Practical Solutions for Lone Workers
Lone working, where someone is working by themselves without close or direct supervision, is on the increase. Many businesses rely on a single person, male or female, to open an office or retail store and to close the premises at the end of the day.
Home-based employees and vehicle-based employees are also classed as lone workers if they are working by themselves. Cleaners and warehouse staff may find themselves the only person in the building and it is important this is recognised, and steps taken to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Lone working encompasses anyone who is working alone, even for a short period of time. It is up to the employer to carry out the appropriate risk assessments and health and safety checks for employees and contractors.
One common concern raised about lone working is the responsibility and risk of carrying large volumes of cash to the bank. If this is done via the same route, at the same time or on the same day each week, this creates a pattern that is easy to spot and puts the lone worker at significant risk. Having someone accompany them and changing the pattern might be the best solution. Or, if this isn’t possible then a personal alarm and GPS tracker are alternative support systems.
Other concerns include working late alone, using public transport to attend meetings, leaving work after normal hours, returning to a vehicle in a carpark, especially if it is dark and the parking is not well lit. Again, having a personal alarm and GPS tracker can be helpful in these scenarios.
Lone workers often encounter situations, such as suspicious persons loitering outside the premises, which are threatening and intimidating, but do not necessarily lead to the lone worker calling the Police if the situation disperses or the threat is mitigated. It is important the employer is made aware of these situations and acts responsibly to minimise or eliminate this from happening.
Lone workers are vulnerable as they do not have the support of other workers to assist them should they slip, trip or become unconscious. In some cases, a fall could lead to a fatal injury if immediate medical assistance isn’t available. Some personal alarm systems have fall monitoring and can automatically activate contacting a monitoring station, even if the person isn’t aware they need help.
Employers have an obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act in the UK and are guided to carry out regular risk assessments for lone workers and document a Lone Worker Policy. They should also give adequate training to lone workers, such as conflict management training and implement a ‘buddy system’ where a lone worker ‘checks in’ at regular pre-agreed intervals, with appropriate steps taken if the ‘check in’ doesn’t happen.
A great solution for employers is the Lone Worker monitored alarm from Portcullis Alarms: https://portcullisalarms.co.uk/lone-worker-alarms, this fantastic low cost solution GSM/GPS tracking alarm is precisely designed for the protection of Lone Workers.
Call us now for a quotation on 01297 445897 or view more details here: https://portcullisalarms.co.uk/lone-worker-alarms
Added: 20th June 2019