With increasing risk and remoteness, maintaining communications becomes more challenging and more important. When risk assessing your work, think about how you might
communicate in an emergency and what your fall back plan is.
We are all familiar with 999 in the UK, but there is an alternative – 112. With the added benefit of working across the whole of the EU and in 70 countries around the word, 112 has some unique advantages over just 999 when you need to get help using your mobile.
You can dial 112 on anyone’s phone, so if your phone is damaged or battery flat, you can pick up any phone – they are all pre-programmed to allow you to make the call.
You don’t need to “unlock” a phone, it will also go out on a pay as you go mobile that is out of credit. On some modern phones it will even call if there is no sim card present! Basically, if there is power and you can access a key pad, you can attempt the call.
A big advantage of 112 though is that you can use it to text the emergency services. Originally designed for the deaf, this useful facility is also highly relevant for mobile and remote area workers. Anybody can register their phone and its really simple to do. Once the phone is registered you can communicate by text message, which is much more likely to get through if there is a weak or intermittent signal.
To register (and why wouldn’t you?) simply send a text message with the word “register” to 112. You will get an automatic reply back within a minute. Simply read the reply and then follow the instructions to complete the process – just reply back with the word “yes”. That’s it, your done, your phone is now registered and you have increased your chance of getting the message out when every second counts.
Tell us about your experiences of emergency calls in areas of poor communications. We’d love to hear from you.