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The British workforce is “woefully under-equipped for the modern workplace” according to a research white paper by Hytera – a global leader of two-way radio communications. The research white paper, carried out in conjunction with the Health and Safety at Work magazine, aims to understand just how businesses “protect” employees at work and whether or not they are leveraging modern technology to do so.

In the white paper, Worker Safety – More Than Just a RadioHytera states that 82% of survey respondents use mobile phones as a primary communication system in the field, with just half of that figure using two-way radios.

Furthermore, 1-in-5 businesses admitted to not having safety-critical communications, and of those, 95% work in potentially hazardous conditions. Many of the survey respondents admitted to not having more robust and purpose-built communication devices due to a “lack of confidence” in them – but also acknowledged that mobile devices were not “best suited” to ensuring worker safety.

From an operational and workplace health and safety perspective, mobile devices have a myriad of problems: poor durability, low battery life, intermittent coverage, delays in communication, one-way communication, missing features and functions, and much, much more.

The reality is that these issues, especially in harsh and hazardous environments where workers are routinely exposed to risks, can be what prevents workers in emergency and/or life or death situations from getting the help and support they need. Lacklustre communications, such as mobile devices not designed for specific business applications, will lead to accidents and fatalities.

For example, lone workers or remote workers in dangerous environments need to be able to communicate operation-wide and in real-time to multiple workers if an accident happens and they need help. Also, in the event they are incapacitated and cannot reach their communications device, they need to have a communications device that will automatically send out a tone at regular intervals and if they fail to respond, other radios (all the radios connected to the network) are alerted. Take the Hytera PDC760 digital two-way radio, for example. It’s a state-of-the-art two-way radio with multi-mode communication for different scenarios and lone worker and man down functionality.

Similarly, what if a worker trips and is knocked unconscious in a remote and hazardous area of the operation? How are their colleagues notified? With simple mobile devices, operations managers would never know. However, the DP4801 EX ATEX, for example, includes man down functionality, which is a tilt switch enabling the device to detect the angle of the radio, along with movement. If the device is tilted or becomes inactive for a specified period of time, a pre-set alarm protocol is initialised.

It’s also rugged, durable and designed for explosive environments, so if there’s a fire or explosion, users can be assured that it will work and continue to deliver safe and reliable communication in the most critical of moments – and, most importantly, in real-time.

Clearly, businesses – particularly those operating in harsh and hazardous environments – need solutions tailored to their specific environment. Take search and rescue, for example. Typically, those conducting search and rescue efforts need a wide-range communications network to bring together geographically distant teams, enhance support and coordinate resources for more intensive searches. These efforts also need location-based services to better track and plan the movement of team members as they may be operating in physically demanding or harsh and hazardous conditions.

To achieve a wide-area communication network, a search and rescue organisation could – for example – join a series of two-way radios together. One approach would be to purchase DP4801e handheld radios (which feature GPS tracking) and enhance signal output using a sophisticated repeater,  such as the MOTOTRBO SLR5500, and connect the radios via an IP network. Using this solution, it would not only be able to connect operators across different sites but also have accurate positional tracking for operators.

In addition, these devices are rugged by design, tightly sealed against wind and dust, and can be submerged in up to a metre of water for half an hour, providing a robust solution for the most intensive of search and rescue efforts.

Using such a network, searchers have devices that meet the demands of the environments they find themselves working in, can communicate with each other and track movement in real-time, and in the event of a problem, they can immediately send an alert to their respective search manager with a simple button press, workplace health and the safety of searchers.


Workplace health and safety and communication go hand-in-hand. Mobile devices are limited in that they are not designed for business-specific applications or environments. However, it’s important to acquire the right digital two-way radio solutions, as many resellers will simply sell them out-of-the-box as standard, without configuring them to meet your environment’s specific needs.

At DTS, we have a number of specialist technicians who can modify and enhance your two-way radio selection to incorporate the necessary functionalities or options you require, those which are specific to your particular environment.

Our technicians will work together with you to clearly understand your requirements, and then customise your radio accordingly.

We have been trading for thirty years and have extensive experience in helping our clients to find and leverage the right digital communications solutions, as well as support them with the configuration process.

If you are looking to configure a specific device or find one which meets your requirements, please get in touch.