Lone Worker Safety Regulations: How Smart Workforce Streamlines Compliance?
Health and safety compliance is necessary for SIA Approved Contractor Scheme (SIA-ACS). Any security company, regardless of its size, must have an H&S policy in place to ensure the safety and protection of its workforce. These regulations specifically apply to the safety of security guards who often work alone and are vulnerable to various risks.
As per section 6.3.3 of the SIA Workbook Guide, security organisations must take the steps below to implement H&S policy and supporting procedures to become an SIA-approved contractor.
Evaluate potential risks faced by security guards at service areas and train them as per the client‘s H&S policy and procedures.
Regularly review risk assessments and appropriately train their staff, particularly on lone worker policy and practice.
Take necessary measures to help security guards deal with workplace violence, including verbal and physical abuse.
Implement reasonably practicable regulations of the Health and Safety at Work Act at the workplace. That means employers must take action to minimize risk to guards‘ health, safety, and welfare.
Ensure compliance with Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Why is Lone Worker Protection Essential for Security Companies?
The safety of lone workers is a genuine problem in the UK. According to a survey conducted by Working the Doors, about 90% of security workers in the UK security industry have been physically assaulted at least once in their careers. The study also showed nearly 66% of security officers were attacked once a month, which is very alarming.
Lone security guards are exposed to various types of risks, including:
Violent attacks from intoxicated or drunk customers
Attacks with non-lethal weapons like needles
Verbal aggression and sexual harassment from the public
Crowd manhandling, particularly in large-scale festivals or during event celebrations
Accidental injuries like slips, falls, collusion, trips or bumps in low light and busy areas
Environmental risks like exposure to dangerous substances
SIA Guidelines on Lone Worker Protection
Regarding lone worker protection, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) gives clear guidelines to approved contractors. As per the ACS, security companies must implement procedures to deal with the non-attendance of guards in service areas. Employers must ensure security officers have reached the client site on time, covered all checkpoints, and are safe and secure.
Some of the good practices recommended by the SIA in this regard are:
Use GPS for time tracking and real-time location access
Keep and monitor visitors‘ logs at all customer sites.
Use automated check-call systems to confirm staff welfare and safety
Define specific procedures to help lone workers check in and check out regularly
Use a mobile phone patrol tracking system to monitor site patrols in real-time remotely
Smart Workforce, The Best Solution to Protect Lone Workers
Lone worker protection becomes easy by adopting modern technology. Hence, Smart Workforce brings a range of exclusive workforce management features to streamline operations and ensure the safety of lone workers.
Smart Workforce is the only workforce management software designed as per the needs of the UK security industry. With automated control room and patrolling management, security companies can meet staff H&S requirements of SIA approved contractor scheme.
Hence, if your security company wants to comply with lone worker protection requirements and become an SIA-approved contractor, Smart Workforce is the best solution.
Exclusive features of Smart Workforce that can help you protect your lone security guards are:
Automated Welfare Checks: An IVR-enabled and fully automated system that performs a series of welfare checks on lone security officers at regular intervals. Security guards can respond to these automated check calls from their mobile app and share their live photos and location. However, if the missed welfare checks reach their limit, the system sends an instant notification to the adIncident Managementmin. Hence, supervisors can act accordingly and act appropriately to confirm guard safety.
Patrolling Management: Another important feature of Smart Workforce that enables managers to monitor the patrolling history of lone security officers. Supervisors can create patrol routes and place checkpoints at different locations. Security guards deployed in high-risk areas scan these checkpoints with QR codes from mobile apps. Eventually, admins can download patrol reports and view the complete history of checkpoints scanned on the patrol route. Thus, the system ensures lone workers’ safety and helps organisations meet the ACS requirements.
Incident Management: Security guards often face unexpected incidents on client sites. It can be vandalism, environmental risk, accident, or intrusion attempt. Reporting each incident is critical to prevent future reoccurrence and ensure the safety of the premises and the security officer. Hence, Smart Workforce streamlines incident reporting and management workflow. Security guards can use their mobile app to report any incident, include relevant details, and add supporting documents and media files. Besides they can also mention witnesses and police reports. Eventually, supervisors can review incident reports and take necessary measures to protect lone security staff.
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