A New Approach
Since its emergence in the early 2000s, the lone worker safety world, in common with most technology sectors, has evolved. New lone worker devices and supporting solutions are released continually, with existing technologies being constantly improved and upgraded. Every so often, though, something comes along that challenges and resets basic principles. Body-worn video is one such technology.
Clearly, body-worn video technology brings a visual dimension to lone worker safety incidents, opening up a wide range of new possibilities, but there’s a more subtle way in which this technology subverts the existing order.
Overt and Obvious
For many years, lone worker devices have been designed to be discreet, both in their form factor and in operation, a great example being the Reliance Protect ID Badge. Lone workers can enjoy the benefits of the protection they offer without potential aggressors being aware that a safety device is in play.
Body-worn video devices, however, are typically overt, designed specifically to be obvious, to deter potential aggressors from launching a verbal or physical assault. A recent NHS study on mental health in-patient settings demonstrated how effective this can be, with patients and staff citing benefits including reductions in incidents of aggression, increased respect for staff, more accurate recording of situations, clarification of potentially unjust accusations and improved feelings of safety for everyone.
The Visual Dimension
The most obvious additional benefit offered by body-worn video devices is of course the visual aspect. When alarms are raised, lone worker devices provide an audio link with the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) often along with GPS tracking; with body-worn video devices, the ARC can also receive a live video stream.
With this additional information, ARC alarm-handling operators can make better-informed decisions more rapidly when deciding how incidents should be handled. Such video information can also be invaluable for client organisations for staff training, and as crucial evidence in post-incident investigations and prosecutions.
Devices and Services
Various device types are available, each suitable for particular applications. Some simply record high-definition video which can later be uploaded to a Video Management System (VMS) for review and analysis, post-incident.
Others, as well as providing such a recording facility, can also stream the video back, live, to the client organisation – perhaps to a central security or Health and Safety office, or indeed to mobile staff. Able to view the live stream on desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets with an internet connection, staff can assess and respond to events in real time.
Alternatively, the organisation may opt for a fully monitored service, with video streamed to their lone worker safety provider’s ARC, where incidents can be managed and resolved swiftly, safely and effectively without the need for in-house resources or expertise.
Video may be streamed over WiFi or a 4G mobile connection, using a device with a built-in 4G module or by tethering to a smartphone with such connectivity. This allows body worn video devices with live streaming to be utilised both in on-site applications such as retail and Accident and Emergency departments, and also in mobile, field-based applications such as law enforcement.
Already well proven by police forces around the world, as devices become smaller, lighter and more user-friendly, body-worn video technology is attracting keen interest in various sectors, including healthcare, retail, public transport, hospitality, local government, debt collection and public event management.
Reliance Protect devotes considerable resources to assessing and understanding new lone worker safety technologies and the benefits they can offer. Contact us today to discover how body-worn video could enhance your lone worker safety through our all-inclusive, managed, fixed-fee lone worker safety solutions. Call 0800 840 7121 or email email@example.com.