Checking on your lone workers? What about their kit?

Looking after lone workers is a big responsibility. If you have an employee, such as a security guard or night watchman, who is on their own for long stretches of time then you need to make sure they can get help if they are in trouble.

This need has spawned a small technology industry addressing the fact that many lone workers, of which there are about 4 million in the UK alone, may not be able to able to use their mobile phones to call for help in the event of a problem.

In the UK, for example, SoloProtect supplies a device called the Identicom that provides personal safety features along with identity badge functionality for organisations such as the National Health Service.

If a health worker is in a potentially confrontational situation with no other staff around, by discretely pressing their identity card they can activate a hotline to an alarm receiving centre where an agent will record what is going on and send help if needed.

German firm LIV tec goes a step further with a gadget that will broadcast a user’s location if the bearer stops moving for a suspiciously long amount of time.

Such technologies can bring help to someone in trouble at a remote location, but they cannot prevent people from getting into trouble in the first place.

For that, you need to make sure that the equipment a worker is relying on does not cause an accident… and can be fully relied upon if it is needed.

An intruder alarm that fails to work, a fire door that will not open or a flare that will not ignite are all examples of equipment problems that can be challenging in any situation, but are potentially much worse when you have nobody around for backup.

And if you are equipping your lone workers with some form of alarm-giving device, you need to make sure the technology itself works whenever it is needed.

Thus the only way to really keep your lone workers as safe as possible is to make sure the items they may have to rely on are checked regularly, and any defects are logged in a way that is easy to see and assists with quick remediation.

Doing this is easy with a system such as Papertrail, which can help you schedule inspections at regular intervals and check that each inspection has been carried out. Don’t let your people leave without having it in place.

Top 10 Pieces of Kit for Every Arboriculture Professional

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The typical arboriculture professional undertakes difficult, dangerous work regularly, often at a height; managing their own safety without causing unnecessary harm to the trees, local environment and anyone nearby.

Working in arboriculture is three times more dangerous than the construction sector, making it one of the highest risk sectors in the UK. Choosing and maintaining the right equipment is essential for the safety of those doing the work and teams on the ground.

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Another Reason to Keep Records in the Cloud: SL Tree Care Ltd Recover After Major Theft

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SL TreeCare Ltd is an Arboricultural Association-approved tree surgery company based in Kent, which for several years (Steve himself for well over 25 years!) has provided Kent and London-based organisations with all manner of arboricultural services, including tree felling, crown thinning and stump grinding. Owner Steve Launchbury, upon gaining the Kew Diploma in Horticulture from Kew Gardens – an internationally important botanical research and education institution – has been a key influencer in the industry and an active participant in the development of arboricultural best practice. Continue Reading…

Using Papertrail to Comply With LOLER: The Complete Guide

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This week, we’ve put together a fully-loaded guide to complying with LOLER ’98 legislation, and how Papertrail makes it so much easier to show thorough and regular maintenance of the lifting equipment that you need to inspect as part of LOLER compliance. Seriously, if you work in arboriculture, scaffolding services, construction, industrial window cleaning, oil and gas – or any other industry involving lifting and rope access equipment, this post is for you! Read on for the lowdown on how to make stressing over LOLER a thing of the past. Continue Reading…

Greencut Horticulture Take Safety to the Next Level With Papertrail

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Greencut Horticulture are one of the UK’s most in-demand tree surgery companies, with over 40 years’ experience in providing all manner of arboricultural services to both public and private-sector companies in Kent, London and beyond.

With a reputation for excellent health and safety standards and quality workmanship to uphold, Greencut started using Papertrail in November 2015 to make managing their equipment even simpler, and to ensure compliance with a whole host of laws and regulations that affect arboricultural companies nationwide.    Continue Reading…

Successful Safety Management for Arborists: Free Webinar

If you’re a professional arborist, tree surgeon or forestry worker, you’re busy – especially at this time of year! But whether you’re climbing trees, inspecting safety equipment or organising teams, you don’t need us to tell you that safety should always be top of mind. To find out how recent advances in technology can help you and your team stay safe, join us for a free webinar next week.

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Protecting Yourself and Your Business – Industry

Health and Safety in your industry

According to the Association of British Insurers, the number of bodily injury claims received by insurers increased by 72% from 2002 to 2010. The figure continues to increase, with claims against arborists and businesses in the construction industry becoming particularly prevalent.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) continues to prosecute leisure operators for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and associated regulations, with fines and costs totalling tens of thousands of pounds already handed out to operators of construction sites, boatyards and maintenance companies in the first six months of 2015.

Counting the cost of personal injury claims & HSE prosecutions

Defending a claim can have serious consequences. Not only financial – fines, compensation payments, court costs and legal fees can run up to tens of thousands of pounds.

But there are also the hidden costs too; the amount of time, resources and energy needed to defend a claim. Increased insurance premiums. The damage to reputation and associated loss of business. The drop in morale, staff retention, and – not to mention – significant personal stress.

Prevention is better than cure…

No manager wants their customers or staff to go away unhappy – much less physically injured or mentally scarred.  As a responsible manager, you’re no doubt fully aware of your legal obligations and are doing everything required to keep everyone on your site or facility safe. (If you’d like a reminder – take a look at our free checklist here).

The truth is, the best way to reduce the risk of injuries and claims is by having robust safety and risk management scheme in place. That means ensuring checks, inspections, training and risk assessments are carried out and reviewed on a regular, systematic basis by trained, competent staff.

Defend, defend, defend…

What if you have all of that in place but a claim still lands on your desk? Accidents do happen, and we all know that the prevailing “have-a-go” compensation culture means you could end up facing a claim through no real fault of your own. How do you protect your business from fines, compensation payments and reputational damage?

By keeping accurate records.

If a claim is made against your business, you’ll need to provide evidence (whether to your insurance company, the police or HSE) which proves you have been doing everything necessary under your duty of care. If you can’t provide hard evidence that proves beyond any reasonable doubt that all your inspections, repairs, training and observations have been carried out, it’s your word against theirs.

Incomplete or missing records could be putting your entire organisation at risk. So ask yourself this – if you were investigated, would your paperwork hold up? Could you prove exactly what equipment has been inspected, when? Could you prove that your staff are adequately qualified, competent and up-to-the-job? That your facilities are checked and maintained on a regular basis, and that you have adequate safety procedures in place?

Go through the list of answers you provided in the checklist and ask yourself – could I prove it?