How Advancing Mobile Technologies Can Help Support Lone Worker Safety

A health professional on a home visit, a truck driver en route, a maintenance worker on site–lone workers are a common role in the labor forces of various industries. A lone worker is defined as a worker who works in isolation, away from other employees, either on- or off-site. For such employees, the danger of common workplace hazards are amplified as they find themselves away from other workers and management. The nature of isolated work environments offer unique risks that require unique attention and action. Mobile applications have become an unparalleled solution in tackling these challenges. What was once physical equipment (cameras, manual alarm systems, etc.) is increasingly being replaced by technology that is accessible through a smartphone alone.

Employers hold primary responsibility in accommodating lone worker safety. In order to deter from many of the risks associated with lone worker scenarios, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces a number of federal regulations for affected employers. The use of advancing technologies can be instrumental in implementing these regulations.

OSHA states 1915.84(a) “Except as provided in 1915.51(c)(3), “Whenever an employee is working alone, such as in a confined space or isolated location, the employer shall account for each employee.” The GPS technology that can be activated through a number of mobile applications allows for real-time monitoring of employee locations. In using such technology, employers are proactively improving safety protocols while accounting for lone workers with certainty.

1915.84(a) (1) “Throughout each work shift at regular intervals appropriate to the job assignment to ensure the employee’s safety and health; and”1915.84(a) (2) “At the end of the job assignment or at the end of the work shift, whichever occurs first.” 1915.84(b) “The employer shall account for each employee by sight or verbal communication.” Smartphone applications can support the stringent communication requirements OSHA holds employers accountable for. In addition to physically tracking the location of the lone worker, these applications allow for many methods of instant communication. Text and voice messages allow for easy, consistent contact between employers and lone workers that fulfills OSHA standards for communication at regular intervals. Ability to share photos and files with location stamps supports suggestions of expanding communication through sight.

Beyond methods of conventional communication, certain applications provide unique technology for dangerous scenarios. Location-based, touch-based, and manual emergency options allow for messages or alerts to be shared back to employers. These instant tools can be used as a call for help, to report an incident immediately, and more. Lone workers are given a greater level of protection that is accessible simply through their mobile device.

Thanks to advances in mobile technology by service providers dedicated to employee safety, employers are prioritizing lone worker safety across industries like never before.

myGeoTracking is a cloud-hosted, carrier grade location and messaging platform that helps SMB and Enterprise businesses better manage their mobile employees by improving productivity and accountability, while reducing payroll and operations costs with solutions such as GPS tracking & time clock, Lone worker safety, Automation of field activity monitoring, Mobile forms & data collection including signature, notes, pictures, barcode/QR code etc. The myGeoTracking platform enables these solutions across a wide range of industries such as field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics and home healthcare providers.

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