The need for employers to improve the personal safety of their employees is increasing. As a result, many employers are sourcing personal safety alert systems. These systems come in the form of a hand-held device, pocket devices or even name tag style devices and smartphone app technologies like Worksafe Guardian.
Each solution has its strengths and weaknesses and to be honest, the core features are similar in design. You press a button and it sends an alert or if the user does not report in a timer alert is sent. The best of these solutions are backed by a 24/7 response centre. The initial alerts are not sent directly to managers or other employees but to a professionally trained responder. They then action the alert according to best practice. All that being said it is not the point of difference I wish to go through in this blog. Every person evaluating these devices should take into account is a way to manually fine tune the GPS location.
GPS on all the devices we tested (including some big brand name, big dollar phones) all had occurrences when the GPS location was not accurate. In one case we saw a “drift” of 7 km, which in this situation was 1/1000th of a digit out on google mapping. Location accuracy is important for emergency situations as all these devices send live locations to the response centre (if used). In a perfect scenario, devices use GPS from satellites, mobile phone towers, Wi-Fi connections and your provider’s data service to pinpoint your location. When this happens it can find your location within a metre or two of where you stand.
In a real-life situation for lone or remote workers, their safety device may not have all of those services at their disposal. Therefore, the GPS location accuracy comes into question. For the most part, in a single story building with good mobile phone service, the accuracy is still good. But the issue arises when the user goes to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 20th floor of a building or even the basement. How does the device know the elevation? The problem is it really doesn’t. The other scenario is areas where there is low phone data coverage and all the device can do is triangulate from the mobile phone towers. This is where the greatest “drift” occurs and it can be kilometres from where the user really is.
Using a personal safety device that is not a smartphone app will not allow a user to input their location, which is so important when an alert is triggered. Personal Safety Apps such as Worksafe Guardian allows the user to first gauge the accuracy of the device in their area by having a live map button and secondly by allowing for manual notes on their location. For example, these notes could be; 39 Main Street, Level 12, west meeting room. Why is this so important? Because when an alert is triggered and a responder such as private security, police or ambulance is dispatched seconds count. With location tuning, the response centre professional can clearly guide emergency service to an accurate location. It’s a lot more accurate than “I think they are somewhere in that 20-storey building”.
Another point to take into consideration is the further development of the solution you choose. It is often the case that a device rather than an app has limited development once it is made. An app has several points of improvement. First, the operating system provider will make enhancements improving the solution. Secondly, the app developer has the ability to make improvements and release updates. Finally, the monitoring software can also make enhancements that will improve the overall service.
With the backing of 20 years in the response centre industry, the Worksafe Guardian lone worker safety app has a range of features like location tuning to assist in better outcomes for its users. Go to Contact Us on the website www.worksafeguardian.com.au and ask for a free trial. See for yourself the small tweaks that set it apart from other personal safety solutions.