Who is Protecting Lone Working American Security Guards?

Working as a Security Guard is a particularly dangerous occupation. On average, security officers suffer injuries at more than twice the rate of the average worker.
 In some countries, for example, nearly two private security officers are killed on duty for every police officer fatality. ¹

The incidence rate for injuries to security guards varies substantially between different countries. There is no global standard for calculating such rates which makes comparisons difficult. In 2017 the US annual nonfatal injury rate for security officers was 14 per 1,000 full-time employees. For workers in armoured car services it was higher, 36 per 1,000 employees. The rate of cases that required days away from work or work restrictions was 9 for every 1,000 security workers; 28 per 1,000 armoured car employees. ²

Increased Risk of Violence

The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) recorded 3,560 workplace injuries to security guards in 2016. ³ The results were broken into three main causes: falls, motor vehicle accidents and acts of violence.

Falls- Patrolling on foot on often uneven or poorly lit areas can result in slips, trips and falls.

Motor vehicle accidents- Driving around sites or between locations can result in accidents.

Acts of violence- The BLS says assaults cause the majority of deadly security guard injuries. Physical attacks are more likely to occur at night, specifically between 8:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. ⁴

A study conducted by Private Officer International using statistics from news reports, law enforcement incident reports, private agency injury reports, US workplace violence data and their own in-house database curated and analysed during 16 years looked into instances of security personnel being assaulted at work.

They found that “Since 2007, shoplifters are 23.4-percent more likely to be armed with a knife, firearm, pepper spray or a Taser. This percentage was almost 11 percent higher during security interactions at apartments, nightclubs and during property mobile patrol assignments.” ⁵

Protecting Lone Working Security Personnel

The best way to keep security guards (lone workers) safe is to equip them with the necessary tools. Lone worker’s need a  safety solution that allows peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, someone will know and can send help.

The purpose of a Lone Worker Solution is to ensure all workers go home safely at the end of each shift. Solutions are simple systems that connect workers with a supervisor who monitors their well-being. The supervisor could be another member of the same company, or staff in a call centre. 

There are many different solutions available to lone workers that allow them to keep in touch by checking in. However, not all solutions are as simple and convenient as a Smartphone app.

Specialised Features

The Ok Alone system has a wide range of features designed to make people working remotely feel safer. The system has an automated countdown timer, as required by work alone legislation, which reminds lone workers to make contact by checking in using either a smartphone app, sms or phone call. Workers are able to change the frequency of their check ins with the ‘high-risk’ feature. If a worker enters an area where they feel vulnerable, they can reduce the check in time to as little as 10 minutes. After the time has passed with no alerts, the check in frequency will revert to the original count down duration.

One of the features, the Man Down (Worker Down) function, alerts monitors if there has been no movement from a worker within a set amount of time. This could help indicate if the worker has been involved in an accident or assault.

Ok Alone also offers BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons as an alternative to GPS only systems. The beacons are fully integrated into the existing OK Alone app and fully functioning within the lone worker system. The small beacons are radio transmitting devices that can be programmed to give out longitude and latitude coordinates, or exact locations ie, ‘Warehouse G, Floor 2, Section 12’. As staff move around their sites registered beacons log the time, name and id of the worker.

This allows companies to know their workers are able to check in or request help and have real time locations for them, whether they are out in the field or down in the basement.

Ok Alone’s lone worker smartphone app works in conjunction with a website and dashboard that can be used on pc, laptop, tablet or another smartphone. The online dashboard will display a map supplying the monitor with the workers last known location if an alert is triggered.

To find out more about how you can keep lone security workers safe visit www.okalone.com

1. https://www.security-ligue.org/ligazette/the-risk-of-harm-to-private-security-personnel-what-are-todays-biggest-problems

2. https://www.security-ligue.org/ligazette/the-risk-of-harm-to-private-security-personnel-what-are-todays-biggest-problems

3. https://www.choelawfirm.com/blog/2018/08/3-workplace-hazards-for-security-guards.shtml

4. https://www.choelawfirm.com/blog/2018/08/3-workplace-hazards-for-security-guards.shtml

5. https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/91248-study-shows-hours-when-security-officers-are-most-often-attacked

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