Where does Lone Worker Protection fit into the corporate structure?

Should Lone Worker protection fit into the corporate structure?  Or should it stand alone?

Does anything in an organisation stand alone?  In practice everything is connected one way or another.  Lone Worker would sit comfortably under the overall heading of the employer’s safety & security strategy where its provisions would work best when incorporated into everyday working practice.

Within this strategy a Lone Worker Policy sets out the intentions of the principal officers of an organisation in showing how they expect to manage lone working staff and keep them safe.

This is good governance and an important means of communicating their intentions to the workforce.  Describing the systems and procedures that will monitor its requirements and effectiveness, will make sure everyone in the business knows what is expected of them; managers and managed alike.

The ongoing processes of risk identification, assessment and mitigation, training, continuous improvement, and co-operation between all levels of management and staff reflect good practices that will help keep lone workers free from harm.

This will have financial and HR benefits and protect the organisation’s reputation

And keep it out of the courts.

Changes to ARC standards re LW monitoring

There are some changes to British Standards which may affect the understanding of Lone Worker monitoring.

Changes involve the following standards:

  1. BS5979:2007. Remote centres receiving signals from fire and security systems. Code of practice.
  2. BS8591:2014. Remote centres receiving signals from alarm systems. Code of practice
  3. EN 50518-3:2011. Monitoring and alarm receiving centre. Procedures and requirements for operation

The new European standard EN 50518 is one of a new series of standards for alarm monitoring which are anticipated to form the benchmark for European ARC’s moving forward – particularly in terms of how the Police respond to relevant alarms.

EN50518 applies only to ARCs monitoring intruder and hold-up alarms.  However, an EU standard takes precedence over UK standards and therefore UK ARCs have to adhere to it rather than BS5979 as regards these two alarm types.

As a result BS5979 has been withdrawn and superseded.  It has been replaced by an interim UK standard called BS8591 which does not refer to intruder and hold-up alarms but does cover the various alarms not covered by EN50518, i.e. fire, social, CCTV, lone worker devices and vehicle tracking.   Therefore the two, 50518 and 8591 run in parallel.

Although BS5979 has been withdrawn and superseded by BS8591 it still remains in force for existing ARCs.   Any future ARCs will have to meet BS8591 and 50518.

There is no intention to withdraw the URN support from BS5979 ARCs for Lone Workers.

Which all shows how exciting is the world of standards!

Importance of mobile communications for the protection of Lone Workers

Written for Land Mobile Magazine

Introduction

A recent report stated that 70 per cent of emergency calls originate from mobile phones.  This is an obvious benefit of mobile technology but many callers are unable to give a sufficiently precise location and information to enable the best response. Continue reading

The ARC – providing a response to lone workers and other vulnerable people

Article for IFSEC Global – May 2014

Introduction

An alarm raised by a Lone Worker or other vulnerable person is a cry for help – for a response.  It is in the ARC that the response is organised and without it the device or app which initiates the alarm is of limited value.

The aim of this article is to shed some light on ARCs and their increasing importance in protecting Lone Workers and other vulnerable people. Continue reading

Lone Worker Safety Conference and Exhibition – Olympia Conference Centre 26th November 2013

The popular conference and exhibition is the only event specifically designed for Lone Workers and grows in popularity year on year.

The growth of the event demonstrates the increasing importance of the subject which has developed from almost nothing 10 years ago to the vibrant and expanding market it is today.

Its popularity is for good reason; the conference speakers are acknowledged experts in their subjects while the list of exhibitors is well balanced.  Exhibitors include specific Lone Worker service providers large and small, as well as training and Health & Safety companies.

For full details visit http://www.loneworkersafetyexpo.com/

No service contract on employees

Take all the physical and technical paraphernalia of security systems – fences, doors, locks, gates, CCTV, access control, security officers – all useless for protecting employees as soon as they leave the premises and become vulnerable to violence, abuse, accident, illness and injury.

And yet we so often hear ‘my people are my greatest asset’.  So why do more organisations not look after them better when they are at their most vulnerable?

Continue reading