Some of the hardest and most hazardous tasks are held by lone workers. Lone workers suffer from a persistent fear of physical injury, and their lack of confidence in their safety can affect their performance, degree of involvement with the company, and rate of employee turnover.
Those who work alone without direct or close supervision are known as lone workers. They can be found in a variety of settings, including those of people who work at permanent facilities.
The biggest risk that separates lone workers from other workers is that they have no one to turn to if they become ill or injured. The lone worker might be unable to contact for assistance if they are critically hurt or knocked out. The likelihood of serious consequences or even death can increase if it takes a while for someone to discover something is wrong and go seeking them.
Every organisation needs a lone worker policy to educate lone workers about the hazards of working alone and how risks will be controlled.
Your policy ought to: Use your risk assessment as a foundation
The identified risks should be eliminated or minimised using the control methods recommended by the risk assessment. These preventive steps could be:
Yes, working by yourself is legal, and for many employees, it's also safe. The HSE notes that working alone is frequently safe. However, before allowing anyone to do so, the law requires you to consider and address any health and safety issues.
Employers have a duty of care to ensure that their employees are "reasonably safe" and must take the necessary steps to meet this obligation. This includes independent contractors and other self-employed workers who perform services for your company. Despite the lack of a specific rule governing lone workers, general health and safety regulations must be followed:
To deal with the unique risks of working alone, lone working professionals may need additional training. Lone workers frequently have more difficulty obtaining assistance in an emergency when no coworkers are present. They must therefore be taught how to handle unforeseen and unplanned circumstances like harm or aggression.
Training is an essential step in protecting the safety of every employee, but it is especially crucial for those who work alone. Working alone means no coworkers nearby to identify a health and safety risk that might result in an accident or to lend a helping hand in an emergency. Lone employees must therefore be able to recognize and manage hazards.
Working alone requires a risk analysis. Control measures to remove or reduce hazards should be determined by the risk assessment.
Among the control measures are:
The line manager and the lone worker must communicate frequently. This plays a crucial role in assuring the lone worker's safety. The risk assessment will determine the line manager's required level of supervision and how it will be delivered.
Lone working is not an easy feat; for both the worker and the employer. With more and more people choosing to be lone workers, knowing the risks and responsibilities have become imperative.
When the right processes and solutions are in place, managing the safety of lone workers becomes simple – see how you can do this with SafetyIQ.
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