Apr 24, 2023

Calling 911 Could Escalate the Situation for Lone Workers

While calling 911 is an essential tool for emergency situations, it may not be the most effective solution for lone workers. Here are a few reasons why calling 911 from a smartphone could escalate the situation for a lone worker:

  1. Delayed response time: When a lone worker is in distress, they may not have time to wait for a 911 operator to pick up their call. In some cases, the response time for 911 can be delayed due to call volume or other factors. This delay could put the lone worker in even greater danger.
  2. Limited location information: When a lone worker calls 911 from a smartphone, the location information provided to the operator may not be accurate. This is especially true if the lone worker is in a remote or unfamiliar location. The delay in providing accurate location information to emergency responders could result in the lone worker being in more danger.
  3. Limited Ability to Communicate: A lone worker in distress may not be able to communicate effectively with a 911 operator due to the nature of the emergency. For example, if the lone worker is being threatened or attacked, they may not be able to speak clearly or may need to remain silent to avoid detection. This could result in the emergency responders not having enough information to provide effective assistance.
  4. Increased attention from perpetrators: Calling 911 from a smartphone may alert perpetrators to the lone worker’s location and intentions, which could escalate the situation and put the lone worker in greater danger.

Instead of relying solely on 911, it is important for lone workers to have other communication options available, such as a two-way radio or a personal safety device that can provide real-time location tracking and emergency alerts. These devices can help to quickly connect the lone worker with their support team or emergency responders and provide accurate location information without alerting perpetrators to their location. It is also important for employers to have effective lone-worker policies and procedures in place to help prevent emergencies and provide immediate assistance in case of an emergency.