Lone Working Glossary: Definitions and Jargon Buster

Lone Worker Alphabet Blocks

The following glossary will help you familiarise yourself with some of the key terms and definitions used within the lone working industry.

Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC)

Continuously manned remote centre which receives amber and red alerts and engages in communications with lone workers and response services.

Amber Alert

Information sent from a lone worker device or app to an ARC, providing the operator with details about planned lone working location, identity, nature of the task and any potential risk. When using a manual system, this might be referred to as a welfare check.

BS 8484

The British Standard which governs the way providers of lone worker services operate. Look for this as a seal of approval on both companies and devices.

Dynamic Risk Assessment

Continuous process of identifying hazards, assessing risk, taking action to eliminate or reduce risk.

Environmental Risk

Risks to the lone worker from hazards in their work environment which could have an adverse effect on their safety.


Documented instructions from the customer or individual which are available to the operator on receipt of a red alert and give details concerning use of response services or contacting next of kin or colleague.

Escalation Contact

Persons to be contacted both for gaining further information and communicating alarm details. For example, a manager, colleague or family member.

False Alarm

Red alert subsequently shown not to have been a genuine request for assistance.

GPS (Global Positioning System)

Used to get an accurate position of the lone worker through their device.


Situation or event leading to a red alert.

Incident Data

Information containing the date/time of the incident occurring, the reason, associated accurate location, incident log, audio (or other evidential information) and any resolution to the incident.

Lone Worker

Individuals who work by themselves, without close or direct supervision. Examples of other terms used within the industry include mobile worker or remote worker.

Lone worker app

Dedicated app (software) running on a non-dedicated device able to transmit amber and red alerts and provide communications. A non-dedicated device is usually a mobile device or satellite phone.

Lone worker device

Dedicated electronic device, able to transmit amber and red alerts and provide communications.

Lone Worker Policy

Usually separate to your main safety policy, the lone worker policy sets out expectations, responsibilities and procedures.

Lone Worker Service

Combination of a lone worker device or app, monitoring, training and management information provided by a supplier to a customer.

Man down

A type of red alert which doesn’t require manual activation. For example, a lone worker falling from a height – some types of devices can detect this.


Individual in an ARC who verifies and takes action on receipt of red alerts.

People risk

Risk to the lone worker from unwanted actions of others.

Red Alert

Operation of a lone worker device or app in response to an incident.

Response service

Response to an alarm call provided by the emergency services, a private security company or other customer arrangements.

Risk assessment

A systematic process of evaluating the potential risks that may be involved in a projected activity or undertaking.

If you’re keen to learn more about lone working, why not read our practical guide for employers?