Lone Worker Risks and Solution to Improve Their Safety
Since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974, the field of worker safety has grown substantially. Companies have found and created innovative methods to safeguard individuals in all jobs and sectors, especially those who are more susceptible and encounter more safety dangers than ordinary workers.
There are various dangers to employee safety, ranging from violent attacks and health risks to work-related accidents. And when workers work alone, the hazards are multiplied. As a result, lone worker safety is a significant priority for businesses. But do you have a clear understanding of what a lone worker is, what kinds of risks are there, and how to minimise the danger? Well, if not. We have got you covered. Keep on reading to know all about lone worker’s risks and solutions to improve their safety.
Who is a lone worker?
As the term implies, Lone workers are those who operate alone, without the presence of others with little to no guidance. Lone workers work in the same facility or region but are not within hearing range of one another. Lone employees may or may not be working alongside another individual, but they are undertaking labour you would be unable to assist in an emergency. According to these standards, the number of lone workers grows substantially, especially with the present spike in individuals working independently and from home due to the covid-19 outbreak. Lone workers can be found in all sectors like home health care, social work, real estate, oil and gas, manufacturing, and transportation are just a few examples.
The risks/ hazards lone workers face:
Evaluating the danger of lone workers is the first step that every business should take to protect its employees. Understanding the inherent hazards of working alone will provide management with a starting point for protecting their workers and preserving business continuity. The following are some of the most common dangers for lone workers that result in injuries and deaths:
- Violent attacks: A violent assault might occur with little notice. Some emergency communication service providers offer lone worker safety mechanisms that direct communication with police departments.
- Health crisis: Whether it’s undetected heart disease, a terrifying seizure, mental health/stress-related difficulties, or an unexpected medical emergency, lone workers are more vulnerable when a health-related catastrophe happens.
- Workplace accidents: From slips and crashes/collisions to breathing poisonous gases and wounds or lacerations, several workplace dangers can represent a substantial risk to workers, mainly when co-workers are not around to assist.
- Equipment failure: Faulty equipment that has not been thoroughly examined might lead to hazardous working circumstances. This includes vehicle problems that might leave personnel stranded in a distant area.
Knowing the hazards beforehand will allow management to customise their contingency plan to the unique threats that employees may face.
What are the solutions to improve lone worker’s safety?
Here are essential steps to protect your lone workers and enhance their safety:
- Assess all of your lone workers.
Crane operators, district nurses, water samplers, and a long list of other lone employees in your company will be evident to you. However, some lone employees may be more challenging to spot. What about the office clerk who remains late to finish a project and is alone in the facility, or the electrical technician who works with clients but is separated from co-workers? Is there anyone on your team that works from home on occasion? These are all lone workers, and it is both a legal and moral obligation to protect them. As a result, the initial job is to identify the lone employees in your business.
- Employees should be educated about potential hazards.
Every day, lone employees confront several hazards. These dangers are part of their daily lives, and they must be conscious of them. Organisations should use an educational strategy to protect the safety of their lone workers on the job. To begin, make your workers aware of the hazards they may encounter by outlining the possibilities that may emerge in specific scenarios. Next, arrange employee training on how to respond to various sorts of events. They must prepare to deal with falls and accidents, physical assaults, criminal aggression, and other adversities.
- Provide them with the right technology
The appropriate technology is critical for lone workers. With the proper safeguards and technology, lone workers can feel secure, powerful, and capable of doing their tasks, knowing that someone will rescue them if they fall. Even if you have a cell phone, you may be unable to use it if you are disabled. It’s possible that you won’t have cell service. Even if a location is available, you may be unable to transmit your location correctly.
Every worker on the field should have a portable alarm system. Several options are available, spanning from low panic buttons to more comprehensive lone worker safety software systems. These smartphone app solutions can identify their location on a map and request assistance if the worker cannot do so.
You owe it to your lone workers to safeguard them morally and ethically. Prior preparation will enable you to identify and mitigate the most significant dangers to your lone employees. Providing them with the necessary knowledge and equipment will guarantee that they can do their duties effectively and safely.