What is a Lone Worker Device?

What is a Lone Worker Device?

As digital and two-way radios become more and more vital for teams across a variety of organisations, the work carried out can differ. Often, employees can find themselves working independently or even on-site alone. Two-way and digital radios are designed to keep both staff and visitors safe. 

The purpose of a lone worker device is for your employer to keep you safe within a team, as well as the staff who work alone. As there are more and exclusive risks with working alone, the lone worker device is an essential tool to keep you away from these risks.

What is a Lone Worker Device?

A lone worker safety device is a discreet and undetectable tool which allows for communication with employers and emergency services.

The devices themselves are usually radio systems such as two-way walkie talkie, but can also be much more discreet devices in the form of an earpiece or an app.

Lone Worker Safety

Within your team or organisation, working alone is completely legal and is usually safe to do so. Your company should have carried out a risk assessment before placing you in a situation where you would be working independently. 

For an idea of what you need for your business or site, read our blog on lone worker radio systems for construction workers, here

two way radio

Lone Worker Function

The Lone Worker function, also known as a Lone Worker Alarm is designed with solo workers in mind. It is an efficient, simple and quick way of ensuring the safety of workers throughout the working day. This function will provide managers and supervisors with regular updates on their wellbeing and the smooth running of their work. This will give both workers, supervisors and visitors peace of mind that their safety is cared for and monitored.

Lone worker devices feature the Man Down function, a great way of alerting supervisors on the safety of workers. The mission sensor sends an alarm to supervisors when:

  • The radio holder is moving more than what is considered the usual amount for the job at hand
  • The radio is completely stationary
  •  The radio is positioned at an unusual angle for a longer period of time.

Most digital radios have the ability to be updated with lone worker functions. Get in touch with one of our experts during set up for any guidance you need. Learn more about lone worker function here, in our recent blog.

What is a Lone Worker Device?

Lone Worker and Man Down Function | How Can They Help You

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. 

Lone Worker Two Way Radio Communication for Construction

Lone Worker Two Way Radio Communication for Construction

Lone Worker Two Way Radio Systems for Construction

When working on construction sites, it is important that your communication systems meet all the necessary criteria, to ensure the efficient running of staff and work. This can be even more important when you have a lone worker on a site. At Wall to Wall Communications, we’ve used our 40 years’ of experience to guide you on choosing a lone worker two-way radio system, tailored to your sites requirements and needs.

two way radio construction

Health & Safety

By investing in Two-Way communications, you can rest assured you will be meeting the highest standards of health and safety with your communications systems. You’ll find a complete a range of different Two-way radios to choose from, such as Handheld with Caller IDs.

Many two-way radio systems have location tracking and panic, man down or emergency call features to ensure that you’re able to keep yourself and others in the location safe. These become even more important when a lone worker is on site with no one else potentially on hand to alert in the event of an emergency on the construction site.

Get in touch with us to have a conversation about your construction site and lone worker radio needs

Lone Worker specific two-way radio functionality

Where you have an employee performing offsite or lone on site duties and tasks, ensuring you have a lone worker function and it is activated is very important. This means the site worker pressing a button or similar on their radio at specific time intervals. If he/she does not press the button, an alert is activated so managers are able to check on the workers safety.

Use of Man Down features on construction sites

A man down radio feature means additional safety for construction sites and can automatically alert a supervisor where:
The radio holder is not moving
The radio holder is moving more than would be considered normal
The actual radio has been stationed at an unusual angle for time exceeding what would be considered standard


Instant Communications

Having a two-way communication system on site or on your person, means there is access to continuous communication. If you do have a lone worker on site, our radio systems have Telephone Intercom features, which means you have access to multi-site calling.

Furthermore, two-way radios mean you have efficient communications throughout your work day. This is particularly important if you work or have workers in areas such as underground or high above ground where having a mobile phone isn’t enough.

Operating Machinery

There are many reasons as to why you should have two-way communications devices on a construction site such as, first and foremost, health and safety, access and security but it also vital if you are operating heavy machinery such as cranes or bulldozers. Not only does having communication devices make sure everyone around you is safe and aware, but it again, ensures that you have constant access to communication in case of a situation. It is of the upmost importance that you are able to contact other sites or emergency services should you need to. Essentially, it gives you live communications with an individual or groups making sure that everything you do on site is safe and runs smoothly.

At Wall to Wall we have over 40 years’ experience. Previous clients include:

Radio event hire for business

Our Top Recommendations for radios on construction sites

You can find all of our product information on our website https://walltowallcomms.co.uk, however, for construction purposes, we would best recommend the following communications:

Hytera PD785- HYTERA PD785 digital portable radio with big colour display. The HYTERA PD785 digital portable radio is available in UHF, VHF & GPS configurations. It is top of the range model (management style) with rich functionality.

As a product built to the DMR standard, the PD785 is endowed with ergonomic design, all-round digital functions, and remarkable quality to refresh your experience and enable you to be responsive to emergent situations. With its large HD Transflective Colour Display and Superior Digital Voice clarity, the portable is suitable for most applications.

HYTERA PD705 – The HYTERA PD705lt digital two-way radio is available in UHF and VHF configurations.
The Hytera PD705lt is recommended for those who are looking for a brilliant yet cost-effective digital two-way radio that does not require all the bells and whistles. The Lite is a slight downgrade from a popular PD705 with no GPS, Man Down or Multi-Site Systems capability. The most appealing feature of this model is its competitive price.

As a product built to the DMR standard, the PD705lt is endowed with ergonomic design, all-round digital functions, and remarkable quality to refresh your experience and enable you to be responsive to emergent situations. With its Superior Digital Voice clarity the portable is suitable for most applications.

MOTOROLA DP4400 – The Motorola DP4000 Series portable delivers unrivaled voice and data communications with optional integrated GPS plus Bluetooth audio and data plus best-in-class audio that includes Intelligent Audio and customizable voice announcement feature.
Available in UHF and VHF frequency bands, the Motorola DP4000 Series is easy to use and features up to 32 channel capacity, five programmable buttons, emergency button, IP57 specifications for submersibility and FM intrinsically safe option.

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