As an employer, you are responsible for the health and safety of all your team members, whether they are lone working or not, so you need to ensure you have the right procedures in place to protect them. Lone workers face the same dangers as your other employees, but their solitude makes them more vulnerable because they might struggle to get in touch. Having health and safety procedures in place alongside a Lone Worker Policy will make your team feel cared for and more at ease whilst giving you the legal protection you need to ensure you’re following your duty of care.
What exactly is Lone Working?
Lone working is undertaken by a range of different job titles and industries. Anybody who works by themselves without supervision is considered a lone worker. This includes public facing lone workers such as shop owners or social workers, mobile lone workers such as lorry drivers or sales people, and fixed site lone workers such as builders or security personnel.
Lone working takes on all sorts of working environments, from working from home to working outside of normal working hours. The important thing to bear in mind is that if you have an employee or a self-employed person working on your site, and they are working separately to others, out of sight and out of earshot to any of your other employees, then they are lone working and you are even more responsible for their safety.
Lone working worries vary for the different types of lone workers. Whilst a public-facing lone worker is more at risk of verbal or physical abuse from members of the public, the bumps in the road for mobile lone workers are more likely to be automotive accidents. The stumbling blocks for a fixed site lone worker include slips or falls resulting in them being unable to call for help. It’s easy to see why lone working is considered a risk, but with the proper procedures in place, you and your lone workers can rest easy knowing their safety is a top priority, and that they know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.
Ensuring your Lone Working Team Are Safe
The health and wellbeing of all staff is a top priority for all good businesses, and as an employer, you can step up to the mark by addressing and therefore, reducing the risks faced by your lone working employees. Having a Lone Worker Policy, and staying on top of it will not only help to prevent accidents but will also make your lone working employees aware of their duties should an incident occur.
A Lone Worker Policy is essentially a set of rules on how to safely work alone. Included in this policy should be a thorough risk assessment which includes a list of all the dangers your lone working employees may face, alongside the procedures in place to prevent these risks and the appropriate action which should be taken if one of the threats becomes a real danger. Within your Lone Worker Policy, it should remain clear at all times that your employees’ safety is at the forefront of your mind.
Your lone working team members may need training in certain procedures such as the correct operation of machinery, first aid and even the use of code words in dangerous situations, as well as training in alleviating potentially dangerous or violent situations. You should be regularly reviewing your lone worker risk assessment as well as your Lone Worker Policy to make sure it is up to date and relevant. By thoroughly assessing the risks faced by your lone working employees, your team will feel valued as well as confident in dealing with all eventualities.
Kitting Out Your Lone Workers
Even with all the risk assessment and training in the world, accidents do still happen, and you need to know that if a member of your lone working team suffers an accident, then they’ll be rescued as soon as possible. There is a lot of technology available now designed to protect your lone working employees. Alongside basic communication tools such as mobile phones and radios, more advanced equipment such as automated yellow and red alerts, no movement alarms and even audible message alerts is now within easy reach to up your safety measures.
Each of these features is included in our Lone Worker Protection App. This personal safety device is one of the most effective technological tools which protects your lone workers. This potentially life-saving app can be easily downloaded onto your lone working employees’ IOS or Android devices, and will help you to keep a watchful eye on your valuable team members. These devices should be taken by your lone working team wherever they go, as they can activate an alert when there is a potential or a real danger present, so they know that someone has always got their back in times of need. Having these devices not only gives you peace of mind that someone will be informed if a member of your team is in danger, it also means your lone working employees can focus on the job at hand, without worrying about their safety.
Ensuring the safety of your lone working staff members is of the utmost importance, and with these steps in place, you’ll be doing everything possible to protect your team and meet your duty of care. Call us on 0330 094 5545 or contact us here to put your lone worker’s safety at the top of your agenda.