Considerations when Choosing a Lone Worker Monitoring System

As an employer you are liable for all your workers when they are working for you, including employees, self employed workers and contractors. You have a duty of care and you must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (in the worst case scenarios).

You need to ensure the lone worker solution you choose has been designed for commercial use and specifically to keep lone workers safe. Beware there are consumer offerings available for individuals, typically undertaking adventure trips or extreme leisure pursuits such as mountaineering, kayaking, hiking. They are not designed for monitoring lone workers and the different types of risk lone workers may be exposed to. The locations in which your lone workers operate, the tasks they perform and the types of risks they are exposed to will all inform your choice of solution. Outdoor lone workers in rural and isolated locations may have no, poor or unreliable mobile phone reception in the locations they work and they will need a different solution to urban lone workers with access to a strong, reliable mobile phone signal.

There are two main types of risk that lone workers can be exposed to –

1) People-based risks such as aggression from members of the public or

2) Environmental based risks such as difficult terrain and harsh weather conditions whilst working in hazardous or remote locations. If an incident occurs the situation is inherently more dangerous due to their environment. All these factors will inform the response that is
needed in an emergency situation and will influence what is the best solution for you.

What is Trackplot Mobile?

Trackplot Mobile, our lone worker app package, is a simple and convenient way for lone workers to keep in touch. This option uses the mobile phone network. If your lone workers have access to strong, reliable mobile phone reception in the locations where they work then they can use Trackplot Mobile.

Trackplot Mobile is a stand-alone package and can be downloaded to both iPhone and Android devices. The lone worker safety app is also included as part of the Trackplot World package, which is the recommended option for outdoor lone workers that have no, poor or unreliable mobile phone reception.

More about the Trackplot system

Trackplot is a lone worker monitoring solution designed for people who work alone outdoors, especially those working in isolated, remote or hazardous locations.

Based in Edinburgh, Trackplot has customers located across the length and breadth of the UK relying on its robust system every day. The lone workers we protect include bridge inspectors, pest control specialists, gamekeepers, environmental engineers, TV location managers, timber harvesters and hauliers to hydropower planners.

Trackplot is a lone worker solution developed specifically for outdoor lone workers. We bring peace of mind, ensuring lone workers come home safe and well each day.

At the heart of the system is the Trackplot Portal, our interactive online platform, where you monitor your lone workers in real-time. The Portal uses Ordnance Survey mapping and integrates with the mobile phone network and the Trackplot Mobile app, satellite communication technology and the latest lone worker GPS devices. In the Portal you monitor the location, activity and safety of your lone workers; set up processes and escalation procedures; and reporting. We have applied over 50 years experience in GPS technology, mapping and software development to design this platform.

How you use the system

The system has a series of Event Messages and Notifications embedded so that the status of your lone workers can be monitored at any time. Your lone workers will have pre-agreed ‘Check- in’ times and will use one of the many methods, including Trackplot Mobile app or GPS device, to Check-in at regular intervals throughout the day to confirm they are safe. Once Checked-in, each lone worker is constantly monitored until they Check-out at the end of their working day. Our system is designed to remind a lone worker if they miss a Check-in time and to alert their Contacts if they fail to respond. This triggers your organisation’s escalation procedure to ensure the overdue lone worker is located quickly.

We are often asked what happens if a lone worker is unconscious and is unable to Check-in. They will become overdue and this results in alerts being sent to their Contacts, who will start your company’s escalation process.

Endorsements from our customers

Our customers come first. We are customer focused in everything we do. Here are personal stories from two of our customers who trust Trackplot to protect their lone workers each day.

Perth & Kinross Council

Remote and mountainous Perth & Kinross is sparsely populated yet busy with substantial rural through-traffic between central Scotland and the Highlands. Emergency inspections need to be carried out at any time of day or night, often in hazardous conditions and rugged environments, frequently by lone workers.

The business critical issue:

Lone workers in the specialist bridge inspections team operate daily across the wide Council area, often in areas with very limited mobile phone signal.

The Head of the Structures & Flooding Team at Perth & Kinross Council advised, “As a regulated public authority, the Council takes the welfare and security of staff very seriously. Thanks to the lone worker safety solution provided by Trackplot we can carry out our operations with the peace of mind that support is always on hand in case of an emergency.”

How Trackplot helped:

The Trackplot system was set up to the bridge inspections team requirements enabling their lone workers to Check-in, Track themselves and Check-out at the end of each day. The Trackplot Mobile App enabled the team to customise functions for their specific work activities.

Once successfully implemented, the Trackplot system was then rolled out to the projects team and the structures and flooding team, whose team members also frequently lone work in remote locations. Each team was set up with their own notifications protocols and their line managers given access to the Trackplot Portal to enable daily monitor of each employee out in the field.

“Trackplot’s monitoring and alert system contributes significantly to our procedure in helping to keep our lone working and paired staff safe, particularly in remote areas where there is no mobile network coverage. Trackplot have tailored the alert and monitoring system to our needs and users can be secure in the knowledge that they have the means of requesting assistance with their location accurately identified, moreover, they have the peace of mind that if they do not check-in at specific times that this will be alerted to managers/additional support staff.”  

Structures & Flooding Team, Perth & Kinross Council


McGowan Environmental Engineering Ltd

McGowan specialises in environmental engineering and employees frequently work in remote, rural locations and chose the Trackplot system to keep staff safe.

The business critical issue:

The SOS alarm was raised at 09.53 by a group of McGowan employees, who were working in a remote part of the company site, when they unfortunately discovered the body of a missing walker from the local area.

 “McGowan Environmental Engineering Ltd work frequently in remote, rural locations and to safeguard our employees we use Trackplot. On the 10th Oct 2019 the SOS button was activated by an employee on a remote Peatland Restoration Site near Roy Bridge (Highland). Within 15 minutes an emergency services helicopter was on-site and recovered the body of a deceased walker.”

Ross Smith, Director,  McGowan Environmental Engineering Ltd

How Trackplot helped:

On raising the alarm the SOS escalation procedure began. By 10.01 GEOS (Global Emergency Operating System) in Houston, USA received the SOS message by satellite into their secure call centre. The call centre established that the location of the SOS was in the UK and despatched an alert to ARCC (Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre) to start the emergency response. In tandem whilst this was happening the call centre also contacted the nominated Emergency Contacts at McGowan Ltd to verify if the SOS was real or a false alarm.

On confirmation that this was a true SOS further details were gathered to brief the emergency services as fully as possible of the situation. Approximately 15 minutes after the SOS alarm was raised a helicopter landed on-site supported by the police.


Choosing the right solution

Understanding the Trackplot options

Contact us today to book a call with our experienced team to find out how we can support your lone workers.

T   0131 513 9571 E