Each day, lone workers confront a new and different set of potentially dangerous health and safety dangers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.6 million incidents of workplace injuries and illnesses recorded in 2021.
If you are in charge of lone worker safety at your company, you should strive to establish a comprehensive lone worker safety program. This should include procedures for identifying risks, conducting risk assessments, tracking employees' whereabouts, and reporting emergencies. In this guide, we’ll share lone worker safety tips to prevent potential hazards and improve working conditions.
A lone worker policy is a set of guidelines that dictate how employees who work alone can stay safe while on the job. The policy should address several key concerns, including how to equip yourself while working alone, communicate with others, and what to do in an emergency.
A few key points are covered in a lone working policy. These include:
To recognize hazards in lone working situations, workers should assess their work tasks and environment.
Some potential risks to look for:
Moreover, due to the nature of lone work, and the lack of nearby support, their working conditions naturally present an even higher risk.
After identifying possible threats, you must estimate the severity of those dangers. That involves assessing the likelihood of harm, and whether there are safeguards in place to mitigate those dangers.
Following a thorough risk analysis, appropriate safety measures must be taken. It might involve putting procedures in place for lone working, providing conditioning for lone workers, or using technology to stay in contact with lone workers.
Reviewing the chances of risks regularly is essential, as things can change over time. For instance, previously identified hazards require reevaluation to ensure the safety measures are effective. Moreover, hazards and risks may arise after the initial investigation.
There are many lone-worker safety solutions on the market, so it is essential to research and find the perfect option. Many safety solutions involve using a mobile app, which can track the location of lone workers and send alerts if they are in danger. Other solutions may include using GPS tracking devices or wearable devices that can send alerts if the wearer is in trouble.
SafetyIQ’s lone-worker safety solution offers journey management, digitized risk assessments, seamless communication, and more. Often those who travel for work are considered lone workers during the journey. They face similar unsafe situations as well as the additional risks of driving.
The SafetyIQ system allows distant employees to control real-time reactions. This reduces the number of accidents, injuries, and difficulties associated with remote, mobile and isolated workers.
In the case of trouble, it's always a good idea to use a lone worker device. Some common uses for lone worker devices include checking in with a supervisor regularly and sending an emergency alert if a worker feels unsafe.
While working alone, one of the pro tips is to update your location regularly with your supervisor or designated contact. If you're in an emergency situation, having the right person know your location is critical so they can send help. It can be done using multiple methods, including text messaging, phone calls, and GPS tracking devices.
SafetyIQ’s integrations with GPS and IVMS provide a complete worker safety solution and seamless communication between your lone worker safety processes, and these devices. However, if no devices are connected, the automated check-in and escalation process can be done through any device with internet connectivity.
If you are injured or become ill, you should seek help immediately. In a lone working situation, you may need to call for help or go to a nearby business or residence for assistance. Try to keep your phone on with yourself at all times. It means carrying it in your pocket or wearing a lanyard or belt clip around your waist.
Meanwhile, if you're going to be working in an area where you can't have your phone with you (for example, if you're going to be in a laboratory), make sure you put your phone in a safe place where you won't forget it.
If you are working alone, you should always tell someone when you expect to return and where you will be. It could be a friend, colleague, or family member. You may also consider creating a preliminary plan with these contacts in case of an emergency.
It is essential to follow all security procedures and protocols when working alone. Workers should be familiar with emergency procedures for the workplace and their specific tasks. Moreover, they need to ensure that all safety equipment is in good working order and readily accessible.
It's important for lone workers to:
Workers value and demand a secure workplace. Companies with good reputations typically have healthy workplaces. Employee safety is of paramount importance, and businesses should create a safe environment for them to work in. Having a risk-free workplace is critical to a company's success since it facilitates the achievement of goals and boosts the efficiency of management and employees.
Want to learn more about Lone Worker Safety Strategies? Check out our free comprehensive guide:
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