Some of the workers most vital to building this country’s infrastructure are also some of the most exposed to danger. Linemen who work at height risk falls or other on-the-job hazards. Those who provide utility infrastructure in locations like natural gas fields are often far removed from population centers, isolating them in the case of an emergency. Engineers working on renewable energy solutions run the risk of electric shocks, leaving them injured. Historically, there have yet to be effective solutions to monitor the health and safety of workers who are exposed to on-the-job hazards. However, the recent development of new personal safety apps have improved workers’, employers’, and families’ livelihoods and peace of mind.
What is a Personal Safety App?
In this digital age, apps of all kinds have been developed to make our lives more efficient, bring us closer to one another, make our jobs easier, and improve our safety. Most smartphones can contact emergency services or initiate emergency sharing without otherwise unlocking a device. However, an individual still has to trigger an emergency call in the event of a crisis. If you’ve been injured or are unable to make a call, triggering emergency services or sending your GPS location may not be possible.
A personal safety app can provide access to immediate help in an emergency through methods like monitoring behavior, real-time location, initiating automatic check-ins, and performing fall detection. Personal safety apps have entered the market, targeting different demographics according to their needs. A single college student’s parents will be grateful for location services monitoring from two states away, while an employer whose employees are working on wind turbines will find peace of mind in having fall detection.
Emotional Benefits of Emergency Services on Demand
Access to immediate emergency services can save lives, which is in part why personal safety apps have become popular solutions in workplaces. Working in isolation or in dangerous environments increases the risk of mental health struggles. A study by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center found that physically demanding jobs like oil & gas extraction had the highest rate of suicide among male workers in the United States. The emotional toll of being in a line of work with occupational hazards can be lessened via workforce safety or personal safety app solutions, which provide connectivity via dedicated emergency monitoring by a trained team and fast access to first responders.
Workforce Safety Apps
The ease of implementation of a personal safety app makes them popular in workplaces. Personal safety apps can be implemented on a dedicated work device, or a worker can “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device). Most personal safety apps on the market are compatible with all major smartphones, meaning that regardless of your preference for iOS or Android, there’s a personal safety solution that can fit your needs. While the primary benefit of using personal safety apps is to monitor an individual’s safety, workforce safety apps are focused on protecting employees’ health and well-being in high-risk environments.These advanced solutions have the added benefit of connecting workers directly to their employers if they are in trouble, and included advanced features that can exceed OSHA standards for safety.
Benefits of Workforce Safety Apps
Comprehensive workforce safety app solutions provide additional features beyond location tracking and alerting contacts in the event of an emergency. Full-service workforce safety solutions should also include features such as:
- AI integration to streamline emergency responses.
- Data monitoring & advanced insights to help predict and prevent accidents.
- Access to panic buttons. Panic buttons are effective in the event of injury due to natural disasters, workplace accidents, or issues with a pre-existing health condition.
- Biometric monitoring for a medical emergency, like detecting heat stress.
- Car crash detection. Car crash detection works well for those employees who have to commute to remote job sites, where first responders may not be immediately available.
- Fall safety & motion detection. The ability to detect falls from height, detect lack of motion and to immediately alert the employees manager is imperative to offer full protection for employees
- Check-in and check-out. Allow employees to define how long they will be working on a specific task, and send for help if they don’t check in on time.
Setting a Work Schedule Via Workforce Safety App
Workers in high-risk fields need the ability to not only let people know where they are going to be but what time they plan to be there. A full service workforce safety app can also let workers schedule when they plan to start and finish a job at a certain location using geofencing or Google maps. If they miss their scheduled check-in or check-out to their work site location, their app will automatically detect this and have a built-in notification to their employer, their emergency contacts, or the team monitoring them, depending on your company’s policies.
What to Consider When Choosing an Emergency Monitoring Solution
Now that you know some of the emotional, physical, and professional benefits to using a workforce safety app for employees, you need to consider some practical factors:
- Privacy. Workforce safety apps work best when employees use them. Data privacy is extremely important, and data such as location should not be turned on without the employees permission.
- Availability. Will the app or device work in areas where cellular service is not available – depending on your workforce, this could be a critical factor to consider
- Features. what services do employees need to be safe? Fall detection, checkin/checkout, management dashboards, mass alerts, and more are available in the most advanced solutions
- Dashboards. The ability to manage all lone workers safety, track their location when necessary, and send mass alerts, are all critical features.
- Flexibility. Does the app need to be made available on a smartphone, a watch or a device? Do you want your employees to use a company supplied device, or something provided by your organization? Flexibility in deployment methods is important.
Regardless of which app on the market you choose, Workforce safety solutions help protect your company, your employees, and your clients by monitoring data, taking emergency actions and alerting the appropriate parties to an emergency situation. In an emergency, response time is critical and lives are on the line. Put your employees in good hands with state-of-the-art personal safety monitoring. Use the personal safety app that’s right for you & your team — your employees and their loved ones will thank you.