Lone worker safety is one of the most important things you need to address if you employ people who tend to work alone. Jobs that require an individual to work alone come with certain hazards.
Because OSHA doesn’t have a detailed guideline on what to do for the safety of lone workers, most companies today use their own judgment to create a safe work environment for their solo workers. If this is your first time formulating your own safety measures, though, this list can help:
Every industry has its unique working environments so you can’t expect the same hazards for manufacturing if you’re in retail. This is why it’s very important for employers to determine the possible risks their employees will be put in once they go out and do their jobs.
A reliable employee will do more than what is asked of them from time to time. However, this is not always a good thing for solo workers. There are tasks that aren’t safe to do on your own, so if lone workers tend to overextend themselves, it can be an issue. Setting the parameters of their lone work can help prevent problems later on.
Enforce the use of safety gear and standard operating procedures even when they’re away from the main facility.
A lot of lone workers need flexibility to effectively get their jobs done. Some creativity is welcome, especially if it will boost one’s efficiency.
However, this doesn’t mean that they should disregard standard operating procedures and the use of safety gear when necessary. These things are often proven to be useful in preventing accidents in the workplace, so it’s just best to stick with them.
Whether your employee works in isolation or in a completely different location, providing them a way to reach others instantly is imperative. Mobile phones come in handy for remote workers while walkie-talkies and other devices are essential for those who work in a separate area. These will allow them to contact backup support in case of emergency, letting them receive help right away.
Using an alarm system or early warning devices to help lone workers alert others during emergencies as well.
Having a clear plan in place in case something happens is also important if you want to keep your solo workers safe. With an emergency contingency, everyone will know what to do and how to react. This can include notifying, checking in, or rescuing lone workers from where they are.
Training everyone in first aid, emergency response, and other skills that can prove to be useful in their line of work will also come in handy. Your solo workers should definitely learn a few survival skills, especially if they’ll be working on various sites and locations. This will prepare them for various emergencies that they can face while away from your team.
Managers and supervisors should check in with the solo workers on their team from time to time not just to ensure that they’re doing their work but also to check their safety. This can be done through phone calls, visits, emails, or texts.
Checking in on your solo workers on how well the safety measures set in place are keeping them safe is important. This will help ensure that your efforts are not in vain. It can also help reinforce or tweak the measures that you have put in place.
Your employees might just have a good idea how to bolster their safety while they’re on the job since they are the ones who are out there. Collaborate and encourage them to suggest additional measures that you can enforce.