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4 Simple Steps To Protect Your Lone Workers

Lone workers are employees who face a unique range of occupational hazards on a daily basis. They may be exposed to various types of risks, such as hazardous chemicals, health emergencies, or violent incidents. As a result, employers have both a legal and an ethical obligation to ensure their well being at all times while they’re out in the field working.

To help you ensure the ongoing safety of your employees, we decided to compile four simple yet highly effective steps that can help employers protect their lone workers:

1. Risk assessments

The first step in the process is to identify the potential risks that lone workers are likely to face in their work environment. This is best done by conducting a risk assessment, which involves examining the tasks, tools, equipment, and surroundings of lone workers, and identifying any potential sources of harm.

For instance, a lone worker who works in a remote area may be at risk of injury due to falls or extreme weather conditions, whereas a lone worker who handles hazardous substances may be at risk of chemical exposure burns or fire. Once the risks have been identified, employers can take measures to eliminate or reduce them, such as providing safety equipment, training, or personal protective equipment (PPE).

2. Communication

Communication is key to ensuring the safety of lone workers. Employers should establish regular contact with their lone workers, and provide them with a reliable means of communication, such as a mobile phone or radio. This allows lone workers to call for help in case of an emergency, or to report any safety concerns. 

Employers should also establish a protocol for emergency situations, and ensure that lone workers are aware of it. This can include procedures for contacting emergency services, notifying supervisors of a hazard, or evacuating an area.

3. Training

Training is an essential component in preparing lone workers to handle the risks and challenges of their job. Employers should provide their lone workers with comprehensive training on safety procedures, with regular updates. 

Training can also cover specific skills related to the lone worker’s job, such as first aid or the appropriate handling of hazardous substances. Employers should ensure that the training is up-to-date, and that it’s relevant to the lone worker’s job duties.

4. Monitoring

Finally, ongoing monitoring is essential for ensuring the safety of lone workers in the long run. Employers should regularly check in with their lone workers and monitor their work environment, to ensure that there aren’t any unexpected hazards that have arisen. 

Employers can also use technologies, such as GPS tracking incorporated in a lone worker app, to monitor the location of lone workers, which enables them to provide assistance in case of an emergency. Employers should also review their lone worker policies and procedures regularly to ensure that they’re updated to meet the needs of a changing risk environment.

Protecting lone workers requires an ongoing, proactive approach that involves risk assessment, communication, training, and monitoring. Employers who implement these simple steps can help ensure the safety of their lone workers, while fulfilling their legal and ethical responsibilities as employers. By investing in the wellbeing of their lone workers, employers can create a safer and more productive workplace for everyone.