BS 8484:2016 Provision of lone worker services
Like all British Standards BS8484 was introduced to set a strict code of practice. BS8484:2016 is for the provision of Lone Worker services.
BS8484 was developed mid 2000’s to improve the quality of companies providing lone worker services and therefore reduce the number of police responses to false alarms.
The standard has been through several revisions to attempt to keep up with technological developments.
As with all benchmarks, the criteria defined are only for the envisaged service. BS8484 was fundamentally developed to improve the quality and use of Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) to reduce police response to unnecessary alarms.
BS848:2016 is excellent for setting the standards for the more excepted, higher risk, lone working where ARC’s, 24/7 monitoring, direct police response, two-way coms is essential.
Unluckily this, at times, seems at odds with most modern lone worker roles, that are lower risk. Where potentially simpler, lighter touch reassurance and duty of care is the core requirement.
In a recent Grant Thornton white paper, a Senior member of a more traditional system provider is quoted as saying
“The ‘official’ definition of lone worker numbers in the UK is 6-7m. This a bit ridiculous as it includes sole traders and low risk workers such as middle management. I believe the ‘real’ market to be between 1.5 and 2m workers”.
We at MyTeamSafe agree with this statement, up to a point.
They are correct there are probably 1.5 to 2m, higher risk lone workers, where standalone hardware, 24/7 ARC monitoring, police response and BS848:2016 is absolutely critical. BUT someone working on their own, is still a lone worker and they are still exposed to risks, even if greatly reduced. These 5 million ‘ignored’ workers must not be forgotten, just because they don’t fit into a pre-defined standard of traditional lone worker services.
MyTeamSafe was specifically developed for lower risk Lone Workers. A simple, self-managed, automated, cost effective solution that at its heart meets the real everyday needs of people that work on their own and the organisation as a whole.
At the moment this strategy precludes MyTeamSafe for gaining BS8484:2016 accreditation. Even with the latest BS revision, mobile operating system developments and restrictions move faster than the standard. For instance, it’s still not possible for Apple iOS to meet the BS standard, so those claiming their apps do are misleading.
Functions like automated two-communication to an ARC is a good feature but there are so many points of failure in devices, data speed and signal strengths that is this a reliable fundamental day-to-day requirement ?… when you’re already using a mobile phone!
MyTeamSafe are not saying the BS8484:2016 is unnecessary, it is critical in certain environments.
What MyTeamSafe are doing is standing up for the too often ignored lower risk lone worker. Ensuring that there is a high quality, robust solution that meets day-to-day needs and removes that barrier to safety – cost!
We are being upfront, MyTeamSafe is not the ideal solution if you have consistent high risk lone workers, but we are the perfect for the rest.
Some organisations only have high risk or lower risk lone workers but many have a mix. Gone are the days where there is only a one size fits all option.
It's also worth noting that just because MyTeamSafe doesn’t have BS8484:2016 accreditation it doesn’t mean our solution is somehow of a lower standard. It means that we haven’t included every single criteria defined in the standard simply to gain accreditation.
Like with all “exams” you only need to answer the questions set to pass but it doesn’t mean you’re an expert in the subject.
MyTeamSafe have focused on core features and values, many of which aren’t defined in the BS standard. Our functionality and standards are driven by feedback from all our customers, across many sectors and countries.
As you may have gathered, MyTeamSafe has not focused on meeting a BS standard simply to tick a box. But this doesn’t mean that we don’t believe in the true values of BS8484 :2016.
To this end we have been working with Patrick Dealtry, who curated the current standard, to ensure the functionality we provide meets or exceeds values of the code of practice. Even though the MyTeamSafe app doesn’t meet all the criteria, to enable accreditation.
The bottom line; BS8484:2016 is the definitive standard, if your Organisation’s requirements demand every element.
There are a wide range of views of this standard but the BSI summary can be found here; https://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030322702
(The actual document is an interesting, if expensive, read. So don’t worry it’s a technical document that only service providers need).
If you want to see MyTeamSafe’s simple but flexible approach to protecting lone workers and organisations then watch our demo video here …. http://content.myteamsafe.com/myteamsafe-demo-video/