Lone Worker Glossary of Terms

Posted by: Tom Atkinson

Date: 20-Aug-2012 11:45:00

There are over 4 million lone workers in the UK who rely on their own intuition and skills to avoid any danger, or hazards, which may occur during their working day.

Defined as “those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision” by the Health & Safety Executive, lone workers can be the most vulnerable of employees, and because of this, employers have a “duty of care” responsibility towards them.

The following glossary of terms has been complied to help employers of lone worker personnel familiarise themselves with some of the key terms used within the industry: 

Lone Worker
Lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision.
British Standard Certified 5979/ Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC)
A manned call centre which operates 24/7, 365 days a year that reacts and responds to any lone worker that raises an alert. All certified ARC's are required to have the functionality to respond to incoming alarms and ensure the appropriate action has been taken within 60 seconds.

British Standard Certified 8484 Code of Practice Lone Worker Devices
These are the recommended rules and regulations when creating a lone worker solution device to work with an ARC.
For example:
The ability to activate, or raise the alarm discreetly.
A required standard of audio transmission to assist the assessment of the situation in order to request the correct response and avoid false alarms.

Global Positioning System (GPS)
Used to get an accurate position of the lone worker through their device using satellites.

Land Based System (LBS)
This technology is used when GPS is not available, using cell towers and Wi-Fi networks to estimate the lone workers location within a certain distance.

Man down
This is the term used to describe a worker who has raised the alarm or failed to respond to a RWC. Also known as an Amber Alert with the ARC.

Panic Alert
The lone worker has activated a panic alarm meaning they require assistance due to immediate danger, or an escalating risk to safety.

Routine Welfare Check (RWC)
A regular automated request requiring the lone worker to respond and indicate they are okay. If the welfare check is not responded to an alarm is raised so the necessary steps can be taken to assist the lone worker.


More terms and definitions will be added continually throughout the year so check back for more details and updates

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Written by Tom Atkinson

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