Lone worker safety market to double by 2022

lone worker safety
© iStock/SasinParaksa

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;
  • Theft;
  • 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.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. In an ideal world our company car would be a Bentley, but in reality we need something that will do the job, get us from A to B in a safe can comfortable way, also it would be uneconomical to give everyone a Mercedes or Bentley Company Car.
    The Same principle applies to Lone Worker Solutions, just because the fear is high, a high price tag on a solution isn’t always the right approach and in many ways is the opposite, when I lone worker is being attacked, no panic button linked to a call centre who then contacts the police will help a highly volatile situation in those critical life changing moments of high stress.
    Improving Lone Worker Safety starts from employers culture and attitude, all employers should assume their child is working for them and therefore their attitude and duty of care increases significantly.
    They would provide training so that certain risky situations where avoided and also training on what exactly to do, and what not to do, and how to consciously risk assess , for example not replying to Texts whilst driving alone is more likely to injure an employee than a knife welding mad-man.
    Some Call centre based systems require a check-in or call in to tell the system who they are seeing next and for how long, but if the situation is dangerous and the employee can sense this from their training and their employer has a culture of employee safety is more important than hitting a number of visits per day, or a sale, or revenue from a client and the culture is genuine then the better option would be not to enter the situation and air on the side of caution.
    Training isn’t just a one day seminar dump of knowledge, its a continuous ongoing process with each session and exercise improving each employees knowledge and safety awareness and the bar continues to rise.

    Having been taught Wing Chung Kung-Fu in my adult life, the most important lesson I learnt was on-going risk assessment and avoiding risk as the first thing, then only at the end when there was no choice was I to use the fighting skills, but they would mean nothing if I couldn’t risk assess and improve it.

    Moony Victoire-Nijjar
    CEO of My SOS Family
    Personal Safety App for Lone Workers.

  2. Completely agree Moony! There is so much that goes into lone worker safety. Luckily with modern technology, workers don’t have to just rely on the “hope and pray” method. One thing I think you failed to mention is that a lot of this modern technology can serve as a deterrent. Yes, an app is not going to stop an axe or a bullet, but hostile people might think twice if they know someone else is watching or police will be there soon.

  3. I haven’t seen the analysis, but if anything, they are underestimating the size of the market. The reason I say this is because there are so many people out there working by themselves that aren’t considered “lone workers” by their employers. For example, bus drivers, taxi drivers, even business travelers. In my own line of work, property managers often have to go it alone when dealing with tenants. Considering many of these interactions are by nature very contentious, such as evicting a tenant, these “lone workers” should also be counted in the market for lone worker safety.

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