How to buy lone-worker devices

Lone-worker devices and systems can play a key role when it comes to keeping employees safe out of hours. But when it comes to their procurement, there is a great deal to consider, as Simon Creasey discovers

Few communication sectors have as little margin for error than lone working. Users can’t afford for their signal to drop out, they can’t afford to use a system that triggers false alarms and they can’t afford to use devices that break when dropped. The user demands are tough and the number of users of lone-worker devices and solutions has grown rapidly over the past decade or so thanks to a combination of different factors.

But with cheap devices flooding the market, it’s easy for first-time buyers to get it wrong, with disastrous results. So how can procurement heads ensure they choose a lone-worker solution that is fit for purpose, and what are the common pitfalls they need to avoid?

Over the past 30 years or so, lone-worker devices have evolved significantly. Initially people used pagers for lone-worker alerts, which had significant shortcomings, says Paul Smith, managing director at ANT Telecommunications.

“Back then it was a case of ‘somebody has raised an alarm, we know who it was by the number’, and that was about it. It was only later on when we moved to DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) that you could start coming up with a location for that person, and that was down to the base station location, which has a 100-metre radius outdoors,” explains Smith. “Nowadays you’ve got specific beacons where you can find the location of someone down to a couple of metres. And you’ve also got GPS outdoors, which again is accurate to within a few metres.”

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting Land Mobile, register now for free and unlimited access to our industry-leading content. 

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to all Land Mobile content

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox