Don’t risk safety with a DIY Call in arrangement!

Don’t Risk Safety with a DIY Call-In Arrangement!

With the ever-increasing responsibilities of Work Health and Safety, the obligations on employer’s grow as well. An example of this is the call-in arrangements businesses make for “Lone Workers”. Until recent times there hasn’t been a more cost-effective solution. The call-in arrangement is usually used for employees who are travelling or have meetings off-site. Often this can make completing a thorough risk assessment difficult. Employees call into a team leader or manager and report how long the activity should take. If the employee doesn’t check in the team leader or manager will call them to check on their welfare. If they cannot locate the team member, or get a response they escalate the situation. That is if they remember to follow up!

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The Issues with a DIY Call-In Arrangement.

The traditional issue with this type of arrangement is:
  • It adds a new level of pressure and responsibility to the team leader or manager.
  • It raises an issue if the team leader or manager is unable to take the call or forget the time allocated. For example, if they are in a meeting, or in their own private time, or it happens to be the middle of the night.
  • Team leaders aren’t always trained in what to do when the employee doesn’t respond. This can lead to indecision and can cost valuable time in an emergency.
  • With this type of arrangement, the manager is only aware of where the employee should be. If the employee requires emergency services GPS location information is invaluable. Minutes matter in emergency situations.
Although the above process, even with its limitations, may cover an employer’s Duty of Care, it is not perfect. It can distract from core duties, reduce productivity and is expensive. Especially when you add compensation for the responsibility and intrusion into private time.

Worksafe Guardian monitoring centre employee answering a call on his headset from a lone worker who uses the safety app, another employee is faded out in the background.

Smartphones for Smart Businesses.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, two-thirds of Australians have smartphones. For modern businesses, the most practical and cost-effective solution could be an app. An app can help perform the work of the call-in arrangement by automating the process, taking the pressure off other team members. It can even go one step further with professional monitoring. Giving employees the best service available and ensuring a professional is a phone call away in an emergency.
 
What you should look for in a personal safety app;
 
  • Welfare timers set by the user. There is no call in and no extra resources required, the user sets a timer on the app and if they do not stop it the device sends an alert. The best apps will send the alert to a 24/7 priority response centre.
  • Live GPS tracking on alert. If the device goes into alert the response centre receives the GPS location of the device even if it is moving.
  • Instant alert buttons for safety and medical emergencies, which also start GPS tracking.
  • A shake to activate feature. This is for those extreme situations when unlocking the phone is not achievable.
  • The most important feature is behind the scenes, professional monitoring. There are many reasons for this, starting with the fact that response centres have better and faster access to emergency services. Not only that, but they also have trained operators to handle emergency situations.

Still Using a DIY Arrangement?

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Safety App Features.

 

Safety apps, such as Worksafe Guardian, have all the above features plus more. Features like location tuning for the times you go into a large building or an area where GPS is limited. Location tuning allows the user to add extra location information to help responders in the event of an emergency. In some cases the apps are free and the user only pays for the monitoring, like Worksafe Guardian. WSG is cost-effective and in some cases can cost less than half than others on the market. 

 

Personal safety apps can help your employees on many levels. Starting with providing a better level of monitoring and more effective responses. They gain peace of mind knowing there is a professional on standby no matter what time of day it is. This helps reduce the load on managers and increases productivity, by helping them focus on their core duties

 

One last tip, find an app or monitoring service that will allow your employees to use it in their own time at no extra cost. They can use it going for a run, walking to and from public transport or even after late night drinks with friends. It helps build a positive safety culture within your team if they feel like more than a cog in the wheel.

 

Healthcare worker Joan walking to her next job, behind her is a corrugated iron fence, her glasses hang around her neck and she has a black handbag over her shoulder, she is also carrying a black folio. The other side of the photo shows the same spot in the fence but Joan is missing and the words "A monitored safety solution is the difference between knowing your employees are safe and guessing" replace her.

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