Three Simple Safety Tips for Lone Workers
The term “lone worker” is becoming a more and more familiar one in the United States as employers and safety professionals grow increasingly aware of employees that regularly carry out workplace tasks alone within their organization. With an increasing awareness of what a lone worker is, there is also an increasing realization of their prevalence. Lone workers are not limited to one industry or job type, and you likely have several within your company. This is a great sign! lone workers face additional and unique workplace risks due to the fact that they are alone. The recognition of this fact is essential to maintaining workplace safety for ALL employees, including those that work remotely.
Employers and safety professionals have a responsibility to educate lone workers on their unique safety working conditions and to do what they can to protect lone workers from risks faced. As someone responsible for employee safety, it is your job to develop procedures and training specific for your lone workers. The following are simple steps to make your lone workers aware of that they can take to help ensure their safety.
Identify potential hazards
Upon entering their workspace, the lone worker should always scan the environment for any potential hazards. Depending on the type of work the employee does, these can vary greatly. Some common conditions to look into include weather risks, chemicals, biohazards, the potential for trips/slips/falls, etc.
Lone workers should also be especially aware of social risk. Some lone workers, such as home health nurses and social workers, regularly work with people outside of the company. In cases such as these, there is the ever present risk of verbal abuse, assault and harm. Even if the lone worker does not regularly work with people, they must account for the possibility of an unexpected assailant, robbery or theft. Simply being aware of the potential risks that that may face will help the lone worker take the appropriate precautions needed to help prevent them.
Place importance on their own health
This is, of course, a good rule of thumb for all employees. For that matter, it’s a good rule for all humans in general. Lone workers, specifically, however, must be especially aware of their own health needs for two reasons:
- They may run into dangerous or difficult situations in which they must help themselves.
- They are subjected to isolation, which can affect their overall mental health.
Knowing these things, lone workers should be mindful of their overall health and how it could affect them. Eating well, exercising and simply paying attention to the way that they are feeling can all positively affect both physical and mental health. Learn more about how you can address employee mental health in this blog post.
Utilize available technology
Last but not least, lone workers should take advantage of the multiple technology resources available to them. Whether it be through utilizing the GPS on their phone to make sure that someone knows where they are, using technology to check in with onsite coworkers- the less that is left unknown, the better. Technology helps us to bridge that gap.
Even furthermore, there are technology solutions, including SoloProtect, that are designed specifically for lone worker protection. With advanced locating abilities beyond GPS, means to check in/out and summon help and connections to a highly trained emergency response team, lone worker solutions like SoloProtect can fill in even more unknowns and help lone workers in the event of danger as quickly as possible. To learn more about how SoloProtect can help promote worker safety and protect your lone workers, visit www.soloprotect.com/us.