Our Frequently Asked Questions address questions regularly asked to give you more in-depth information about our system and how it works. If you have a question we've not covered please do get in touch.
- What is a lone worker?
A lone worker is someone who works alone without close or direct supervision. It is estimated that 22% of workers in the UK work alone and the industries and situations lone workers are in are wide ranging; some examples are:
- outdoor workers such as foresters, gamekeepers, gardeners, ecologists, haulage drivers
- commercial workers such as estate agents and sales representatives
- community workers such as district nurses, social workers, community workers, housing officers
- Why should I have a lone worker solution?
Employers have responsibility for the health, safety and welfare of all of their employees whilst at work. This includes self employed people and contractors who may be affected by work activities.
With the burgeoning and tightening of Health & Safety regulations and the increasing number of prosecutions undertaken by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) it is imperative employers prioritise Health & Safety in the workplace.
A complete lone worker monitoring system fit for your work requirements will help you to comply with the law, improving working conditions and safety immediately.
For more information see:
HSE: Lone workers – how employers should protect them
HSE: Lone workers – your health and safety
- What is GPS and how does it work?
The Global Positioning System, also known as GPS, is a satellite-based navigation system consisting of a large constellation of satellites, many of which are visible to the user at any one time. Once your GPS Device has obtained a position this information is then transmitted to a low earth orbiting communication satellite. This in turn will relay the message via a Ground Receiving Station to the Trackplot Portal.
For more information see:
NASA: How does GPS work
Official US government information about the Global Positioning System
What is GPS?
4. How accurate is GPS?
The accuracy of GPS depends on the environment in which you are working. GPS satellites broadcast their signals in space with a certain accuracy, but what you receive depends on additional factors, including satellite geometry, signal blockage, atmospheric conditions, and the design features and quality of the GPS receiver. For this purpose, which is to locate a lone worker in an emergency, any accuracy you achieve which will be in metres, which is more than enough for the emergency services to locate your lone worker and assess the most appropriate response for the environment.
Trackplot specific FAQs
- Why choose Trackplot for my lone workers?
Trackplot is the preferred lone working solution for those who work outdoors. Using satellite based GPS technology the Trackplot system offers a range of different communication methods and does not need mobile phone reception to work. We specifically designed the system to keep remote lone workers safe, especially those who work in rural industries and isolated areas such as forestry, estates and local authorities, beyond the reach of mobile networks. It allows people who work alone to keep in touch wherever they are.
It’s proven, reliable and robust. Integral to Trackplot’s all-inclusive solution is a system of notifications, a check-in and check-out facility and alerts. The system captures each lone worker’s details, positioning and emergency contact information to enable a swift response in an emergency. In addition, the Trackplot Portal has an automatic escalation procedure which, in the event that the lone worker is incapacitated, allows the alarm still to be raised. As a genuine and complete lone worker monitoring system Trackplot can be used to schedule and monitor progress of tasks across your lone worker team, bringing cost, operational and management efficiencies to your business.
- What is the Trackplot System?
The Trackplot system is a complete lone worker monitoring solution comprising the Trackplot Portal, a web-based interactive platform, which integrates with the latest GPS devices, Trackplot Mobile app, Ordnance Survey mapping and satellite communication technology. The carefully thought through workflow provides flexible monitoring and notification periods, with automatic alerts if the lone worker is overdue or requires assistance. Your lone workers will have pre-agreed ‘Check- in’ times and will use one of the many methods, including GPS Device or Trackplot Mobile app, to Check-in at regular intervals and Check-out at the end of their working day.
Once Checked-in, each lone worker is constantly monitored to ensure they are safe. The Trackplot Portal keeps authorised managers informed by notifications via email, text messaging and phone. If a lone worker is running late and overdue they can advise they are OK. If a lone worker misses an agreed Check-in time then this is escalated, following an agreed procedure. Typically the worker’s emergency contacts are notified to ensure the lone worker is found as soon as possible.
- What is the Trackplot Portal?
The Trackplot Portal is the control and command centre at the heart of the Trackplot lone worker monitoring solution. In the Portal you monitor the location, activity and safety of your workforce in real time throughout the day; 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 unique online interactive platform.
- How does the GPS Device work?
The GPS Device is one part of the Global Positioning System (see FAQ number 3) and, combined with accurate Ordnance Survey mapping in the Trackplot Portal, enables each lone worker’s location to be found. It works across the whole of the UK and beyond including all remote areas. The functions on the GPS Device allow you to ‘Check-in’, ‘Check-out’, Track, Request Assistance and Request an SOS response in an emergency situation.
- Why would I use the Trackplot App?
There are different methods to Check-in and Check-out including GPS Device, landline, text message, computer, laptop or tablet using the Trackplot Portal or Mobile app (available on Android and iPhone).
We have made the system easy for users when out in the field. Our Mobile app complements the GPS Device as it can be used when lone workers have mobile phone reception. This flexibility allows for the GPS Device to be used when you are lone working in a remote area and have no mobile phone coverage, and for convenience, you can switch to using the Mobile app when you have reliable mobile signal.
- Why would I use the Track function?
This function creates a “snail-trail” at 10 minute intervals along your route. Particularly useful for hazardous or remote environments to provide regular accurate positioning if you move across longer distances as you work. It enables easy location if a lone worker becomes overdue or requests assistance.
- How do I request assistance?
The Assist button is available on both the GPS Device and the Mobile app. It is for use in non-emergency situations where help is required such as a vehicle breakdown or a minor injury which is not life threatening. The Assist button enables workers to make their status known quickly and easily to their contacts, to ensure their location is found and help is provided.
- What happens in an SOS emergency?
The SOS button on the GPS Device is for life threatening, emergency situations which require urgent and immediate help. In an SOS emergency, even in remote regions, a lone worker is able to raise the alarm to rapidly locate their position. It does NOT need mobile phone reception to work.
Depending on the lone worker’s location, the UK rescue co-ordination centre will decide upon the most appropriate emergency service to be deployed, which may be mountain rescue, coast guard, ambulance service for example.
To read more on how the SOS button can work in real time, then click here to read our SOS case study.
- What is the likely cost?
That depends on your circumstances and what you are looking for. To discuss your business requirements please do get in touch with our sales team, firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0131 513 9571