Why Protect Lone Workers?
The background to why it's important to protect lone workers, the types of lone worker roles in New Zealand employment, and the importance of specifying the right solution for your staff.
What is a Lone Worker?
Whilst working alone is perfectly legal, any employer owes all staff a duty of care, and as such they need to consider the risks to that worker's safety in the workplace. New Zealand's Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment defines working alone as "Work carried out in an area where normal means of contact (eg. verbal or sight) with other staff is not available so that the potential risk of existing hazards is increased to the extent that extra precautions are needed. This may include working in isolated areas, onsite or offsite, either during or outside normal working hours".
Industries with Lone Workers:
Lone Workers are everywhere. There are lone worker roles in every industry. In New Zealand tens of thousands of workers work alone in situations where they face social or environmental risks at least some of the time.
In New Zealand, numerous industries typically employ lone workers, including:
- Healthcare and related services
- Local government
- Government agencies
- Utility services
- Property maintenance
- Emergency services
- Distribution workers
- Insurance agencies
Associated risks with not protecting lone workers, and the New Zealand Health & Safety Reform legislation:
Not protecting staff who work alone presents a serious business risk to an organisation - it can easily affect a business' cash position, its share price, perceived brand equity value, and its ability to attract the best staff and customers. Equipping your staff with a SoloProtect lone worker solution can significantly reduce your business risk.
Major reform of New Zealand Health & Safety legislation went before Parliament in September 2015.
The legislation brought New Zealand into line with health & safety regulations in the UK and other countries where SoloProtect is already firmly established.
- The bill imposes a personal obligation of due diligence on directors and other officers to ensure compliance
- Responsibilities cannot be delegated
- There must be a proactive approach to the identification of risk
- Appropriate resources must be provided to mitigate risk
- Records must be kept
- There is a significant increase in the maximum penalties for a breach of obligation under the new law for both individuals and corporates.
The international experience of SoloProtect is invaluable in assisting New Zealand Directors and Managers meet their legal obligations. For more information please click the link for more information about legislation affecting lone workers in New Zealand.
WorkSafe New Zealand's 'Home Time Safe' campaign acknowledges the country's unnacceptable high death and injury statistics within the workplace.
The short video below is part of their campaign to make workplaces safer and healthier for everyone.
For more information on the merits of choosing a SoloProtect Solution, please give us a call directly on the details below.