Lone Worker Device Usage – Mandatory or Optional?

Optional Mandatory Sign

Should using a lone worker device be an optional choice for your team or is it a requirement?

How can you encourage employees to use their devices after all else has failed and should there be any repercussions for those who don’t comply?. These are all common questions and it is a hotly debated topic.

lone worker device buy in

Consistent device usage is something that every business should strive to achieve from the very beginning of their project. In most cases, employees are generally happy to use their devices. But sometimes, despite your efforts and best intentions – some employees just won’t buy in to the idea of using lone worker devices. What can you do after you have answered all employees’ questions and relieved them of worries?

A step towards mandatory device usage would be ensuring that your lone worker policy is very clear on what situations and roles are classified as ‘lone working’, what constitutes ‘good usage’ and the potential outcomes from not carrying a device. A rocky start could be down to employees not being clear on when and where their devices should be used. Having it clearly written into your policy means there will be no room for excuses further down the line.

Lone worker agreement

A way to formalise device usage is to create an agreement between yourselves and lone workers. This should cover your business responsibilities and commitments to keeping lone workers safe. It should also cover what aspects of safety lone workers themselves are responsible for. It is in this agreement that you can clearly outline that one of a lone worker’s responsibilities is to use their device. Make it clear that this is not optional and refer back to your lone worker policy.

The lone worker agreement could form part of your device or personal safety training. Once an employee is fully trained in using their device and feels comfortable with their responsibilities they should sign the agreement to show this.


Disciplinary action

The most controversial area of mandatory device usage is what should happen with the persistent ignoring of your policy. Many organisations see the threat of punishment for non-compliance as a hindrance to usage. However we also see many companies for who this is an easy choice.

Most lone worker providers will give you the tools to monitor device usage so it’s straightforward to pinpoint non-users. What you do with that information is entirely up to you –just make sure it’s clear in your lone worker policy and lone worker agreement what the potential outcomes are for non-compliance.