How can businesses in the UK protect their lone workers

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Due to the isolated nature of their jobs lone workers are considerably more at risk of experiencing emergencies and accidents than non-lone workers. To make sure they are properly protected from such risks, it is truly important that employers and business owners have implement strategies so that workers understand exactly what to do in case an incident happens.

In order to minimise the risks to lone worker welfare, organisations need to adopt a robust strategy that covers prevention as well as response. While prevention takes care of identifying a potential issue before it arises and taking the necessary measures to lower the likelihood of its occurrence, response refers to the necessary steps we need to take if and when an incident arises.

 
 

Protecting our lone workers

Lone workers are exposed to a wide range of risks within their workspace and have limited possibilities to call for help. So how can we provide our lone workers with a proper level of protection and consequently make their work safer?

Because of the growing industrialisation, the number of lone workers is also growing, since it is enough for one man to administer a large number of machines. When a worker is alone surrounded by many machines, his psychological processes can be impacted by the loneliness. Thus, lone workers can react inappropriately to unexpected physical events. In case an accident happens at the employee’s workplace while he or she is alone, the first thing that the courts will look at are the procedures implemented by the business owner or employer to shorten the response time to the accident. This is why prevention is key.

 
 

Prevention

Prevention needs to begin with a risk assessment that will outline any high-risk tasks that the lone worker will be subject to as part of the job. There usually are 3 main potential risks that can affect lone workers:

  • Occupational risks: falls or trips
  • Aggression and violence: from individuals they may encounter inside or even outside of their workplace
  • Personal wellbeing: risk conditions such as pre-existing health conditions

Adopting lone worker solutions such as innovative technologies is also an efficient measure in minimising the risks of emergencies. It is true that some organisations may not have the resources available to monitor lone workers at all times, but it is also true that technology offers us the capabilities to supervise workers round the clock. Nowadays there are a large amount of lone worker technologies available that range from apps to key fob safety alarms as well as GPS tracking devices to help workers feel more secure when they are alone.

Different jobs come with different risks; while one of the most important risks threats to public sector staff is typically abuse and aggression from members of the public, the most usual element of concern for construction workers is on site accidents.

 
 

The importance of implementing a lone worker policy

A thorough lone worker policy allows managers and employers to assess risks common in their industry. When it comes to the lone workers themselves, it helps them understand sources of potential danger and risks, and lets them get ready to minimise the risk. In brief, a lone worker policy keeps employees safe, and this needs to always be the priority of every business.

 
 

Keeping track of lone workers

Keeping lone workers adequately identified lets them to be recognised immediately, which can reduce the number of potential risks. Staff safety solutions that are available on the market can make it possible to provide lone workers with IDs connected to monitoring systems so you can keep track of their location and position. This will let you react very fast in case there is an accident or any sort of emergency.