Digital two way radios are a vital tool for keeping members of staff in constant communication. Even when working in a large team, employees may find themselves working alone. In some industries, workers may find themselves working in remote locations without direct supervision. In these situations there is usually no other workers around to provide risk assessments or to help in an emergency situation. In these instances, two way radios can become much more than communication devices, but an important device that ensures workers safety. The additional functions that can be added to some radios are the Lone Worker and Man Down functions that turn these communication devices into potentially life saving tools. 

What is Lone Worker function?

The Lone Worker function, also known as Lone Worker Alarm is a quick, simple and efficient method of ensuring all workers safety. This function allows for supervisors to get updates on the workers safety at regular intervals. At a selected time interval the worker’s radio will beep, prompting the worker to press the push-to-talk button to signify they are safe and well. However, if the worker does not press the push-to-talk button within a certain time period when promoted, an alarm will be sent to their supervisor to alert them of their emergency status. 

Which radios can support the Lone Worker function?

The answer is most digital two way radios. However, the Lone Worker function would need to be set up by your radio supplier when radio programming.

lone worker




Man Down Functions

The Man Down function is another fast and efficient way of alerting supervisors on the safety of the workers. This function works through using a tilt-switch which is effectively a motion sensor. The motion sensor sends an alarm to supervisors when:

  • The radio holder is moving more than what is considered normal for their job
  • The radio user is not moving at all
  • The radio user is positioned in an unusual angle for a period of time 

To prevent false alarms and to compensate for the tilt-switch picking up on non-emergency situations, the two way radio will send an alert to the radio holder to signify that the alarm will be sent out to the supervisors. This gives the radio holder the option to disarm the alert if no assistance is required.

Another benefit of the Man Down function is that it can sometimes be configured to automatically open the mic and communicate what is happening in the radio’s surroundings to other radio users. This can be vital in an emergency situation when a worker needs to talk to other workers, but is unable to use the push-to-talk button. 

Which radios can support the Man Down function?

The man down function generally is only supported by middle to high tier digital two way radios. .  

Using these functions not only gives the workers peace of mind that their safety is being monitored even when they are working alone, but it also mitigates HSE fines by showing that the business is taking precautions to keep their employees safe. 

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