H&S: Just ticking the box without full understanding will have serious consequences

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Having a lone worker solution is a good start, but there are many sad, and to us, frustrating stories about lone worker solutions which didn’t end up protecting the worker.

There’s the forestry worker who got pinned by a falling tree. His communication device was in his pocket and, when he fell, it flew out and landed out of reach of his hand. He was alone and unable to raise help.

Which illustrates why duress devices need to be securely fastened on the person.

There’s the guard that got attacked and hit on the head. He was alive but unconscious and unable to use his mobile. A monitored device with a man down function might have saved him.

In Australia, a worker entered a property and was attacked so he activated his duress device.

However, the device in use only polled every few hours in order to conserve battery life, and GPS couldn’t get a fix inside.

The monitoring centre knew he was in trouble, but the location they were sent was old. A good device polls every 60 seconds minimum, and does not go into sleep mode.

People who are in duress will not have a chance to fumble around to find their phone/device, and they may not have time to complete any more than one action, such as pushing a button.

Having a device which opens a voice channel to the monitoring station where the call is recorded will also ensure emergency services can be kept aware of the situation.

Signals from the device should be received by a minimum of two paths, the optimum being via IP and email, and/or SMS.

For more information visit www.guardianangelsecurity.co.nz.