Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Safety regulation to boost adoption of lone worker protection services: Berg

Iain Morris
November 26, 2014

Lone worker protection services are expected to have 2.2 million users in Europe and North America by 2020, according to new research from Berg Insight.

There were currently about 700,000 users in 2013, according to the market-research company, but take-up is forecast to rise as a result of occupational safety regulations, increasing employee insurance costs and a higher general awareness of the risks that lone workers face.

Several countries have also adopted regulations specifically addressing the safety of lone workers, including the UK, Canada, France and Germany.

“The UK has emerged as the most advanced market for lone worker safety services thanks to the way in which the regulations are upheld in the country, the comparatively high awareness of such services among organizations and companies, as well as the availability of standards that apply to providers of lone worker safety services and devices,” said Andre Malm, a senior analyst at Berg.

Berg says the construction, distribution and utilities industries have been the quickest to adopt mobile workforce management solutions but that awareness is growing in other sectors such as field services and real estate, as well as in public sectors like healthcare and social services.

The company also reckons the number of workforce management apps in Europe and North America will grow from nearly one million in 2013 to about three million at the end of 2020.

Family locator services currently comprise the largest category of people monitoring and safety solutions in the consumer segment and are intended to provide peace of mind for parents with small children.

“Dedicated location devices are mainly addressing niche segments such as monitoring of small children who cannot use handsets,” said Malm.

Dedicated locator devices are also being used to care for seniors, says Berg, as well as people suffering from various medical conditions.

Telecare technologies, for instance, allow seniors and people with cognitive disabilities to live independently in their homes for as long as possible.

Next-generation wearable telecare devices including cellular connectivity are already available on the market.
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