Analysts have projected the market for lone worker protection solutions will rise from €110 million between Europe and North America in 2017 to around €260 million by 2022.
Lone workers, defined by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive as “those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision” such as surveyors, drivers and in-home care workers, face a number of risks which are heightened by their working alone, including:
- Sudden-onset work-related illness or injury;
- Road accidents or vehicle failure; and
- Violence or abuse.
Some of these hazards can be lessened by implementing risk assessment and employee training; while others are increasingly being addressed by outside initiatives. An estimated 20 per cent of lone worker safety solutions in Europe are app-based, rising to around 40 per cent in North America; and Internet of Things analysis firm Berg Insight predicts lone worker protection programmes which rely on GPS or mobile phone technology will rise from 500,000 in 2017 to around 1.1 million by 2022. The firm anticipates much of the rise will be due to an increased prevalence of app technology available to protect lone workers.
Australia, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and a number of Canadian provinces have all enacted legislation to meet the specific safety and security needs of lone workers. In October 2018, it was reported that the strategic deployment of lone worker protection devices with audio recording and emergency alarm capabilities to British public sector employees working alone had saved the UK taxpayer around £60 million (€69.46 million) by shoring up worker safety and leaving employers less vulnerable to litigation.
Ken Meanwell, Compliance Manager, Police Crime Prevention Initiatives, said at the time: “It is encouraging to see how new technologies deployed by lone worker companies are playing a vital role in not only improving employee safety, but also dramatically reducing false calls enabling valuable police resources to be correctly allocated.”