The lone worker section at the BSIA is a relatively young section, reflecting the fact that the topic of ‘lone worker security’ is still fairly nascent when compared to the longer embedded aspects of the security industry such as manned guarding, access control or CCTV. My company, SoloProtect Limited, is one of a handful of companies that recognised the growing need of businesses to consider lone worker risk some 12+ years, ago but the market has accelerated over the last five years…why would that be?
The answer is not one single thing, more a combination of factors have come together in a ‘perfect storm’ that now makes most employers seriously consider their position in regards to the security of their lone working staff.
Firstly, compared to ten years ago, even five years ago, more staff these days are mobile and by default this means they tend to operate on their own or spend periods of time away from colleagues. In many walks of life, jobs can be conducted out of hours or weekends which further complicates the challenge for managers to ensure the safety of their staff.
Health & Safety legislation has also become stronger since the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter Act in 2007 and revised sentencing guidelines earlier this year. Add to that the growing awareness of the cost of reputational brand damage, the cost to insure workers operating out of hours and the desire to recruit and keep quality staff and you can start to see why credible employers take the subject matter seriously.
The UK is the most advanced market in the world when it comes to understanding the topic of lone worker risks and the deployment of dedicated lone worker devices such as the Identicom. The UK benefits from a very joined up relationship between industry providers and the Police, which is in a large part thanks to the work of the BSIA lone worker section and its members. The UK also has a British Standard for lone worker device services, BS8484, which has been followed by most employers and BSIA members for the past 5 years. The cost benefit of better protecting lone workers or a mobile workforce is better understood in the UK than anywhere and that’s a great thing. We are starting to see the influence of the British Standard in Europe and further afield and the increasing awareness of the cost of these risks to employers in many developed markets.
So to conclude, a nascent BSIA section we may be, but we are focused on helping employers of mobile, lone working staff, by delivering highly professional service offerings and supporting managers and business owners alike in reducing risk. All section members subscribe to a belief that reducing such risks genuinely help deliver our clients true value and cost reductions.