Best Ways To Keep A Lone Worker Safe | As an employer, the safety of all your employees is your responsibility. You need to make sure they have a safe working environment and know how to get help if they need it. When you have several employees working in one area it is relatively simple, if one employee is injured the others will raise the alarm.
But, what about when the employee is working by themselves? This could be on your site or elsewhere. You need to make sure they are kept safe.
Do A risk Assessment
The first thing you need to do is look at the job they are doing, how it is being performed, and where the risks are. In short, you need to do a risk assessment.
This will ensure you are aware of the most likely issues they will face when working by themselves. You can then take steps to minimize the risk at each stage.
For example, lone workers can be injured in a number of ways and the issue may not be discovered for some time. To help reduce the risk your lone workers will need to confirm they are okay once every hour. If they don’t confirm they are okay a rescue team is sent to check on them and help them if needed.
That means you have identified the risk and created a way to look after your employee.
One of the biggest issues for injured lone workers is whether they can still raise an alarm or not. The sooner they do the quicker they will get help and the more likely it is they will survive.
You should consider giving all lone workers duress alarms. These can make a loud noise to attract the attention of others. They can also be programmed to alert the head office or even contact the emergency services.
Many duress alarms are designed to activate if a low pulse or breathing rate is detected or if the worker is in a horizontal position.
You’ll want to assess the job they are doing to decide the best parameters for the duress alarm. But, once they are set your employee can be confident that, should they need it, help will be there quickly.
The employer has a legal obligation to look after their employees. However, that doesn’t mean the employee can do whatever they like. They also have an obligation to follow procedures and do the job in the safest way possible. To make sure this is the case the employer should train the employee.
This basic education should be done before they start lone working and the employee should sign to say they have received the training.
It helps to ensure that both parties are consistently acting in the best interests of the employee.
Don’t forget that procedures, jobs, and individuals change. It is important to re-evaluate the lone worker roles regularly. This will ensure the safety procedures you have in place are the most appropriate. It can be beneficial to ask the employee where they think the biggest risks are.
This helps to ensure everyone is thinking about risk and staying safe.