Lone worker monitoring options on the market

This guide helps you to assess the different lone worker monitoring options available on the market. This is influenced by how you wish to respond to emergency alerts, your business structure, the risks your lone workers are exposed to and where they lone work.

July 31, 2023
Image of forestry surveyor lone working in forest.

There is no one size fits all so here’s a summary of the 3 different lone worker monitoring options on the market to help assess what is best for your business.

Option 1. Self managed by managers and colleagues

This option provides you with an online management portal so you can view your lone workers and their activity in real time. You should have access to administer users and generate usage reports. Usually administration and monitoring is undertaken by nominated desk-based staff who are fully trained on the system. Typically you’ll only monitor the workers that are actively lone working.

Alert notifications are sent to pre-defined contacts such as managers, team leaders or other colleagues if a lone worker becomes overdue, requires assistance or sends an SOS alert. Usually overdue and assistance required notifications are handled internally whereas SOS alerts involve the emergency services. Your lone working procedures support the lone working system and should include how to escalate overdue, assistance required and SOS notifications.

This set up works well for lone workers working in remote locations, when local knowledge of the terrain is important in the event of an incident, and potentially other lone working colleagues could be in close proximity to be first on-site to provide help.

Understand outdoor lone worker risks

The benefits of this option

  • You keep full control of your lone worker protection.

  • You can provide a bespoke response to notifications appropriate to your business.

  • It is a cost-effective choice.

Option 2. Self managed using your in-house security centre

This alternative operates in a similar way to above however the lone worker monitoring is undertaken by your in-house security or control centre. You may wish for notifications to be issued to managers and team leaders as well as the control centre personnel to keep everyone informed.

The benefits of this option

  • You keep full control of your lone worker protection.

  • You utilise the security resources you already have in-house.

  • You can provide a bespoke response to notifications appropriate to your business.

  • It is a cost-effective choice.

Option 3. Outsource emergency alerts to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC)

The difference here is that the ARC call centre operators will handle emergency notifications for you and follow your pre-defined escalation procedures. You will still need to provide input to an emergency situation as ultimately you are responsible for your lone workers. Usually the ARC will contact a manager to advise of the incident and to consult on your escalation procedures.

Some ARC based lone worker monitoring systems provide an online portal so you can administer and monitor your lone workers and their activity in real time as per Options 1 and 2 above and some don’t. In these cases you will only be informed if the ARC receives an emergency notification, you will not have the functionality to check your lone workers are OK.

You should check that the Alarm Receiving Centre is BS8484 (British Standard for Lone Worker Protection) accredited and if you have lone workers operating “out of hours” that a 24/7 service is available. This option brings an additional cost element.

The benefits of this option

  • If you need a fast response to prevent escalation of an incident, for example, aggression from a third party.

  • If you have a high volume of lone workers working with the public.


To summarise, the choice is between having access to a self managed online portal or not AND whether you want to handle the emergency response in-house or outsource the initial call handling to an alarm call centre.

Whichever lone worker monitoring option you choose your lone working and escalation procedures are a vital component to ensure everyone knows what to do in a crisis. Also remember to ask about training, resources and ongoing support which are necessary to provide confidence in the system and encourage user adoption.

In addition, adopting a lone worker monitoring system requires commitment from the top and significantly improves long term success.

How does the Trackplot system work?

Trackplot is a self-managed system including an online, interactive platform available 24/7 to manage your lone workers. You can choose to set up Notifications to managers and colleagues as in Option 1 or to incorporate your in-house control centre as in Option 2. All Reminders and Notifications are sent via SMS, email or via a voice call to your lone workers and their Notification Contacts. SOS Notifications are handled by a dedicated alarm centre which is in direct contact with the emergency services.

We provide guidance on your lone working procedures and your escalation procedures. Three distinct training courses are available – for Lone Workers, Administrators and Notification Contacts. You will have access to customer support, to handle all your queries however simple or complex, and monthly usage reports to assess usage and frequency for compliance reporting and to identify training needs.

You'd like to speak with us?

Trackplot's team are here to help – to discuss your lone working requirements or to give advice and customer support.

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