One of the best tools a lone worker can have is a Man Down App. The app uses existing smartphone technology to alert a supervisor if someone is in trouble or if there is a loss of consciousness. Having this capability, in a single device, in your pocket, gives lone and remote workers the added protection they need to feel safe while completing their shift. A man down app gives peace of mind to the user in a medical emergency by ensuring someone will be alerted if they can’t call for help.
How do Man Down Apps Work?
Man down systems are calibrated to detect movement, or more importantly a lack of movement. Using an employee’s own smartphone (iPhone or Android), the Man Down feature can be set to a period of time between 3 minutes to 1 hour. If there has been no movement within that time frame an alarm sounds. This alarm allows the worker to check in and verify they are fine (without setting off a false alarm).
If the worker does not respond to the alarm, then a non-movement alert is sent to their supervisor saying there has been no activity. The supervisor monitoring them is then able to try and contact the employee. If there is no response they can display the employee’s location on the dashboard map and send appropriate help or medical assistance to the correct location.
What are the benefits of a Man Down App?
The benefit to lone workers is that they know no matter where they are or what has happened to them, with the man down app activated, someone will know if they need emergency assistance. A Man Down app is a particularly important tool for lone or remote workers who may be unable to alert someone to a medical emergency if they suffer an injury and are rendered unconscious.
This smartphone app feature can also be used to call for help in other emergency situations. For instance, an employee can strategically place their phone in a spot with no movement to intentionally activate an alert. This can be particularly helpful if the worker has slipped, tripped, or fallen and is conscious but experiencing pain-induced movement. By placing the phone on the ground beside them, the lone worker can trigger the alarm.
The feature could also be used in a situation threatening violence. A worker could set their phone down next to or behind them out of the eyeline of the potential attacker. After the device remains motionless for the specified duration, an alert will be triggered, notifying a monitoring party that assistance is needed.
Man Down vs Worker Down
Only using the term ‘Man Down’ for the motion detection feature in an app no longer seems appropriate. The terms used in industry need to reflect those who are doing the work and at present the phrase ‘Man Down’ is ignoring over half the population.
Using the inclusive term ‘Worker Down’ does not detract from the fact that someone is injured or failing to respond, but it does represent ALL the workforce who could possibly be injured. Changing the name of a feature to ‘Worker Down’ is a small change to make, but it will go a long way towards making workers feel more valued and included. Man Down is some of us, Worker Down is everyone.
Worker Down vs Fall Detection
There is a big difference between the Worker Down app and a fall detection app; the smartphone accelerometer. This aspect of the phone is less precise as it can struggle to differentiate between whether someone is running or falling, as the acceleration is very similar. Equally, any sudden impact could be the result of a person falling over or throwing their phone onto the couch or desk. The fall detection feature in an app can often result in frequent false alarms being triggered.
The worker down detection algorithms that sense movement or the lack of movement are more reliable. Workplace fatality numbers are dropping and there has been a rise in non-fatal injuries due to the automatic detection and speed with which help can be notified when using worker down systems. This means people working at a higher level of risk or in a hazardous environment are able to contact an external monitor, who can check the time between movements, and help keep workers safe.
Worker Down Apps for iPhone and Android
The worker down safety feature is a popular solution to the problem of dealing with an emergency situation which is faced by every remote worker. This lone worker feature is compatible with both iPhone and Android devices, using their real-time movement detection capabilities and built-in sensors for effective monitoring or isolated or remote workers.
Summary of a Worker Down App
In the realm of lone worker safety, the worker down function can be the difference between life and death. Between a minor injury and a tragic workplace fatality. By incorporating non-movement detection capabilities into something as common as a mobile phone workers aren’t having to use additional hardware like a wearable button or additional devices that can get in the way. Although a worker down app cannot stop injuries from occurring, hopefully they can transform potentially fatal incidents into manageable workplace injuries.
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As an expert in lone worker content management, I possess an extensive knowledge base and experience in the area of lone working and safety monitoring. My expertise in this field encompasses a wide range of areas, including risk assessment, training, communication, and technology. I have a deep understanding of the unique risks associated with lone workers and have researched and written many projects and articles to educate people in how to mitigate these risks.
Throughout my time with Ok Alone, I have kept up to date with technological developments, legislative changes and regulations that have been introduced to help organizations ensure the safety of their lone workers.