A strange man breaks in when your employee is on a job site. What happens next?
Business owner and professional cleaner Amy Landers narrowly escaped a situation just like this. Her gut told her to leave, and she darted out of the nearest exit.
Landers highlighted the urgent need to bring awareness to frontline worker safety in a recent discussion with Chad Howell from TRUCE Software, and Jeff Cross, editor of ISSA, the leading professional organization for businesses in cleaning, maintenance, and facilities.
This Happened to Me, and It’s “Horrifyingly Common”
Landers has over 376,000 TikTok Followers, some of whom have shared similar stories. Scary, challenging, and awkward encounters are par for the course for frontline and lone workers.
While lone workers in certain industries, such as oil and gas, have more regulatory coverage and mandatory processes to protect them from harm, other industries do not, explained Howell. Many field services workers are only covered by OSHA’s general duty clause.
This clause vaguely requires companies to provide work environments “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”
Because frontline workers travel to unpredictable and new work environments, and deal with the public, so much can happen outside the scope of the general duty clause.
This is why TRUCE is making sure that all industries can find solutions to protect remote, frontline, and lone workers. In fact, these solutions live on the devices employees already use every day: their phones.
Mobile Device Technology and Remote Worker Safety
TRUCE Connected Worker Solutions allows businesses to monitor employee safety out in the field. The software includes an app for employees as well as an administrative dashboard for supervisors.
Inside the platform, safety becomes part of everyday procedure. Employees are prompted to report risks and concerns, and the system helps escalate reported issues to the proper contacts on duty. Locations are logged in case of emergency.
Supervisors can also easily send out urgent notifications to specific groups. In addition to safety features of TRUCE, Howell explained the operational benefits – such as coordinating supplies and personnel, and general work communications.
“Zero Excuses” Not to Have Lone Worker Safety Solutions
Landers stressed that employers have a duty of care. She recommends team training and implementing an easy lone worker app like TRUCE because, as she put it, these situations are “horrifyingly common.”
For example, one of her followers revealed that when she cleaned homes she brought a dog to protect her from being attacked. Another follower commented that predators tried to sneak in when she cleaned hotel room.
Frontline Workers Speak Out
The honesty in Landers’ social media community is something she is proud of. “Things that happen in your surroundings, you may not realize that it’s unacceptable… We let everyone know that it’s not normal behavior. You need to drop this client.”
They have shared sensitive scenarios in the hopes that talking openly will raise awareness and even save someone’s life.