Protecting Your Lone Worker

Safety and protecting workers is key in any segment of the construction industry—but this especially true in remote locations and those who are doing minor repair work alone. Protecting these workers will be essential, and there is technology to help.

According to a new research report from Berg Insight, the market for lone worker protection solutions and services in Europe and North America is forecasted to grow from $121 million in 2016 to about $260 million in 2021.

Market drivers include occupational safety regulations, increasing employee insurance costs, and higher awareness of risks that lone workers can face. A growing number of countries are adopting regulations that specifically address the safety of lone workers.

Some subcontractors do work independently. For instance, some roofers do minor repairs alone, as do some electrical workers and utility workers. Keeping them safe will be critical. This is where technology enters the equation.

Lone workers rely primarily on dedicated GPS location devices featuring alarm buttons or smartphone apps to send alarms. The app segment grew rapidly in 2016, and is currently growing faster than the device segment. Enforcement of legislation in Western Europe and pockets of North America is expanding, resulting in many greenfield customers adopting lone worker safety solutions, especially within the private sector. Dedicated devices and smartphone apps are likely to coexist on the market for lone worker protection services due to the broad spectrum of risks across different jobs involving working alone.

The penetration of lone worker protection services based on monitored lone worker devices and smartphone apps remains very low in Europe and North America, an estimated 2% at the end of 2016.

Even in leading markets like the U.K., the penetration of monitored services has only reached about 5% of the total workforce of lone workers. The development in lone worker protection solutions can help a number of contractors stay safe when doing all types of jobs.

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