FAQ - everything you need to know about lone worker protection

Frequently asked questions on personal emergency calls and Bosch GuardMe

What do I need to bear in mind as an employer?

Under the German Occupational Safety and Health Act and the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions' DGUV Regulation 1, the employer is obliged to ensure the health and safety of their employees at their place of work. The most important instrument in this context is the job hazard analysis. If a lone worker is exposed to an increased level of hazard at their place of work, employers must provide suitable technical or organizational personal protection measures over and above the general precautions. In the case of people working alone, this can include so-called personal emergency signal systems that automatically detect emergencies and ensure fast assistance.

What do I need to bear in mind as an employee?

Better safe than sorry. If you spend some or all of your time working alone, ask your employer for suitable technical and organizational precautions – especially if you carry out hazardous activities or suffer from known health-related restrictions.

When should special precautions be taken?

The job hazard analysis sets out the hazards to which an employee is exposed at his or her place of work. Activities that legitimately qualify as "hazardous" may only be carried out by a lone worker in rare exceptions since critical hazards can result in serious injuries in an accident situation. Working alone may be permissible under certain circumstances despite the presence of risks, for instance if the probability of an accident is low. The best thing to do is take advice from your occupational safety specialist.

In any event the employer must ensure that first aid can be provided without delay, for example by taking additional emergency call or safety measures for affected employees such as regular verification calls, verification visits or providing personal emergency signal systems. This is based on Section 5 of the German Occupational Safety and Health Act. In this way it can be ensured that a worker can establish contact with first responders by telephone at any time.

What are the requirements for personal emergency signal systems?

In Germany, the requirements for personal emergency signal systems using public telecommunication networks are regulated in DIN VDE V 0825-11. This standard is authoritative for the technical device features, the alarm functions, and the communication between the personal emergency signal device and the personal emergency signal intervention center.

In addition, the use of personal emergency signal systems is regulated by the Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung, the umbrella organization of German Social Accident Insurance Institutions, in DGUV Regulation 112-139. This includes a concrete calculation framework for deciding whether specific lone working situations are permissible or not.

Can I use the Bosch GuardMe app on any smartphone?

The Bosch GuardMe app is available for Android mobile devices and has been optimized for use as a personal emergency signal system with the Sonim XP8 smartphone, which complies with the requirements of the German Social Accident Insurance Institutions. We are happy to verify whether Bosch GuardMe can be used on the Android-based cell phones you are currently using. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Can the Bosch GuardMe app find the location of employees at any time?

Precise location information is crucial in emergency situations and can save vital minutes in an injured person receiving first aid. To this end the Bosch Monitoring Center can access the location data of the device on which Bosch GuardMe is installed, while the app is activated. All location data not related to a genuine emergency is automatically deleted after 24 hours.

Location data will only be shared in case of emergency if this is necessary for the rescue services or first responders, or by court order for subsequent clarification of occupational accidents.

How do I achieve reliable location finding, including indoors, with Bosch GuardMe?

Since the visibility of the GPS satellites required for location finding is restricted in buildings or shielded areas, additional location determination via wireless LAN or Bluetooth beacons is recommended. We will be happy to advise you on this – simply get in touch.

Can emergency calls from Bosch GuardMe also be forwarded to internal entities?

As well as connecting Bosch GuardMe to our 24/7 Monitoring Center, a so-called group alarm can also be activated. In this case, associated devices receive an alarm message containing the key information in case of emergency. This includes the ID of the device that triggered the personal emergency signal, the alarm type (e.g. position alarm or non-movement alarm), and the device's last known location. The group alarm is particularly helpful in notifying on-site first responders about the incident without delay so that they can tend to the injured lone worker until the rescue services arrive. The public emergency response centers are subsequently notified by the Bosch Monitoring Center.

As an employer, how can I make sure that the personal emergency signal system that I use meets the highest safety standards?

In Germany, DIN VDE V 0825-11 regulates the system requirements for personal emergency signaling systems that use public telecommunications networks for data transmission. As the testing and certification system of the German Social Accident Insurance, the DGUV Test is responsible for personal emergency signal systems. By using a solution that has been tested and certified by the DGUV Test in accordance with the applicable standard, employers can be sure that they are setting the highest safety standards for their lone workers.

The DGUV Test "Tested Products" database contains all tested products for which a valid test certificate is available:

Link to database.

Julia Maas looks into the camera, portrait. Product Manager Bosch GuardMe, a solution for lone worker protection

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