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back to article Lone workers will like being tracked, says Orange

Orange is pushing out research claiming that UK lone-worker staff would love to be tracked using GPS, for their own benefit of course. The research, based on interviews with a thousand people who defined themselves as “lone workers”, found that only 12 per cent have an alert button to use in case of incident, while 38 per cent …

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Define "lone"

Its not being without other humans, its being without a colleague.

A big market for this is the social services type roles where its not being alone thats the problem, its being in close proximity to less-than-safe-other-people.

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Agreed..........but

there's almost 8 million lone workers out there and not all of them are social workers or in the public sector.

Some have jobs that are hazardous - eg involve driving; some carry expensive IT equipment and some even have personal illnesses that require medication. Amost all of them are expected to turn up for work, but not all ofthem are shown the same courtesy when it comes to getting home safely.

These type of services are far more appealing and to a much wider audience than you would think. And before you say it, no, I don't work for Orange, nor do I work for any of their suppliers.

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Anonymous Coward

Not a bad idea...

..the wife who is a social worker has go often go alone into complete strangers houses, into often hostile situations (a thing the Police will NOT do, go figure) and I often have to call her at set set time to make sure she is ok.

As for:

* Yes, they do still exist - there just aren't as many as there used to be

You're kidding right?

Drive through Brum and you spend half your time waiting for no reason for these people, who for some reason are usually stationed at pedestrian crossings.

Child 30 ft away from crossing, they press the button, walk into road (often before it's changed). By the time kids get there, now changing back to green. After a minute on green the prat finally gets of the crossing, long after the kids have gone. Are kids to thick to use them these days?

Hey budget cuts, they are here!

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Flame

Standards...

"Are kids to thick to use them these days?"

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. To [sic] easy.

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Silver badge

I thought ...

... "crossing guards referred to railway crossing guards". They are often in the middle of nowhere (relatively speaking), and might need to call for assistance urgently. I certainly don't think of lollipop wo/men being crossing guards - does anyone referto then as that? I can't see why they might need to contact anyone urgently - unless it is because they are being harangued by folks like AC ;-)

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Megaphone

GPS is good...

as long as someone is actively monitoring it or a system is in place that can recognise unusual behaviour and automatically notify someone.

My employer has GPS installed in all of our vehicles (mobile security) and they claim that it is for our own safety. It's really so that they can tell their clients that "Yes, our driver was definitely on your site at 0600 hours on this or that day and LOOK! We have proof!" Oh, it also means that they tell us off if we break any speed limits too much.

The biggest joke is this: The system isn't monitored, doesn't have any automatics, and only gets glanced at once or twice a week unless something goes wrong.

It's also crap: I went past a speed camera (30mph zone) at 28mph about 18-20 months ago. The camera flashed me (still don't know why to this day) and I got worried that I was going to get a ticket. I asked my boss for a 10 second report of the exact time and date that it happened and was told that "The system isn't that accurate. You should have been more careful." I later asked someone a bit more helpful and they confirmed this to the point of showing me just how detailed it is - start point, end point, distance travelled, max speed, average speed, time spent idling and time spent moving. Oh yeah, we're at the cutting edge here!

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Just what I was thinking...

"as long as someone is actively monitoring it or a system is in place that can recognise unusual behaviour and automatically notify someone."

Cos it's great they can retrieve my body after I've bled out, but it's no real use to me by that stage.

Just sell the (already well-tested) panic button tech that's out there.

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Pint

Can it alert management if you visit specific locations?

(you don't need to know which ones)

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Why the fuss?

As a delivery driver I have always carried a work mobile and a panic alarm as well as the van being tracked.

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WTF?

fixed that for you

"But if you're alone at work, and in physical danger, then Orange would like you to know it has technology that might be able to extort large amounts of money from your employer for a service that is, for all intents and purposes, completely and utterly redundant"

Does your employer not have a phone number? Do the emergency services not have a phone number? Can they not already do a fairly good job of locating you by triangulation of the cell towers? Do you not know where you are? Can you not read a map or a road sign or a bus stop or ask for directions?

“feel positive about their employer having the ability to be alerted quickly if they were to miss or be significantly delayed at an appointment”

Call them the fuck up and tell them. It's a mobile PHONE.

If some psycho wants to beat you unconscious with a frying pan and throw you out of his second floor window, he's going to do it even if you do have GPS. Might as well not worry about it.

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FAIL

postings by ignorant ramblers

You clearly have no idea about the subject you are posting on, so keep your ill informed verbal diahorrea to yourself in future.

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the Police won't be interested unless you are in jeopardy

Lone working is far more complex. They're a target for robbery, road rage; physical and verbal attacks (from customers) some of them may actually have an accident or fall or take seriously ill during the work day. In most general instances the lone worker is disabled or the device damaged or removed, denying access to the point they are unable to summon assistance. what about the extreme - hostage situations?

Life would be simple if we could all dial for help but it's not always that practical - and the police won't always respond immediately for your 'missing persons'.

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Lone worker alert software

Lone worker alert software already exists.

I have worked for a company that producted and marketed an application that allowed lone workers to call in and automatically log there arrival at an appointment (of any sort) and enter a likely time frame. The system would call back at the end of the predetermined time frame if the user had not already called in. After a (configurable) number of attempts the system would go through a regime of alerting managers, security staff or emergency services etc.

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Anonymous Coward

(untitled)

Lone workers want to be tracked eh ? Well if you are going to lie, make it a whopper. Folk will think you can't have had the gall to make that up, then.

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Silver badge

Technology at its finest

"This new GPS system will help to monitor staff in potentially hazardous situations. Hmmmm, he seems to have stopped for a while in that back alley there....oh wait he's moving again now, rather rapidly, towards...the local landfill? What on earth is he doing there? And now he's heading off to the local market during work hours?! Somebody call him and tell him he's fired!"

"We have a problem, sir. The person answering says its a wrong number."

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@Chris35

If "mobile security" equals "transporting money and/or valuable items", then being able to track it if someone nicks it is pretty damn useful. It also makes it less likely that someone would nick it in the first place, which reduces the chances of a bunch of thugs hijacking you. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be good enough to provide a deterrent.

And do you not have some kind of panic button in the van with you? If not, why not?

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mobile security =

No, it's not anything like cash and valuables in transit, it's more like, drive to a site, do a patrol, write a report, drive to another site and repeat etc... We also have to do alarm response which means going to sites that can be in the middle of nowhere, finding out what caused the alarm, phoning the police if necessary, phoning the alarm company, fixing the alarm and resetting it etc...

If someone were to nick the car then yeah, the company would be able to track it and they would have a lot of keys to a lot of sites in there with them but none of them are named so they probably wouldn't know where any of them were in the first place let alone being able to get in.

No panic buttons. They're of a mind that if you're in trouble, i.e. getting battered senseless, you can ring them with the company mobile phone... Um... Yeah, about that. More often than not, we're in signal dead zones and you'd still have to rely on the thugs allowing you the time and space (and arms) to phone up your controller. Also panic buttons for the drivers equals a greater outspend and it still surprises me after three years just how tight companies can be.

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Anonymous Coward

Bolleaux

BT have just rolled them out, ask the engineers how much happier they are knowing management know their exact location etc.

Crap phone company peddling crap 'research'

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Thumb Down

You're being engineered

Human behavior engineering. If you they can make you think you're the only one who doesn't do or like said behavior you'll be afraid to say no when they force some control on you.

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Thumb Up

Spot on

This is how TV programme audiences are seeded.

The programmes begin by revealing that 90% of the general public are in favor of something (i.e. Restrict Speed Limits).

They will then ask the audience what they think.

Most people will not want to be seen as going against the general consensus (ie. Tribe mentality) and will so agree for Restricted Speed Limits.

Anyone with a counter opinion will be internally re-evaluating their decision to see why they think it is a bad idea and will be less vocal in their opposition.

Edward Bernays and Social Compliance live on.

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Great idea until...

You get an e-mail from HR saying that you spend too much time in the loo.

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Flipping heck

Talk about non news, I managed a team that installed nearly 7000 of these in the last year. Combination of gps and triangulation (using the popular situation), automated tracking both in and out of vehicle and as a unit. Automatic alerted when no status update received etc...

Ps. Those who say can't you call have absolutely no idea what true lone workers are.

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Happy

Dumping the mobile

I made a concious choice to ditch my personal mobile around two years ago, when concerns about my personal security became acute.

I don't regret it for a moment, the experience has been absolutely liberating.

No one can know where I am unless I choose to tell them. No one can determine who or where I choose to associate with. No one can disturb my peace while I'm away from home.

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Lone Workers like a response to their precise location!

Lone Worker Systems are in use in most of the UK top companies. Orange seem to have chosen two companies who are ONLY concerned with Lone Worker Safety.

If a lone worker needs any sort of assistance then it is as well the company providing service knows where they are for that assistance to be delivered.

If an employer want to 'track' employees then that is not a concern for their health & safety. Seperate issue ... different service.

Orange are pushing companies who will keep all the users sensitive data [location & details] out of the reach of employers .. until the incident / event dictates that it gets released to who ever can assist them.

If you are not sure about how data about you gets used .. then ask, you have a right to know. But don't automatically associate a lone worker system with a tracking system.

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