Standardizing Safety Procedures
If your organization employs lone workers – those employees who work in the field alone – you need to be extra mindful of their lone worker safety. Configuring a safety plan that meets your organization’s needs can not only protect lone workers but can streamline your business operations. By providing employees with best practices for working alone and establishing a monitoring practice, every employee can feel safe no matter where they work.Lone worker and employee safety is important for more than just the obvious reasons. Here are few interesting statistics on how employee perceptions of safety and positive work cultures impact job satisfaction and productivity:
- Health care expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50% greater than at other organizations
- More than $500 billion is drained from the U.S. economy due to workplace stress
- 550 million workdays are lost each year due to employees feeling stressed at work
- 60-80% of workplace accidents are attributed to stress
Of course, stress can come in all forms – from management issues to job pressure and travel. Yet, employees who don’t feel safe and protected while at work are under constant stress of danger. This stress can be in addition to typical work stress, putting lone workers in a particularly vulnerable position.
Creating A Culture of Safety Makes A Difference
An article from innovationmanagement.se relates workplace safety to innovation.
“As strange as it may sound to some people, the best way to ensure that your workplace remains productive and encourages creativity is to focus on safety.”
The author clearly understands that at the most basic level, workplace safety is important for the obvious reasons: avoiding costly accidents and injuries on the job. The premise, however, is that there is much more organizational benefit when employees feel safe. Specifically, it mentions:
- Peace of mind – even if employees bemoan safety rules and regulations, they actually bring them peace of mind. It’s like raising a child. They may not love the rules their parents put into place, but every child psychologist will tell you that children actually want rules because they make them feel safe. When people go to work each day, they want to feel safe. Even police and military, who are in danger everyday, are purposely equipped with weapons and monitoring devices to ensure they are taking every precaution to stay alive.
Companies who fail to give their employees the tools and support to ensure their safety are creating stress that inevitably affects job performance. Over the long term, issues like these are what lead to employee turnover.
- Employee appreciation – employees who believe their employers are not taking their safety seriously often feel underappreciated. When a company takes the time to put standardized safety guidelines and policies in place, it signals to every employee that their wellbeing matters and their efforts are appreciated.
- More engaged employees – the author states, “When employees feel safe and appreciated by their employers, they are more likely to be engaged when they are at work.” Employee engagement is a big deal. Among many convincing statistics, more engaged employees translate into 70% fewer safety accidents.
Monitoring Lone Workers Brings Peace of Mind
As the saying goes, “It’s not a matter of if, but when.” Workplace accidents are often unavoidable, but it’s up to the organization to do whatever possible to minimize the chances. Don’t wait for a fatal accident to occur before initiating standardized safety procedures.
For companies with lone workers, the top priority should be to invest in monitoring technology. When lone workers are remote, they shouldn’t feel like they are off the grid. When they know they are being monitored in order to ensure their safety, they are less stressed, less concerned with accidents, and more assured if an accident does occur, help will be on the way immediately. This peace of mind does wonders for employee morale, productivity, and job satisfaction.
Having a strong and reliable monitoring system in place gives your lone workers and overall business the confidence that your emergency and safety planning are a priority. How employees are monitored may vary but here are a few features to consider when evaluating different monitoring options:
- Does it offer a 24-hour emergency monitoring capability?
- Does it provide a mobile solution?
- Does it combine technologies, such as a wearable device, a mobile app, and an off-site monitoring team?
- Does it have instant connection to first responders?
- Does the lone worker have to go through multiple steps to get help?
The key is to provide effortless aid to lone workers whenever they need it, night or day, weekends or holidays. Asking an employee to log into their mobile device, find an app, wait for it to load, then find the “help” or call button is not providing peace of mind. Those few steps can add precious seconds to emergency response times.
For employees to feel truly safe, they need to know they can call for help quickly with minimal effort. SafeSignal is AlertMedia’s “zero-button safety solution” because all the user has to do is disconnect the tether from the audio jack on their mobile phone. Once it is released, our 24/7/365 monitoring service instantly receives the alert and dispatches law enforcement. No words need to be exchanged because the mobile app uses GPS coordinates to give first responders the worker’s location.
Companies can use modern technologies like SafeSignal to mitigate risk, keep their lone workers safe, and provide an overall sense of security over the entire organization. If your safety protocols have yet to include these kinds of capabilities, your employees are still in danger and are likely feeling the stress of it. Give them and your company peace of mind knowing they are being protected wherever they are working.