Protecting lone workers is an important responsibility for many an employer. Lone workers, designated as employees who work alone or in isolated locations, are at a higher risk of accidents and injuries, and are often overlooked in this regard.
In this article, we take a look at the importance of protecting lone workers, the risks associated with working alone, and the measures that employers can take to ensure the safety of their lone workers.
First, it’s important to understand the risks associated with working alone. Lone workers are at a higher risk of accidents and injuries primarily because they have limited access to help in case of an emergency. They’re also often at a higher risk of violence and harassment, particularly if they work in customer-facing roles. Additionally, lone workers may be more susceptible to mental health issues, such as stress and isolation, which can negatively impact their overall well-being.
To protect lone workers, employers should have a solid lone-worker policy in place. This policy should outline the procedures and protocols that should be followed in case of an emergency, as well as the preventative security measures that should be taken, to ensure the safety of the lone worker.
One important step that employers can take is to provide their lone workers with personal protective equipment (PPE). This might include items such as hard hats, safety goggles, and reflective clothing. Employers should also provide their lone workers with emergency contact information, such as the phone number of a supervisor or a security guard, or other details depending on the available technology.
Another important measure that employers can take is to provide their lone workers with training on how to stay safe while working alone. This training should cover topics such as emergency procedures, personal safety, and the proper use of PPE.
Employers can also use technology to protect their lone workers. For example, they can provide their lone workers with mobile devices and lone worker apps, such as smartphones or tablets. These can have an emergency button that can be used to call for help in case of an emergency. They can also use GPS tracking to monitor the whereabouts of their lone workers. This can be incredibly useful in case of an emergency.
It's also important for employers to regularly check in with lone workers. Check in through regular phone calls, messages, or even video calls, to ensure that they are safe and well. This can also help to identify and address any problems or concerns that the lone worker may have.
Finally, employers should also provide their lone workers with support and resources. These can help them cope with the challenges of working alone. This can include things like employee assistance programs, counseling services, and mental health resources.
In conclusion, protecting lone workers is an important responsibility for employers. By understanding the risks associated with working alone and taking the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of their lone workers, employers can help to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. They can also ensure that their employees are able to work in a safe and productive environment.
This includes creating and implementing a lone worker policy and providing PPE, training, technology, and support to the lone workers. The well-being of their lone workers should be a top priority for employers. Consider providing regular check-ins and support to ensure that the lone worker is safe, well, and comfortable in their work environment.