Keeping field service employees safe is no small feat. And it’s a bigger problem than you might imagine.
The National Safety Council published that almost 70% of organizations reported a safety incident involving someone working by themselves, with one in every five incidents described as “quite or very severe.”
Employers have a legal and ethical duty to keep their workers as secure as possible, and the majority of workplaces take this obligation seriously. But many companies lack the basic tools for field service safety, including the right tools to respond to critical events.
Why Modern Communication Tools are Vital for Field Service Safety
Dennis A. Davis, an expert in workplace violence prevention, recently revealed that 43% of workers who are threatened on the job never report or mention their incidents. These are, in most cases, not idle threats. Nearly a quarter of this group has experienced hand-on violence.
Tools that enable field service workers to quickly and efficiently notify you of danger can improve outcomes for these employees, and go a long way in reducing response times. Fortunately, better communication and visibility are entirely possible with communication apps that work on field service employees’ personal or work phones.
These new tools address the key shortcomings of traditional field service communications, including:
- Potentially unsafe environments: Field service activities often take place in unfamiliar or potentially hazardous environments, such as construction sites, remote locations, or customers’ homes. In addition, the unpredictability of the work environment comes with risks beyond an organization’s control, such as criminal activity and natural disasters. Therefore, ensuring real-time visibility over employees will improve emergency response times and their safety.
- Communication Delays: With team members scattered across various locations that sometimes span vast geographies, the communication challenge becomes more pronounced. Delays in relaying crucial information can have far-reaching consequences, especially in emergencies.
Considering the current workplace violence stats and that close to 60% of frontline workers feel the threat of physical harm is on the rise, better addressing workers’ safety is non-negotiable.
It’s not just the right thing to do; it’s the right thing to do for business. An Achievers Workforce Institute report shows that respondents are 79% more likely to stay with an employer that makes them feel supported than take a job where they don’t feel as valued but get paid 30% more.
The Critical Event Management Software Features That Make Field Services Safer
Your field service team needs a digital guardian angel to facilitate immediate communication during times of crisis. The patchwork of calls or group texts between dispatch and workers that field organizations typically rely on is prone to delays and miscommunications. That’s why Critical Event Management (CEM) mobile software has emerged as a true lifesaver.
The best CEM platforms enable organizations to effectively manage critical events with:
- Workforce visibility: Understanding workers’ locations allows organizations to better coordinate resources, provide guidance, and support them in times of need.
- Instant communication: A critical event management platform provides a direct channel for real-time communications, ensuring that vital information reaches the right people instantaneously. Whether it’s a safety concern, a sudden change in the project scope, or a power outage, CEM acts as the bridge that connects your team and ensures everyone is on the same page.
- Proactive risk management: Beyond reacting immediately to the needs of your employees, CEM empowers you to manage risks proactively. It helps you stay ahead of potential issues (i.e. severe weather, fires, road safety issues, criminal activity), allowing you to identify and address them before they escalate into critical events. This proactive approach not only reduces risk but also saves valuable time and resources.
- Targeted group messages: Sending mass notifications tailored to specific groups of employees saves significant time while avoiding messaging fatigue that stops workers from paying attention to your messages. The critical events management tool should allow you to send groups messages based on location, role, or proximity to potential threats to ensure your messages reach the right people without overburdening your dispatcher or team leader.
- Messaging flexibility: Some info may be essential but not urgent. A CEM that allows you to set different levels of messaging importance, ensures field service workers can prioritize message responses.
With the right CEM, your communication benefits will extend well beyond employee safety. For instance, suppose you need to know which team members are in a specific area. Since the CEM is built to target employees in specific areas, you’ll have employee location information at your fingertips, allowing you to send backup or additional resources quickly. Whether you need to dispatch a team to a new location or update assignments, a comprehensive CEM tool gives you all the relevant insight to make informed decisions swiftly.
CEM Considerations for Lone Worker Safety
In some sectors or for specific jobs, an employee may have to go on the field alone. Tragically, nearly one in five lone workers struggled to get help after an accident. As such, immediate and reliable communication for lone workers can’t be overstated.
Ensure the CEM vendor you’re considering offers bidirectional crisis communication. This feature set guarantees a lone worker is never truly alone with:
- Alerting management: The CEM should enable workers to easily send alerts to management when they’re in distress or at risk. This shouldn’t require a worker to call or text dispatch when time is precious. Instead, alerts should act as a lifeline that they can access with ease, even in the most challenging situations.
- Rapid responses: When workers send alerts, management should be notified immediately. This crucial communication link reduces incident response times and can save lives.
How TRUCE Enhances Field Service Safety While Streamlining Your Operations
By going the extra mile to keep your employees safe, they’ll feel valued, boosting morale and retention while making your organization appealing to potential recruits. As such, a robust CEM platform can be an invaluable asset in your business continuity planning.
As you evaluate critical event management software, it all boils down to finding a vendor that suits your unique needs. This is where TRUCE comes into play. Our CEM solution is designed for the unique needs of field services companies.
TRUCE takes critical event management to the next level by incorporating lone worker safety and day-to-day communication, making it an integral part of your team’s daily work. Our mobile solution provides everything you need in one tool — even limiting distracted driving for field workers.
Ready to discover how TRUCE can transform your field services operations? Get TRUCE today and take the first step towards a safer, more efficient workforce with top-notch field service management solutions. It’s time to bring your team the support and communication they deserve.