Lone worker security is still a relatively immature section in the security industry compared to aspects such as access control or CCTV. However, the market has accelerated over the five years and so there is a growing need for businesses to consider lone worker risk.
Recently a number of factors have combined to make employers aware of their responsibility for the safety of their lone workers. Firstly, compared to ten years ago more staff are mobile. Meaning, they operate own their own and usually spend long periods of time away from colleagues. In many industries, jobs are done outside of normal working hours which can complicate the challenge for managers to ensure the safety of their staff.
Secondly, since the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter Act in 2007 health and safety laws have become stronger. Combine that with the growing awareness of the cost of reputation damage, the cost to insure workers operating out of hours and the desire to recruit and keep quality staff you can understand why employers are taking the subject matter seriously.
The UK is currently the most advanced market in the world with regard to understanding the topic of lone worker risks and the deployment of dedicated lone worker devices. They also benefit from a much joined up relationship between industry providers and the police. Finally, they have a British Standard for lone worker services, BS8484 which has been followed by most employers and BSIA member for the past 5 years. The cost benefit of better protecting lone workers or a mobile workforce is better understood in the UK than anywhere and that’s a great thing. We are starting to see the influence of the British Standard in Europe and further afield and the increasing awareness of the cost of these risks to employers in many developed markets.
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