It is estimated that up to 8 million people in the United Kingdom are lone workers, that’s 22% of the UK working population.
Lone working is defined by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) as people who ‘work by themselves without close or direct supervision’. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the worker is physically alone; it means they are in a separate location to the rest of their team or manager. For example, a retail worker putting stock away by themselves is classed as a lone worker the same as a meter reader entering someone’s home.
If an employee cannot be seen or heard by a colleague, they are a lone worker – whether that be for all or part of their working day, and therefore, employers are required to take extra precautions in order to protect them.
Lone worker apps offer a cost-effective alternative to dedicated devices, with the ability to be installed on most smartphones and be easily updated when a new version is released. Furthermore, app-based solutions can encourage higher usage as users likely already carry a smartphone with them regularly, reducing the risk of it being forgotten or left at home.
According to the Berg Report, device users have been growing at 14% annually, whereas app users have increased at 19%. Without the need for an extra device, the share of workers using app-based solutions is only expected to grow over the coming years.
For employees who work alone, a personal safety app allows them to raise an alarm in an emergency, keep managers informed with their location and provides peace of mind that they will be able to access help, should it be needed.
But with the number of lone worker apps constantly growing, it can be hard to decide on the best option. Here are some reasons that the Peoplesafe Pro App is the best lone worker app for keeping your employees safe:
1. Multiple Ways to Raise an Alarm
The Peoplesafe Pro App is designed to be easy to use. In the event of an emergency, users simply need to press and hold the red ‘SOS’ button for 3 seconds and an alarm will instantly be raised to our Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC).
Alternatively, if the user has the application running in the background whilst the phone is locked, they can shake the phone for 3 seconds (iOS) or press the power button 4 times (Android) to raise an alarm. This functionality allows users to discreetly raise an SOS alarm without alerting any potential aggressors.
2. Dedicated ARC
The Peoplesafe Pro App, like all our solutions, is backed up by our in-house ARC ready to handle alarms 24/7, 365 days a year. Its sole focus is responding to SOS alarms and protecting lone workers; our Controllers are not distracted by other security measures such as burglar alarms or CCTV monitoring. Our state-of-the-art centre is certified against BS EN 50518:2019 Category 1 and BS 8484:2016 and operated by experienced staff, each one an expert on handling personal safety alarms.
The Peoplesafe ARC also hold Unique Reference Numbers (URNs) for all UK police forces, providing us with direct access to police control rooms, without the need for a 999 call. This saves valuable time and guarantees users the fastest possible response in an emergency.
3. Fully Certified
The Peoplesafe Pro App is certified against BS 8484, the standard for lone worker safety services. As pioneers in the industry, ours was the first lone worker app to be accredited to this standard. It possesses enhanced features for people working alone who need extra protection, including Text Activity, Welfare Check and Log Location.
Additionally, the Peoplesafe service is accredited to the highest industry standards, including all 5 parts of BS 8484:2016, Cyber Essentials Plus and ISO 9001:2015. We are consistently monitored, assessed, and rigorously tested to ensure that we provide the very best service possible.
4. Customisable Functionality
Peoplesafe offers a range of features that can be used to customise the app to best suit your employee’s needs. As standard, the Peoplesafe Pro App main screen includes a red ‘SOS’ button as well as 4 interchangeable tiles, allowing easy access to the features most used by each user. Options include; recording a manual position, setting an activity and leaving a voice memo.
5. Integrated Solutions
As well as operating as a standalone service, the Peoplesafe Pro App can be partnered with other solutions to provide enhanced protection.
The Peoplesafe Pro lone worker app has been integrated with SureCam’s video telematics platform, providing drivers with a quick and easy way to request assistance in an emergency.
When an SOS alarm is raised, the Peoplesafe Pro App records audio, while the SureCam dashcam captures video footage of vehicles and incidents in real-time. ARC Controllers have visibility of the app user’s details, a GPS view showing where the app and dashcam are located on a map, plus dashcam footage leading up to the incident, aiding in the alarm handling process.
Body Worn Camera
The Peoplesafe Pro App can also be partnered with our body worn camera solution, an instant deterrent for the verbal and physical abuse that public facing workers are often subjected to.
Using this unique partnership, a simple press of the SOS button will trigger the camera to start recording via Bluetooth. Video files for evidence capture are securely stored in the cloud for access via our secure web-based server. Such video information can be invaluable for staff training and can be used as crucial evidence in post-incident investigations and prosecutions.
The Peoplesafe Pro App is also available on Cat phones’ full UK range of rugged smartphones via the integrated Toolbox catalogue, offering the perfect solution for construction sites, farms and other extreme outdoor environments where a standard smartphone may get damaged. By integrating the app with Cat Phones, employees can benefit from military specification hardware alongside the 24/7 backup provided by the Peoplesafe ARC.
6. International Functionality
With the Peoplesafe Pro App, businesses are able to provide staff with protection wherever they are in the world.
Eurowatch is a tracking system that has 24-hour access to police in a large number of European countries. With this feature, there is no need for employees to be able to speak the local language in order to get help. Each country has a local response service which we will liaise with directly.
If a local service is required, our ARC Controller will contact Eurowatch to raise an incident which will then be passed to the National Service Provider (NSP) in the country of incident. This allows businesses to provide staff with the same expert level of protection when they are travelling.
Global Response is an escalation service providing an emergency response for at-risk employees anywhere in the world. Whether travelling abroad for work or permanently living somewhere outside of the UK, employees should always be provided with the necessary protection.
Using the Peoplesafe Pro App in conjunction with Global Response, users can raise an SOS alarm which will be received by the Peoplesafe ARC as normal. The ARC Controller will then have access to the user’s necessary information and will report the incident to the pre-defined escalation contact and follow the Global Response alarm process established during setup. As always, the alarm will only be closed once the Controller is able to confirm the user’s safety.
7. Wearable Accessories
For users who may not always have their phone accessible, the Peoplesafe Pro App can be linked to a wearable Bluetooth Smart Button that can be worn as a pendant, watch or on a holster.
To raise an alarm to our ARC, users simply need to press and hold the button down for 2 – 10 seconds. This option provides an easy method of raising an alarm for employees who may not be able to quickly access their phone, or who may benefit from raising an alarm more discreetly.
8. Fall Detection
Fall detection functionality provides added backup for employees who may be at risk of slips, trips or falls. An alarm will automatically be raised via the Peoplesafe Pro App if it detects a change in orientation, followed by a period of non-movement. This feature ensures that an alarm is raised if a user falls, even if they are incapacitated and unable to call for help.
As one of the parameters of detection is fall from a height, there are four different sensitivity options that can be easily switched between via the fall detection tile. This simple customisation allows the user to pick the sensitivity which best suits their role and ensure maximum accuracy when a fall detection alarm is raised.
9. Built-in Support
Our highly-skilled customer support department is a core element of the Peoplesafe subscription – there to provide an unmatched aftercare service and ensure you are supported at all times. The Peoplesafe Pro App has a built-in contact form where you can submit enquiries directly to the customer support team without going to our website.
Every customer is supported by an Account Manger as well as our Customer Support team, who are available Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 6:30pm. Outside of these hours, customers can access our e-learning and online training videos via the Peoplesafe Portal, to ensure users always have access to the help they may need.
10. Pre-define Activities
Workers entering homes of clients or working one-to-one with members of the public can be at increased risk. With the option to log an activity, users can select how long they expect a task to take and leave additional details such as where they are, who they are with, and what the risks may be. If the user does not cancel or extend this activity before it expires, an alarm will be raised to our ARC who will either confirm the user’s wellbeing or escalate the alarm if this cannot be confirmed.
11. Location Monitoring
The Peoplesafe Pro App provides location monitoring, with GPS co-ordinates that can give a user’s real time location in an emergency. Our services also integrate with What3Words, pinpointing a user’s location within 5m² – a solution now used by a multitude of the emergency services. This level of detail is crucial in the event of an alarm being raised, particularly in large rural areas.
“I feel confident that my staff and the customers they work with are safer using this system than they would be with any other provider.” Adam Webb, Head of Housing and Support, Centrepoint
How to Choose a Lone Worker Solution
To ensure you choose the right solution for your business, it’s important that a thorough risk assessment is conducted. This should identify all the possible risks faced by employees, so that all of the relevant factors are considered when choosing your solution. For help understanding risk assessments, download this guide.
For anyone who wants the reassurance of professional protection at home, on their commute or in their social lives, the Peoplesafe SOS App might be the solution you’re looking for. Designed with simplicity in mind, it is the perfect solution for non lone-working employees.