A lone worker is an employee who works without direct supervision or other employees in the immediate area. Many kinds of workers can be classified as lone workers. A security guard working alone at night is one example. Someone performing maintenance in a remote location is another. People who work from home or away from the office could also be considered a lone worker.
There are many benefits to allowing employees to do lone work. A trusted employee can often work more quickly and effectively without having a supervisor present, which allows supervisors to focus on other tasks. However, lone workers face many of the same dangers and challenges that traditional workers face. Working alone also presents its own set of hazards that employers need to take into consideration when allowing employees to do lone work.
What are some of the hazards of lone working?
If you or your company are considering lone working as an option for your employees, here are four things that should be taken into consideration first.
- Risk of injury — Workplace injuries are a common occurrence, with over 2 million instances of workplace injury reported each year in the United States. For lone workers, becoming injured on the job can be a more serious concern. If no one is around to assist them after an injury, they may not be able to reach help in time.
- Risk of outside threats — Some lone workers work directly with the public. This includes people who work in sales, care providers and delivery personnel. There may be circumstances where a worker’s safety is threatened by harassment, abuse or assault by a member of the public. This can be a serious problem in situations where there are no other workers present.
- Transportation risks — Truck drivers, delivery personnel and people traveling for business are all examples of lone workers. Automobile accidents and other forms of transportation accidents are risks that lone workers may face when traveling.
- Environmental risks — Many lone workers will find themselves in hazardous areas such as construction sites, excavation areas and confined spaces. These work sites come with their own set of hazards, so it is important that lone workers are prepared. Access to personal protective equipment is vital to ensure the safety of lone workers in hazardous work sites.
How can I help prepare my employees for lone working?
The best way an employer can ensure the safety of their lone workers is to prepare. If your employees are properly trained and equipped for the job that they are expected to do, they will be much safer when they work alone. Employers should also make sure to pinpoint and address all the possible hazards in the environment where their lone workers will be working.
Basin Safety can help you prepare your employees for lone working. We offer dozens of specialized training programs, including site-specific safety courses, equipment training and first aid training. Our field services can also assist you in making sure your work site is safe. We can test your work site for a variety of hazards, including:
- Hydrogen sulfide exposure.
- Benzene exposure.
- Excessive noise injury.
- Radiation exposure.
Trust Basin Safety to prepare your employees to work in the most safe and effective way possible. We work with a variety of industries and are compliant with all federal and local standards.
Contact us today for more information on our training services, field services, equipment services and consultation services.