Many organisation’s stray in to the territory of lone workers without realising it, because it is not just applicable to the security guard doing the night shift.
Lone workers are employees who carry out an activity in isolation, without close supervision or contact with others. Therefore this could be someone who works in a remote part of a warehouse or factory; someone who keeps a small shop or kiosk alone; or even someone who works alone at home.
What are the risks?
The risks associated with lone workers can vary depending on the task they are carrying out.
Dangerous tasks, such as using heavy machinery, have obvious risks however the mitigating factors are reduced when a worker has little communication with others who could help them in the event of an incident.
In other jobs the threat might come from dealing with customers or the public who become threatening and violent.
Before you can effectively manage the risk, you must first measure it by conducting a comprehensive risk assessment of the lone worker activities.
What controls can be implemented?
By completing a risk assessment, the available controls should become clear.
For lone remote workers a check-in system might help to reduce risk, by providing regular contact with a supervisor to ensure all is well.
CCTV could also be used to visually check on the worker’s welfare and working practices.
For those working with the public, a special lone worker device might be appropriate, as this would allow the worker to discreetly activate an alert and allow a call centre to listen in on a situation and provide assistance as required.
Verifying controls through an audit programme.
Regardless of which controls you decide to implement, the final stage is to ensure they are working effectively and that’s where Assent can provide an audit programme to suit your needs.
Contact Us for more information on how we can help you manage risks associated with lone workers.