Panic Alarms For Lone Workers

A lone worker is someone who works away from colleagues and direct supervision, for all or part of their working day. While lone working should not be any more dangerous than other types of working, it is important that they have a way to signal for help when faced with a dangerous situation.

Why would a lone worker need a panic alarm?

If a lone worker suffers an injury and is immobilised or is faced with an attacker, they may not be able to receive help from someone nearby. They may be out of sight and sound, working behind closed doors or in a remote location.

In such a situation, the time taken to receive assistance could be the difference between a minor incident and a serious one.

From a business point of view, the employer holds a duty of care to ensure employees are safe while they work. Therefore, it is important to have a check-in system in place as well as a reliable way for the lone worker to signal for help.

Panic alarms allow lone workers to send an alert to their employer or emergency response centre, to signal that they are in need of assistance.

What types of lone worker alarms are available?

Panic alarms for lone workers typically come in 3 forms; a fixed panic button, a lone worker device or a lone worker app.

Fixed panic buttons

Fixed panic buttons are typically found in stores dealing with large amounts of money, such as jewellery stores, banks, betting shops and other retail stores as well as behind receptionist desks. Often linked to a monitoring station or the emergency services, panic buttons can be triggered to call for help when faced with a robber or violent customer.

Placed somewhere discreetly, fixed panic buttons may be particularly useful when working alone, as with only one employee for the attacker to focus on, a single worker becomes more vulnerable.

However, fixed buttons are limited in that they can only be triggered from a certain location. Therefore, the lone worker has to be in close proximity to the button when an incident occurs to be able to trigger the panic alarm. While this may not be a problem when the lone worker is behind the desk, what if they are on the shop floor or in the back office during an incident?

This was the case with a lone worker who was attacked by a customer while manning a betting store.

Lone worker apps and devices

Lone worker apps and devices can be beneficial in such situations, as well as during travel and in work environments where no panic buttons are present.

Mobile apps and devices can be carried on a worker’s person or even worn around the neck or clipped to clothing. With convenient access, the lone worker panic alarm can be triggered quickly and easily.

StaySafe’s panic alarm for lone workers

StaySafe offer a lone worker app that includes a panic button. The panic button can be triggered at any time by pressing a button on the app or alternatively, a panic can be triggered discreetly by pushing the phone’s power button 4 times.

For lone workers who may not be able to access their phone in an emergency situation, StaySafe also offer a small wearable button that can be linked to the app in order to trigger a panic. The button can be worn around the wrist, neck or clipped to clothing.

Triggering a panic alarm will send an SMS, email, and optionally, phone call notification to designated monitors. Whether this be a manager, group of managers or a monitoring station, is up to the business to decide. The monitor is then able to follow a response plan to verify the alert and send assistance.

With StaySafe, a GPS location is sent with the panic alarm to ensure help can be sent directly the lone worker.

StaySafe’s satellite device

StaySafe also offer a satellite device for lone workers who operate in remote areas with no mobile signal. The device offers a panic button on the side of the device, again for a quick, easy to access panic alert.

Like the app, alerts can be monitored in an online Hub and notifications sent to chosen monitors.

Find out more about StaySafe’s panic alarms for lone workers.

Advice from the experts:

Three compelling business reasons you shouldn’t ignore lone worker safety