The law does not prohibit people from doing their jobs alone, and sometimes it is necessary. But there are additional hazards and risks to consider while considering lone work. Lone workers’ health and safety are mostly the responsibility of their employers.
It’s a good idea for employers to provide a lone worker course and take every precaution to prevent an accident. This might be as simple as wearing a hard hat to protect yourself from falling debris or as complex as establishing procedures and standards to keep workers safe from harm. To maintain the safety of the employee, proper supervision, instruction, and training, as well as effective control mechanisms, are all required.
Risks to Lone Workers:
What are the potential dangers that lone workers face? Employees who work alone are more vulnerable to workplace violence, which can include verbal and physical abuse, threats and threatening behavior, and other forms of abuse.
Isolation, for example, might put a lone worker at risk of mental health issues, stress, and other worries. It is because they can’t get help as soon as their coworkers, lone employees are far more exposed to medical emergencies than their group. Because they cannot call for help as soon as they would if not alone, the lone worker is additionally at risk of injury if an accident occurs. Working alone also puts you at greater risk of encountering sexual harassment and other forms of offensive behavior.
Assessing the risk:
Workplace safety aims to recognize safety and health dangers and collaborate to prevent them and protect one another. As an employer, you have a legal obligation to analyze the risks to lone workers as part of your general task risk assessments; however, you are not required to conduct a separate lone worker risk assessment.
However, it is entirely okay if you want to create an individual risk assessment for lone workers. As part of your risk assessment, you must take the necessary procedures to prevent or mitigate the threats caused by lone personnel.
Mitigating the risks to lone workers:
Why is anyone still allowed to work alone if the risk is significant? Why not make the buddy system a requirement for all employees? For practical reasons, many job tasks require individuals to be alone occasionally or all of the time. It’s much like any other safety issue where the company and the employee must work together to minimize the risks.
Lone employees require special regulations and a lone worker course to recognize high-risk scenarios based on pre-determined criteria. As a result, they will be able to carry out their jobs with care and in a way that minimizes the danger of damage. When caution is ineffective in averting an accident, training and procedures should also address “what if?” scenarios. Workers will require methods and tools to either call for assistance themselves or, more crucially, the ability to notify others if they are unable to do so. The necessity to check in with the employer frequently while working alone is a basic protocol included in every lone worker’s process.