Industrial Lone Worker Safety

During these economic times many people across the nation have been faced with cutbacks to their jobs.  These cutbacks have left companies figuring out how to cover working shifts in their facilities and with that how to keep workers safe.

In today’s industrial workplace, supervisors do their best to make sure that their crew members do not work alone during their shift.  All work is preformed in teams so that if an incident were to arise all workers safety are taken into consideration.  However there are more instances occurring where workers are left alone on the job (typically in the midnight shift) and this has left a high risk to these workers as well as the company for injuries and accidents to happen.  Workplace death and injury studies commonly report cases where a worker was working alone, even for a short period of time and suffered a medical emergency or injury, and whose condition was not discovered for several hours.

Keeping the Lone Worker safe at all times has become a daunting task.  New technology based products can help with this phenomenon, but with a cut back in company budgets it is hard to implement such products to workers.   Here are just a few potential problems that you may run into in trying to keep workers safe.

Keeping track of workers
When a worker enters a workplace facility (after they have punched in to work), they may sign in on a board informing a supervisor that they are in the room.  One problem with this scenario is that a worker may sign in on the board but forget to sign out when they are done.  This can lead to accountability issues, especially when a crisis occurs and you may need to evacuate an area and you are trying to account for all your workers.

Hand held radios
Having portable radios for workers to use on a job is commonplace in most industrial workplaces.  However if say the worker falls and is unconscious, then what use is the radio to them?  Utilizing a system that can provide automatic notification of an employee distress condition would be key.

PA Systems
If an incident occurs in a facility usually an announcement over the PA System comes on, or a whistle/siren blows to indicate to the worker that there is an emergency.  However in the case of a fire the PA system may become damaged, or if the worker is in a noisy area they may not here the whistle/siren until it is to late.  Having a dedicated distress system that can work independently from whatever else you may have in place could help keep workers safe in such a condition.