Rail Industry Focus


Lone worker solutions for Network Rail

The launch of the new enhanced Sentinel card system has ushered in the use of new technology and new ways of working for rail workers in the UK. Coinciding with this, Network Rail is introducing two new Lone Worker Protection services – Push4Help and Heartbeat – both activated from workers’ mobile devices. Steve White, technical director of Lone Worker Solutions, explains more.

The Everyone Home Safe Every Day campaign highlights Network Rail’s commitment to keeping staff safe. This extends to ensuring that any individual working alone is protected.

The Heartbeat service monitors you on a regular basis at chosen intervals, (for example 60 minutes), whereas Push4Help is an immediate push-button alert system that feeds directly through to an operator who can monitor any ongoing situation with the individual – calling emergency services if necessary.

Lone Worker Protection in a nutshell:

• Lone Worker Protection is a service that employees can opt-in to – it has to be activated from their mobile device each time they want to use it.

• Users must leave a message whenever they want to activate the service. The message must, at the very least, contain who to call in the event of an emergency. Ideally, some location information should be left too.

• Users determine which services to use depending on their own circumstances

• GPS only works if you have activated it on the phone

• Will be available to all Sentinel card holders

477 2

Both services are provided by Lone Worker Solutions Limited based in Bury, Greater Manchester. Its technical director, Steve White, answered users’ questions:

Q) What are the benefits of Lone Worker Protection for the user?

The user safety aspect. No matter where you are, we have a solution where in the case of an emergency we can send help to you as quickly as possible. And that is whether you are working alone in remote areas or in dangerous urban areas. The Lone Worker Protection provides a single point of escalation no matter what mobile phone you use; no matter who you are or where you are, there is a support solution for you.

Q) Once I enrol for Lone Worker Protection will I need to upgrade my phone or my service?

No. The Heartbeat or Push4Help works across both smart and non-smartphones. There is a dedicated app for Windows, Android and iPhones, with BlackBerry and non-smartphones supported by the voice Heartbeat service. All the apps are managed by a single platform.

Q) Are there other companies using this service?

A number of shipping ports around the UK use the system, along with homecare health providers, key security personnel, engineering and utility companies.

Q) What about people who work in areas of no phone reception – how would they use this service?

Yes, we know this is a common problem in various parts of the rail network. In this instance the person would use the Heartbeat system. The Heartbeat system activates the response timers on both the app used by the lone worker and the Lone Worker Manager Platform. So even if the mobile phone loses signal, the platform still expects a response and so will activate an alert.

Q) How will people know of any upgrades or if the system goes down?

If you have installed the app on your phone, you will be alerted automatically each time there is an upgrade. The app will always inform you if there is an issue with the Lone Worker Manager Platform. This will appear on your mobile phone screen.

Q) What about data security – how secure is the information you will hold on people?

Very secure. All data is held in data centres adhering to the highest ISO standards. Your data is subject to data protection legislation. The only way an employer can access information about you is through a court order. In introducing the service to Network Rail, we have made sure the system’s security is very robust. This has been a big concern for the rail unions, so I’m glad to say that our system more than meets that requirement.

Q) So what’s next?

We’re constantly developing new applications and integrating dedicated devices such as mobile phones to provide lone worker protection regardless of where people work. Our goal is to provide a simple easy-to-use system for lone worker protection for all users. An example of what is in our development pipeline is a dedicated small satellite communication device that can be used in areas where there is absolutely no mobile phone signal. In the near future we will be releasing a dedicated Windows mobile app, which is now being trialled.

For more information on Lone Worker Protection, go to https://www.railsentinel.co.uk/LoneWorkerProtection or www.loneworkermanager.com

Watch a video about the new system on the RTM website here: http://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/Rail-Videos?vid=100799654

Steve White

(Above: Steve White)


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

View all News

rail industry focus

View all News

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, C... more > more last word articles >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio ... more >

'the sleepers' daily blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >