Irish Times

COUNCIL workers in the Co Louth area are to be issued with high-tech tracking devices as part of security measures being introduced by four local authorities.

The council has said it is not part of any “big brother” initiative.

Employees of Louth County Council, Dundalk Town Council, Drogheda Borough Council and Ardee Town Council, who work alone, will be supplied with the devices in the next few weeks.

The system is expected to be up and running in September.

The 80g Omniscout Lone Worker Portable is smaller than most mobile phones and operates as a communication, alert and tracking device.

The device can determine and report with an accuracy of four metres the location of anyone who wears it using global positioning system (GPS) technology. It also includes a “virtual geofence perimeter alert”, which sends a message indicating that the person carrying the device has left a predefined area.

According to Barry O’Connor, managing director of Omniscout (Ireland), the device can be used by parents to track the speed at which their teenagers are driving.

In Co Louth, those who will receive the devices include security and maintenance staff, housing staff, environmental officers and drivers. A spokesman for the local authority said the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 made employers liable for the protection of lone workers.

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