive deleted]es are stirring up trouble?

When I looked after 100 or so government inspectors, our Union was in the lead, demanding that we spend money and getting some sort of system provided to them when they visited farms etc. In fact they insisted that human rights required that we do this. They also knew that we would not be tracking them routinely as we had better things to do.

I you feel that there is no significant risk to them then by all means get rid of this options, but if something goes wrong the question will be asked why you did that.

 

The lone worker devices are trackers. They have a little panick button which when pressed will alert the relevant people. I think because the company I work for just sees using it while driving as something extra really if you are ever involved in an accident. Also, the sites are generally up dark dirt roads in the middle of nowhere so a engineer may become a victim of crime via mugging or a vcitim to a hole dug by a badger and  trip over and hurt themselves etc......AnywayI think my point is more having them wear it all the time and keep in van on charge when driving. When we mentioned this some of the as you called them gob[expletive deleted]es started piping up about human rights and being tracked. They do know the vehicles are tracked and mobile phones are also easilly tracked so I never saw the merit in that. 

Roundtuit  
#4 Posted : 16 January 2020 17:54:03(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

So with such a wide dispersion of staff how quick is site attendance should an alarm be sounded?

Who attends given the Police, Ambulance, Fire, Coast Guard, Mountain Rescue have limited resource and possibly other calls of similar or higher priority?

Gasman  
#5 Posted : 16 January 2020 18:08:43(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Gasman

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post

So with such a wide dispersion of staff how quick is site attendance should an alarm be sounded?

Who attends given the Police, Ambulance, Fire, Coast Guard, Mountain Rescue have limited resource and possibly other calls of similar or higher priority?


What has the workload of the emergency services got to do with anything? Are you suggesting the company should now employ its own emergency services nationwide? 

Yes, there is a hierachy of people within the organisation who will be informed which eventually leads to a call to the respective emergency services.

Edited by user 16 January 2020 18:10:09(UTC)  | Reason: Spelling is disgusting

Roundtuit  
#6 Posted : 16 January 2020 19:17:13(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

You are not meant to rely upon the external emergency services which is the point I am raising. For reference a work at height rescue plan is not supposed to rely upon the fire service turning up.

So if your alarm system alerts a manager who dials 999 then it is neither suitable nor sufficient for lone working - one remote engineer will not get priority over a residential block of flats that is on fire.
AcornsConsult  
#7 Posted : 16 January 2020 20:52:17(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
AcornsConsult

What will the panic alarm provide that their phone will not?  
Alarm - left in vehicle -v- phone always carried with them
alarm - negative perception -v- Phone seen as a passive perk
alarm - requires a monitoringsystem -v- phone has multiple options and even call emer services direct if needed and cuts out the chinese whispers.

Have you trialled something like a safe journey management system or call back routine where they notify arriving on site and have to report in on a regular basis.  

A Kurdziel  
#8 Posted : 17 January 2020 09:28:37(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

I my current role we are supplying staff and students with an app for their phones (we are a University). The app features a Big Red Button and when the person pushes it automatically raises an alarm at the security desk. The beauty is that not only does it raise the alarm but is also notifies security staff of the location of the caller (so far as GPS data allows). It is currently set for the campus and adjacent streets only but it can be set for any area (not sure how wide that is). In addition is has a check-in function. When this is set, the app first calls you back after the time limit has expired. If you don’t respond then it automatically raises the alarm with security. We use it when staff and students come in at weekends etc to do stuff and might be lone working.

We have not made its use compulsory and its take up is less than we hoped for especially amongst students.  We invested in the system after a number of incidents involving outsiders coming onto the campus to cause trouble.  

Roundtuit  
#9 Posted : 17 January 2020 13:37:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

And one of the events that could trigger the need for this kind of app is a mugging/ride by... where the phone is taken. What's the best way to advertise a phone to a thief? Get it out to use it.

Gasman  
#10 Posted : 17 January 2020 14:39:45(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Gasman

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post
You are not meant to rely upon the external emergency services which is the point I am raising. For reference a work at height rescue plan is not supposed to rely upon the fire service turning up.

So if your alarm system alerts a manager who dials 999 then it is neither suitable nor sufficient for lone working - one remote engineer will not get priority over a residential block of flats that is on fire.

Your point makes no sense though becuase you have no idea about our company policy and it wasn't what I was asking. I am well aware rescue plans etc and I know maybe a telecoms worker does lone working at height, but we can afford to eliminate that hazard due to the structure of the business and it simply isn't required. There is a procedure once a alarm comes through and it goes straight to a external dedicated call centre who initially deal with it and will escalate of neccessary. The last port of call is the emergency services once we have exhausted all options of contact. 

toe  
#11 Posted : 18 January 2020 10:12:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
toe

I think Roundtuit was trying to be helpful with the limited information from your OP. For example, a lone worker alarm is different from a lone working tracking device with an alarm feature.

Ok here’s my thoughts for you. It appears you have conducted a Lone Workers risk assessment. One of the controls to manage lone working risks is to track people and issues them with a communication method to keep them safe in emergency situations.

Therefore, it is compulsory for them to abide by the control measures you employ (assuming the RA is suitable and sufficient). For example, if PPE is a control to manage risk, employees must wear it. If your lone worker device is a control measure to manage lone working risks, then employees must comply with the control measures and wear it. These devices can be costly and carry an ongoing cost for the organisation so make it compulsory and policy that they carry them at all times.

On the point of Human Rights, health and safety Law/s trumps these Laws so I would not worry about these on safety grounds. But… using these devices to track the whereabouts of people or using them in HR-related cases may not be acceptable.

Hope this helps.

thanks 2 users thanked toe for this useful post.
Roundtuit on 18/01/2020(UTC), Gasman on 20/01/2020(UTC)
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