Working alone is high-risk and no organisation wants to put their employees in harm’s way. In order to properly protect your lone workers in emergency situations, you first need to know exactly where they are. But how can you implement a location tracking system to keep your employees safe, without crossing any ethical or personal privacy boundaries?
The best way to accomplish a balance of employee safety and privacy with an employee GPS tracking system is through an innovative and comprehensive lone worker safety solution that includes real-time location visibility, only when the employee is engaged in remote or isolated work.
In this article, we will discuss the necessity of real-time location visibility, the functional and ethical pitfalls with basic GPS tracking systems, and the difference between a GPS tracking system including a lone worker device and a lone worker safety solution like SHEQSY.
Lastly, we will explore how SHEQSY’s lone worker solution keeps your employees safe and accounted for, while respecting professional boundaries.
Do You Need Employee GPS Tracking Software?
While working alone, employees face unpredictable hazards and risks every day. As an employer, you have an obligation to understand the whereabouts of your employees to ensure you’re able to provide emergency assistance in a timely manner if it is required.
The Australian Work Health Safety (WHS) laws state that you must provide any supervision needed for safety and you must monitor the health of workers and conditions at the workplace. (1)
To comply with government legislation, a process must be in place to understand lone workers’ whereabouts and activities at all times.
To accomplish this, organisations should consider using a comprehensive lone worker safety solution that can encompass employee calendar integrations, pre-start forms, photo & video capture and historical reporting, instead of a simple GPS tracking system.
The Functional Problem with Employee GPS Tracking Systems
When it comes to the safety of your lone workers, it is important in many scenarios to look beyond standard GPS tracking hardware and software, particularly if employees utilise personal vehicles to attend appointments.
To demonstrate this, we will examine a lone-working healthcare professional who drives short distances in their own vehicle to perform in-home care visits with patients.
In this case, a traditional GPS tracking system hardwired into the vehicle is not a viable option, because the employee’s work utilises their personal vehicle and takes place primarily outside of their vehicle, in the community. While monitoring travel may be important for the organisation, the main threats to the employee’s safety arise once they have parked their vehicle and entered a patient’s home. In order to ensure the safety of the employee, the organisation must deploy a lone worker safety solution that shares their location with management, while also enabling the employee to activate their duress alarm if required.
Considering the dangers of working alone in patients’ homes, only deploying a location tracking system without lone worker monitoring exposes the employee to increased risks. The organisation needs an innovative lone worker solution that offers location monitoring during all working hours and in all locations, as well as simple and discreet duress alarm activation, periodic check-in and historical reporting.
The Ethical Challenge with Employee GPS Tracking Systems
All employees want to feel safe and secure while working, but if traditional GPS tracking systems do not respect personal privacy, there will be significant pushback from employees to engage with and utilise the solution.
In order to find a balance between safety and privacy, you must use a safety solution that can be enabled and disabled by employees, in-line with a company lone worker procedure that outlines when the safety solution must be used.
At the start of a workday, lone workers should have the ability to turn on location monitoring themselves. Then, if they need to carry out a personal task during the workday, such as visiting their doctor or picking up their child from school, they should have the ability to turn off location monitoring. Once they return to work, they can turn it back on.
This system ensures that lone workers are safe and supported while working. During work, management can view their locations and send help if it is required. Once work is complete the employees have complete privacy.
To understand more about lone worker safety procedures, click here.
SHEQSY is a Lone Worker Safety Solution, Not an Employee GPS Tracking App
The SHEQSY lone worker safety platform exists to keep employees safe while they work in remote or isolated locations. It is not an always-on employee GPS tracking system. Rather, SHEQSY is a comprehensive and user-friendly lone worker safety solution that is easily deployed as an app across your lone workers’ smartphones.
SHEQSY enables managers to visualise employees in real-time with activity countdown timers and generates alerts if lone workers overstay an activity, miss a check-in, or activate their duress alarm.
Click here to learn more about SHEQSY’s safety features.
Organisations are best placed to implement lone worker procedures outlining hazards and risks faced by employees in performing their roles and identifying where SHEQSY can be used to eliminate or mitigate the hazards and risks. SHEQSY provides real-time location services only once activated by an employee when they are actively working.
Employees check-in on the SHEQSY app when they begin their workday. When the workday is complete, they check-out. With SHEQSY, lone workers are protected while working.
Our team is available via web meeting to discuss your requirements, answer questions, provide product overviews, and assist with free implementation of our lone worker solution. To request a demo of SHEQSY, click here.
- Work health and safety