We know that deciding between the two options can be difficult, so we’ve pulled together some general guidelines to help you out.
Dedicated safety solutions for employees working alone or in at-risk environments can be a great asset in how you achieve success. However, with so many options available, how do you choose the one that best fits your unique business needs?
This guide will break down some questions to ask in order to help zero in on what matters most to you and enable you to make the best choice that is right for you and your organization.
Understand the Risks your Workers Face and consider potential solutions
A plan for keeping lone workers safe can have many different iterations depending on context. Often the first big decision in building a lone-workers safety plan is deciding between wearable panic buttons and safety apps, or combining the two.
You know your business best – but here are some keys points for consideration to help make your decision easier. We’re here to help if you need it too.
Is the phone accessible?
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s an important place to start. Can the employee access their phone? Is their greatest risk a sudden or unpredictable incident or something they may be able to see coming?
If they can leave the phone open to the app SOS button, or are able to easily start/end check-in sessions, the safety app may be sufficient. However, if the primary risk is sudden and/or has the potential to escalate quickly, a wearable panic button is likely more suitable.
If you are unsure, the safety-app is a great place to start. It can serve as a baseline solution, that can be augmented with a wearable if necessary.
Are regular check-ins a requirement?
In many provinces and states, it is a requirement for lone workers to check in on a regular basis. It is also good business practice. If so, a safety-app is a must. A flexible check-in process can often provide the security needed, help to reduce cost and save time.
Do you need real-time data on staff location and insight into their day?
If you need to know where your people are throughout their check-in sessions, some (but not all) safety apps will be able to provide this information. Although the SolusGuard solution has these services, not all safety apps offer the same functionality. Ask to be sure.
How quickly do you need to have something in place?
If speed is your primary objective, we recommend starting with the safety-app. A safety-app can be downloaded, set-up and function within minutes, with minimal onboarding and training. Hardware, on the other hand, requires shipping time, initial pairing and set up, and proper staff training. Even if your eventual need is the wearable, starting with the safety-app lets your team familiarize themselves with the process, and the wearable can be rolled out strategically, all the while keeping your staff safe with the app.
Match Solutions to Work Requirements and Employee Need
The type of service delivery you are looking for can depend on job responsibility, the physical environment where work takes place, and the user’s personal preference. Some things to think about are:
Is there a need for complete discretion?
Unlike the majority of wearable panic buttons, SolusGuard devices are extremely small and designed to be discrete. SolusGuard Mobile can also be used discreetly in lower risk situations.
What is the level of physical activity required for job success?
Some lone workers may need to run, jog, or move quickly. As a result, a wearable safety device that can be tightly secured to a belt or another piece of clothing may be the best choice. This will reduce the chance of the device falling off or out of a pocket, while also ensuring your investment isn’t compromised.
Will multiple devices complicate work processes?
Some roles may require fewer tools on-hand and a reliable lone worker safety app may be the best solution. Similarly, if the position is shared and/or part-time, a safety app is implemented with greater ease than a wearable panic button.
What is the risk profile of your staff?
Each role is unique. A one-size-fits all solution can sometimes discourage employee uptake as staff compare their situation to others who are may be more at risk, and vice versa. Instead, consider a simple risk profile assessment as part of your solution-building. Those with the highest risk profile would benefit from the added safety of the wearable hardware. For others, an app-based solution will be the perfect fit, without seeming heavy-handed.
Consider this: The best solution is one that gets used. Include your affected employees in the decision-making process. This will ensure the choice you make is one they can get behind. When they feel empowered, onboarding and overall usage becomes easier. It can also boost employee morale, helping to foster a safety culture you can be proud of.
Balancing Cost and Need
We get it. While cost isn’t the most important factor, whatever you choose needs to fit within the budget. Generally speaking, a safety app is a more affordable, universal solution. Whereas wearable panic buttons typically incur an upfront cost to buy the devices.
Here is where the risk profile assessment can be helpful. By matching solution to need, your dollar can stretch further with a hybrid approach.
This doesn’t have to be your “final answer”.
Business and individual needs change over time and a reputable safety partner will be prepared to help you quickly adapt. At times, a wearable safety device combined with the safety app may be the best solution, while at other times the mobile app alone will perfectly align with your safety needs.
Where do you start?
Both our safety app and our wearable panic button provide enhanced safety, improved access to emergency response, are easy to use, and improve compliance – so choosing one or the other will be a good choice. The goal is to make sure it is the right choice for your business and your employees.
Best of all, we can help you make as informed a decision as possible. We proudly offer a free 14-day trial of our safety app, so you can test it out and see if it meets your needs or if you need to add the wearable panic button to your safety plan.