Providing Additional Safeguards for Lone Workers

Providing Additional Safeguards for Lone Workers

  • Date: Monday 24th September 2018
  • PDF: Download

Working by yourself in a remote location presents unique challenges both for employers and lone workers. It is estimated that there are 8 million lone workers in the UK, representing around 20% of the UK workforce. 

Due to their prolonged exposure to environmental factors and the lack of supervision, lone workers are more prone to work-related accidents. Almost 150 lone workers are verbally or physically assaulted every day.

Lone worker solutions

Businesses should have a lone-working policy in place. An effective policy sets a clear direction for management and employees.

By law, employers have a legal duty to assess risks to health and safety and to provide a safe working environment for all their employees. Lone worker risk assessments should be communicated to employees in order to make them aware of the potential hazards and risks associated with their job, the means to control these and the procedures to follow in the event of an emergency.

Due to the nature of solitary work conditions, accidents can have serious consequences if not responded to in a timely manner. A means of communication is vital in order for emergency services to locate and attend to an employee in distress.

Lone worker devices

Tired employees, malfunctioning equipment, and angry customers are only a few of the reasons that a lone worker can find themselves in a difficult situation. Any such event or emergency situation is always time sensitive, and it is important to alert managers and send appropriate assistance as quickly as possible.

Fortunately, we live in an age of innovation with respect to personal tracking technology.  There are a plethora of devices and applications such as lone worker APPs, personal tracking devices, and body-worn cameras that can be used to keep track of employees and enhance their safety.

Lone worker APPs and tracking devices can help reduce response times drastically. Geofence zones, real-time location tracking, man down alarms and timed sessions can all be used to increase staff safety. For example, geofence zones can be used to check the arrival and departures times of an employee at a job site. Once breached, a geofence zone issues an alert to the responsible supervisor who can then check if this is in accordance with a defined schedule or an unplanned movement, in which case the employee should be contacted to determine if there is an issue.

Source: SHP Online

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