Lone Worker Alarm Systems: Financial & Legal Considerations

Legal Duty to lone workers

2016 was a record year for health and safety fines, with firms paying over 600 per cent more than the previous two years.

The sentencing guidelines for health and safety legislation (introduced 1st February 2016) have certainly made an impact. This therefore highlights the need for employers to take greater care of their staff – including lone workers.

In this article, we explore the legal and financial considerations of lone worker safety and conclude with the benefits of lone worker alarm systems.

Legislative Compliance

In addition to your moral duty of care for lone working employees, it’s imperative to consider your legal requirements.

Whilst there are no specific laws that govern lone working, several pieces of legislation relate to their general safety. These include:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007

Failure to comply with this legislation can consequently lead to significant fines, reputational damage, prosecution and imprisonment.

Case Study One: Cotswold Geotechnical

The first company to be prosecuted under the Corporate Manslaughter Act paid a hefty price for the death of worker. Alexander Wright died due to a deep unsupported pit collapsing on him while working.

The director of the company was held responsible for the death. This was due to his approach to the health and safety of his employees was found to be dangerous. This resulted in a fine of £385,000.

Serious Incident Cost

If an employee’s personal safety is compromised and you have not provided ‘reasonably practicable’ protection, it can result in a large fine. In addition, the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) estimate that managing a serious incident can cost between £17,000 and £19,000.

Staff Turnover

Staff who suffer worrying situations at work are more likely to leave. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the average cost of staff turnover per employee stands at £8,200. Relieve your lone workers of undue worry by protecting them and benefit from lower staff turnover.

Absence

Employee absence has huge financial implications. CIPD highlighted in their 2016 Absence Management Survey Report that stress is the most common cause of long-term absence and is also the second most common cause of short-term absence. Stress-free employees are less likely to call in sick.

Case Study Two: Parker Hannifin Manufacturing

This case resulted in a £1 million fine when Colin Reddish was killed at the Parker Hannifin factory, Grantham in April 2015. This was due to a large piece of machinery crushing him fatally.

Parker Hannifin Manufacturing pleaded guilty to breaching Reg 3 (1) of Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety of Work Act 1974.

Business Case For Investment

Using a service like ours will address many of the issues referenced above. Providing personal safety devices is one of the most effective ways of protecting lone workers and demonstrating your duty of care.

A BS 8484-accredited lone worker solution will:

  • Ensure optimal response times from Police and Blue Light services times
  • Provide a cost-effective resource to relieve pressure from your team
  • Reassure lone workers and boost morale

Above all else, having expert support to hand 24/7 can mean the difference between a near injury or a serious one – making it a safe investment for your business.

Download our product brochure to learn more about our lone worker devices and monitoring software.