Protecting Social Workers in Dangerous Situations

Lone workers are often described as field workers or technicians who work in isolated places, such as Atlas Copco technicians that service commercial air compressors in boiler rooms or warehouses by themselves. By definition, a lone worker is any employee that carries out their duty in isolation without supervision. Positions such as social workers or home health workers aren’t often thought of as lone workers, but their daily duties are carried out without direct supervision from their employer, making them, by definition, lone workers. 

The danger of lone worker positions is obvious for those who work in complete isolation: if a lone worker is injured or in trouble, how will they receive help? Technology such as the WorkerSafety Pro app by Becklar can help to protect workers out in the field. The app allows supervisors to request check-ins from their employees. It is also equipped with fall detection or worker down detection in case the lone worker is unconscious and can’t answer a call or ask for help. And when in a potentially dangerous situation, the app allows the lone worker to send a silent alarm for help. 

Unrecognized Lone Worker Statistics

Social workers often find themselves placed in potentially dangerous situations without proper training or safety equipment to manage the situation (i.e., neighborhoods with high crime or interacting with angry or unstable people with the threat of verbal or physical abuse). According to a study in 2020 of 1,029 National Association of Social Workers members, 62% of social workers reported they had been victims of physical or psychological assault. That number has risen from 44% since 2004. 

The situations that social workers and home healthcare providers find themselves in can be more complex than the situations other lone workers encounter. A field technician can answer the phone or call for help when needed; social workers may not be afforded that luxury in an unpredictable, dangerous situation. Akin to bank robberies, a bank teller can’t simply reach for the phone to call for help, but they can do so secretively with a silent alarm. For social workers who find themselves in a threatening situation from an aggravated individual, it may not be possible to make or receive a call for help. Another solution is needed to get these individuals the help they need discretely. 

62% of social workers reported they had been victims of physical or psychological assault.

The WorkerSafety Pro Safety Button from Becklar

The Safety Button is a discrete way for lone workers such as social workers to call for the help they need during a dangerous situation. The Safety Button is an accessory to the WorkerSafety Pro app, available for iPhone, Android phones and Apple Watch, that allows social workers to conveniently request help without needing to access their phone or watch. The Safety Button is small and lightweight and can easily fit on a keychain without being noticed, making it ideal for discreetly signaling for help. 

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Discretely Calling For Help

If a social worker finds themselves in a situation where they are fearful for their safety and are unable to use their phone to ask for help, they can press the Becklar Safety Button. It does not emit any noise when pressed, working as a silent alarm for the WorkerSafety Pro app. By pressing the Safety Button, Becklar’s AI-powered Engage platform will call the user. If the call is not answered, this will begin the emergency protocols set up by the company. 

The emergency protocol could be to alert an emergency contact, the employer’s safety team or 24/7 event monitoring services from Becklar’s premier monitoring service provider, AvantGuard. With AvantGuard, the Engage platform would escalate the call to an operator who would immediately dispatch emergency services to the exact location of the user using advanced GPS location technology. All of this takes place the moment the user presses the button without the assailant knowing. 

Increasing Safety for Social Workers

Realizing the potentially dire situations that their state employees routinely find themselves in, a large state government has taken steps to increase the safety of their employees. By partnering with Becklar to provide their social workers with the WorkerSafety Pro app and the Safety Button, they increase employee awareness of the potential threats they may face and provide their people with the connected safety tools their need for their unique line of work.   

Equipped with the WorkerSafety Pro app and the Safety Button, social workers never have to walk alone into an unknown and potentially dangerous situation. Contact us to schedule a demo to learn how our solutions can help better protect your workers in dangerous environments.