Keeping Lone Workers Safe: 6 Critical Tips for Enhancing On-The-Job Safety

Part of your job as an employer is ensuring the safety and welfare of all those under your leadership. In most situations, this will simply involve adhering to the usual legal regulations, such as having first aid kits and fair safety equipment nearby; other circumstances will be highly dependent on the situation and the job itself. One of the more complex issues that some employees face is having to work alone and being exposed to a variety of potentially problematic situations. This post will look at six ways that employers can make this situation more manageable and ensure that any of their employees who must work alone are provided with all necessary safety precautions to make the scenario they find themselves in more manageable. 


Provide Proper Safety Equipment


Perhaps first and foremost on your list of things to do is to provide all of your workers with the tools they need to carry out their tasks safely. This could include dedicated lone worker devices that enable the employee to trigger an alarm if they feel threatened and in danger, to more mundane but equally important things like a personal radio. The former option is best suited to cases where a staff member will be exposed to acute risk. This could be social care workers who make outpatient visits to those with specific cognitive problems and delivery drivers who make frequent deliveries in areas deemed more likely for theft and criminal behavior. Many of the best lone-worker devices work by including built-in GPS tracking and communication so that when the alarm is triggered, those on the other end can assist either by coming out to help or calling the authorities. 


Schedule Regular Safety Training


If you want a safe working environment, you must invest significant resources in your health and safety training. Moreover, this training cannot simply be an hour biannually where you herd everyone into a meeting room and spend the next hour showing a PowerPoint presentation. You must let your team know that it is in their best interest to take it seriously and attend regularly. This training can be job-specific, so those working in a warehouse would receive slightly different training than those who regularly leave the office to visit clients. 


Encourage Open Communication And Reporting


Open communication is critical for any operation, whether it’s pertinent to safety or not. When you encourage your team to come forward with suggestions or any issues they’re facing, you gain a deeper insight into their trials and tribulations. This information can help you create better training and understand what kit you may need to invest in to make their jobs safer and more satisfying. 


Conduct Thorough Risk Assessments


A thorough risk assessment must be performed before sending anyone out on a task that has been deemed dangerous or has some inherent risk. Evaluating potential hazards and implementing effective safety measures are crucial steps in this regard. Develop comprehensive plans that address these risks, integrating regular safety checks and detailed reporting mechanisms. Training is essential, equipping workers with the skills and knowledge they need to handle any situation safely.


Set Up Check-In Procedures


If a job involves a staff member regularly heading out alone and you know they will face potential risks to their health, you must set up a procedure that entails them checking in at previously specified intervals. You could achieve this via technology like the lone worker devices mentioned earlier or by way of a manual check-in via phone or message. If they are going to be entirely on their own, as in there is nobody else at the office or warehouse backing them up, then you are better positioned to use dedicated devices for the job. If you have a team working back at HQ, then you may also want to set up procedures where someone is assigned to check on the person heading out. They may monitor their check-ins and, if they are not received, take appropriate action based on previously instructed protocols.


Address Fatigue And Mental Health


Working alone can bring up a raft of issues, not least of which are mental health and fatigue issues. If the job entails working in dangerous locations or with individuals that may pose a risk, it is easy to see why these problems can arise, affecting their job performance and personal lives. To assuage these problems, it’s advisable to schedule regular meetings with trained counselors who can diagnose any underlying problems and suggest courses of action. If the issue is fatigue, it could be a good idea to implement more accessible vacation time or possibly even reduce the time spent on the job. 


Being a lone worker is full of risk, and no matter how resilient some folks may be, it can take a severe toll on their health. As an employer, the very least you can do is ensure they have everything they need regarding equipment and support. 



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