When we think of lone worker protection, we often think of those who work alone in industrial settings—oil field, mines, etc.—or those who work night shifts alone. Drivers, however, represent a large block of lone workers as well. Their trade requires working alone, sometimes for long hours, and often in remote areas. Lone drivers—be they cross country truckers, taxi or ride sharing driver, local delivery drivers or any other kind of driver that typically travels without a colleague—face safety dangers from a variety of different sources.
Most organizations, particularly those who are responsible for fleets of drivers, have an array of lone worker protections implemented into their operations, including vehicle trackers, fleet tracking systems, on-board cameras that can be reviewed remotely, and enterprise systems that measure the speed and location of a vehicle at any certain moment. While all of these safety precautions are needed and welcome, the reality is that they protect the vehicle—not the driver.
The following issues, while common, are generally not accounted for when considering driver safety:
Not only are lone drivers working alone, they are never in the same place for long. In more static lone working environments, organizations can take steps to make the area safer. With drivers, organizations have little to no control over the environments in which they operate. This enhances the potential for dangerous situations. And while certain trackers can show where a driver is at any given moment, there is rarely someone keeping tabs on drivers at all times. This creates an environment in which drivers are more susceptible to danger than most other lone workers.
Read more: What to look for in lone worker safety devices.
Drivers can become targets if they are carrying valuable goods, and with the holiday season in full force, many drivers are doing just that. We’ve all seen the Brinks truck drivers. They are generally armed with a weapon, and the truck itself resembles a bank vault. But what about a normal delivery driver taking holiday presents from point A to point B? The typical delivery driver is rarely armed and rarely trained in what to do if they are held up or robbed. Criminals know this, making these drivers a ripe target.
What happens when a driver is on the road, perhaps in a remote location, and they have a health emergency like a heart attack? A vehicle tracker won’t be able to call for help or alert a colleague. And if the health emergency happens while on the road, there’s little chance the driver will be able to call for help in time. Health emergencies are another example of where vehicle tracking fails to consider the person driving the vehicle.
The weather outside—especially during the holidays—can be frightful. And no matter how skilled the driver, Mother Nature always wins. In a perfect world, no one would drive during weather events. But in reality, packages must get to their destination—and on time. As the US Post Office says, “through rain, sleet or snow.” But what happens when a driver gets in an accident? Will there be anyone there to call for help? If the accident happens in a crowded part of town, there will be people around. But what if a driver careens off the road on a desolate stretch of highway in the middle of the night?
The above issues, though far from compressive, demonstrate the need for more driver-centric lone worker protection devices. As companies with fleets and drivers are gearing up for the holiday rush, they’re checking vehicles, making sure they are in working order and getting everything ready. The safety of the drivers themselves though, might not be top of mind. For organizations that want to protect their drivers as well as their vehicles, there are some great options out there, including the SolusGuard panic button and lone worker safety suite.
With the SolusGuard solution, drivers have a virtual lifeline to depend on in the event of an emergency. The wearable panic button is always within reach and will automatically alert pre-set contacts and dial 911. And with GPS positioning, the location of the driver in trouble will be viewable by all, allowing for help to come quicker. Additionally, SolusGuard’s check-in/check-out function allows drivers to log their whereabouts before and after each route, helping dispatchers stay on top of driver safety. Drivers deserve the same kind of protection that it afforded to the vehicles they use. With SolusGuard, they’ll get it.
To learn more about the SolusGuard solution for drivers, contact us today.