Keeping lone workers safe is the responsibility of every employer. A lone worker is an employee who conducts their duties on their own for some or part of their working day, this can pose some increased risk as they can be susceptible to more dangers than their co-workers who operate in teams. While most businesses will, obviously, do their best to protect all their workers, those working independently need unique initiatives to ensure their safety. Here are a few tips for keeping lone workers safe:
Conduct Regular Safety Audits
Of course, you have already conducted a safety and security audit for your workers. However, more dangers are often exposed when someone is working independently. Take the time to analyse the working environment from the perspective of an independent worker and make any changes that are necessary.
Mandate a Regular Check-In Policy
Many good managers will have already scheduled a regular check-in with employees that are often working independently, but a good company policy will mandate this. We all get busy and at times a simple phone call or video catchup can feel unwarranted, this can leave a lone employee feeling more isolated. Mandate a group-wide policy and place metrics around regular catchups between managers and employees.
“Alone,” Doesn’t Mean “Abandoned”
A lone worker should never feel that they don’t have access to other people. There are obvious measures you can take such as emergency access numbers being made available, but that does not solve the issue of human contact. Bored workers are often ineffective and with the advent of mobile technologies, this does not need to be the case. You may wish to encourage the use of video conferencing applications or a messenger service such as Slack or Teams and encourage interaction between different employees at various locations.
How the Worker Feels Is Vital
Safety and security measures are important in any working environment. But when a worker is alone, it’s important that they understand what efforts have been made to ensure their safety. Take the time to educate them and talk them through your thought processes, let them know that you understand the challenges of working on your own, and that you take their security seriously.
Make Sure They Take Breaks
One of the major dangers faced by independent workers is exhaustion. Lone workers feel an increased sense of accountability, and so tend to work through their breaks rather than taking them. Let your workers know that taking a break is not only their legal right but is also important from a safety standpoint. Don’t encourage a culture where skipping breaks is seen as a badge of honour, and make sure there is somewhere for them to go and something for them to do.
There are many other ways a business can increase the safety of their lone workers – some of these include providing mobile phones with constant location reporting, personal duress alarms or fall detectors, to name a few. Regardless of the strategy you take, a well-planned approach can assist with the safety of all employees. Take the time to analyse the needs of your workforce to ensure every employee feels safe and protected whilst at work.
The Infront Group Advisory Services division can assist with delivering integrated end-to-end security, safety and emergency management services and solutions to any size company. Contact us today for an obligation free chat on 07 3612 9999 or https://infrontgroup.com.au/contact/