The 4 Biggest Risks Facing Lone Workers

How do you keep your lone workers safe?

The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that approximately 1.3 billion people around the world work in remote areas. A staggering number when considering the logistics of tracking employee safety, location, and status.

The hazards facing your workers become exponentially more dangerous when they are on their own. health emergencies and falls, for example, can turn into fatalities. A dangerous fall is the most common type of hazard facing most workers in industrial environments. There were over 7,500 fall related OSHA violations in 2017 alone. By far the most cited safety violation.

Why are lone workers more at risk to suffer fatal injuries? Because lone workers are, well, alone.  “Organizations need to understand that special protocols must be in place to make sure lone workers are being looked after”, says Ben Jakubovic, CPP, PSP, CYBRA’s Safety and Security Solutions Architect.

If you’re alone, and you have a heart attack, who’s going to call for help? You can have one of those panic button badges that can alert security or call 911, but what if you fell, bumped your head, and now you’re unconscious? That’s why something like Edgefinity IoT is so vital to companies with workers in potentially hazardous environments. It doesn’t just track a button. It tracks movement, environmental situations, and the health status of your workers.

Here are the 4 biggest risks facing lone workers, and how Edgefinity IoT can help.

1. Dangerous Falls

Over a third of fatal falls recorded by OSHA occur at a height of just 15 feet or less. How often are your lone workers subjected to ladders, platforms, or scaffolds?

As mentioned previously, A fall can turn fatal if help is not dispatched immediately. If the worker is knocked out or concussed, they won’t be able to call for help. Using security cameras doesn’t typically help with lone workers, as it is financially unfeasible to have cameras at every single turn.

How Edgefinity IoT Can Help – By being able to sense movement, or lack thereof, Edgefinity IoT can tell if someone has suddenly stopped moving. Using highly accurate RFID tag sensors, Edgefinity IoT can also tell the difference between a small slip, and a potentially fatal fall.

As soon as anything potentially dangerous happens, Edgefinity IoT can send emails, texts, phone calls, and push notifications. Everything Edgefinity IoT does is in real time – updates are made constantly.

Lone worker safety infographic

2. Health Emergencies

On the job health emergencies such as heart attacks or strokes are not uncommon for employees working in industrial environments. And, they are often increased in high stress, physically demanding environments. Health emergencies, like falls, are exponentially dangerous for lone workers because if they occur, it is unlikely a fellow employee will pass by.

According to the US Department of Labor, There are 220,000 victims of sudden cardiac arrest per year in the United States; about 10,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur at work. Waiting for the arrival of emergency medical system personnel results in only 5-7% survival.

How Edgefinity IoT Can Help – Like dangerous falls, if a lone worker has collapsed due to a health emergency, Edgefinity IoT can detect the lack of movement. However, if the worker has not lost consciousness, the lone worker may desire contacting safety personnel to articulate what is wrong. With a simple panic button built into an ID badge, lone workers can send emergency signals to safety personnel.

3. Workplace Violence

Workplace violence has become an increasingly important safety and security issue for many organizations.

According to the National Safety Council, ​Every year, 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. In 2014, 409 people were fatally injured in work-related attacks, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s about 16% of the 4,821 workplace deaths that year.

How Edgefinity IoT Can Help – A number of variables need to be taken into account when there is a workplace violence situation. As mentioned, a subtle panic button press is all it takes to notify your Edgefinity IoT system, which kicks off necessary reactions.

What really separates Edgefinity IoT from other safety systems is just how interactive the system can be. If, for example, there is an active shooter on the premise, one panic button press can automatically lock doors, stop elevators, and call 911 immediately.

4. Fires & Explostions

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), approximately 37,000 fires occur each year in industrial environments. In the event of a fire, or explosion in a remote location, how would a lone worker be able to handle it? The need to dispatch safety is vital to safe lives and mitigate damage. According to the same report by the NFPA, over $1 billion in damage from fires and explosions occur each year in industrial environments. These dangerous fires and explosions account for an average of 279 injuries and 18 deaths per year.

How Edgefinity IoT Can Help – Edgefinity IoT can help prevent fires and explosions, and also help mitigate disaster if and when one happens. Edgefinity IoT can connect to an organization’s core systems to turn on sprinklers, turn off gas lines, or power down machinery. Even before an incident has occurred, Edgefinity IoT can send out warnings if there are danger signs happening, such as a room becoming hot, or a turbine going too fast. And, as mentioned before, Edgefinity IoT can send messages to safety and security personnel, or 911, to ensure help is on its way immediately.

In short, Edgefinity IoT can help prevent fires and explosions, and help mitigate injury and loss of life if and when it happens.

INTERESTED IN EDGEFINITY IoT?

Built on CYBRA’s expert system technology, Edgefinity IoT baseline alerts were developed utilizing the latest in RFID and RTLS (Real Time Tracking Systems) capabilities. Contact an RFID expert today to see how our technology can improve your organizational safety efforts.