Working by yourself can be a great way to get the job done faster. In many cases you are free to work in your own way, making the job more fun and rewarding. However, while working by yourself in an office carries minimal risks, there are plenty of more dangerous jobs that people do by themselves. It’s important to be aware of the hazards of working alone:
There is no doubt that the biggest risk to lone workers is being injured. If you are by yourself and your injury is severe you may not be able to contact emergency services. In other words, a lone worker can face life-altering conditions or even death simply because they were by themselves.
That’s why companies need a policy to support lone workers.
It is also possible that a lone worker can suddenly become ill. This can lead to an injury on the job or a post being unmanned as the company doesn’t know about the issue.
Employees that work by themselves are more likely to bend or break the rules because no one is likely to know. However, this can put them more at risk. That’s why companies need to monitor and enforce the rules.
Lone workers can be subjected to violence by passers-by or by those they are trying to help. A perfect example of this is emergency responders, as many as 60% of which have experienced physical violence.
Fortunately, there are several things a business can do to help ensure the safety of their lone workers.
There are several different types of alarm systems that can be adopted but duress alarms are generally considered the best.
These are worn by the lone worker and can be activated by them at a touch of a button. The alarm will then emit a high-pitched sound, alerting people nearby to their plight. At the same time, the best duress alarms will send a signal to the head office, allowing them to contact the lone worker or send emergency back-up, depending on their policy.
It should be noted that these alarms can also monitor the health of a lone worker and advise head office if there is an issue, such as the worker is laying down or their heartbeat has stopped. The alarm signal can save valuable time and help the lone worker get the aid they need.
Alongside the alarm, it’s a good idea to contact your lone worker every hour. This checking-in process ensures they are safe, allows them to note any concerns, and can help them feel like a valuable member of the team.
Best of all it’s easy to do and can be quickly followed up with a visit if necessary.
It is essential that all lone workers regularly receive additional training. This will remind them of the hazards and what to do if anything happens. It will also gives them the opportunity to voice concerns and help you establish a policy that works for all your lone workers.