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A Guide to Man Down (Worker Down) Solutions

What is man down (worker down)

The term “man down” (or the more recent “worker down”) is used to describe any person who is operating on their own and requires some form of assistance following a particular incident.

Accidents at work affect thousands of people every year, ranging from slips, trips and falls. These can take place at any time and are even more dangerous when they occur to a lone worker, who have no support to either assist or call for emergency aid. Man down situations are more common then we think, and slips, trips and falls are still the largest cause of workplace accidents across many industries.

Around 581,000 people experienced an injury / man down situation at work across Great Britain in 2018/19. The type of work accident that can occur often depends on the nature of your role and the setting where it takes place a. Common types of workplace accidents that result in a man down include:

  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Vehicle crashes and collisions
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Inhaling toxic fumes
  • Hit by a falling object
  • Occupational assault
  • Defective equipment injuries

It is said man down injuries account for 49% of all non-fatal workplace incidents, so it’s even more important organisations equip their employees with suitable protection should anything happen to them whilst working alone.

Man Down Alarm

What is a Man Down alarm? A lone worker Man Down alarm helps organisations to protect the safety of their lone workers at all times when they have no one else around them, should they need help. This has also become a legal requirement for organisations in order to protect their lone workers and provide a duty of care via an alarm of some sort which can be triggered to ask for help should they need it.

Getting immediate medical assistance is key for any injury experienced, and the lack of attention can lead to a minor injury potentially developing to a major one. It is very important for organisations to ensure their employees have an alarm, through which they can alert someone if they are in trouble.  Man Down systems and lone worker devices are becoming an increasingly popular solution for organizations who’s employees could potentially facing such situations.

Lone workers who can benefit from a Man Down alarm solution:


  • Remote workers

Anyone working alone in the field without a team will benefit from a man down solution. With 28% of non-fatal injuries being caused by slips, trips and falls, this form of solutuion can provide a level of protection to lone workers and alert the right people. Hazards caused by falls most often are uncontrollable for those working away from a fixed work base and therefore it is key to proactively provide the support that may be required if an unfortunate situation develops.

Many lone workers enter client homes, construction zones, and travel between meetings. While training can be given to help identify and remove fall hazards when entering a new environment, it is not always practical to know what to expect as jobs develop.

  • Working at height

Falls from height remain the biggest cause of workplace fatalities. It carries a high risk and health and safety regulations have helped ensure all possible steps should be taken by organisations to prevent falls from occurring. However, if there is an accident and an employee does suffer a fall, the Man Down alarms will ensure someone is alerted immediately.

If an employee is working at height, it is important they have a Man Down system that detects fall and impact rather than just non-movement to enable a quicker response.

  • Medical conditions

Certain employees may have a known medical condition and therefore it is vital they are given an alarm to protect and support them at all times if there are a lone worker. The Man Down system is essential to alert their managers if they fall unconscious or are unable to move. The Man Down app detects non-movement and an alert is raised.

  • Low signal Areas

Man Down alarm systems need a cellular signal to send an alert. If your employees operate in areas of cell phone blackspots, then it is paramount that any solution in place offers a low signal mode to allow the mobile phone app to send non-movement alerts over an SMS signal.

Totalmobile’s worker down is available on a number of different deceives

Protect from Totalmobile is a market leading lone worker protection solution that helps ensure the safety of your employees. There are a number of different devices and apps available within the solution to ensure that your lone workers are provided with the type of man down protection that they require. The Five main devices are:

  • SOS Fob – which has a high-quality 2-way audio and is a discreet personal alarm
  • Protect App – Support all smartphones & Mobiles
  • SOS ID Badge – Ripcord activated alarm, wearable and GPS location device
  • Intrinsically Safe – Anti-spark devices
  • SOS Button – Wearable safety device

These all feature reactive supportive, with built in impact detection alarms for Man down occurrences.

Benefits of a Man Down Alarm

Man Down devices will usually work through the use of an accelerometer or Man Down sensor. They will detect a change in position, a lack of movement or a sudden impact. When one of these is detected by the man down alarm, a notification can be sent to the lone worker’s employer to signal they may need assistance.

The alarm is triggered immediately as Protect from Totalmobile uses the built-in motion sensors in mobile handsets and specialist devices to enable a Worker Down notification. Protect will also monitor the movement of the handset and its orientation. If, for example, the handset hasn’t moved for a length of time this could indicate that a lone worker requires emergency help, perhaps after a fall or incident whilst working.

Worker Down then automatically raises an alert with the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). The operatives there will access the worker’s GPS location and call the worker’s phone to see if they’re OK. In the event of a false alarm, the worker can simply advise the ARC to ‘stand down’. If ARC staff can’t contact the worker via their handset, they will automatically follow the next steps in the organisation’s individual escalation procedure and can quickly dispatch emergency services to the worker’s location.

Fine out more about Lone Worker Protection and view our Lone Worker Software – Protect


Totalmobile is a Field Service Management (FSM) provider passionate about making work and the lives of mobile workers better. An established market leader with 375 staff across the UK and Ireland, Totalmobile supports over 1,000 organisations and 500,000 workers to transform the delivery of field services and experience an exceptional return on investment.