Important Steps to Safeguard Your Lone Workers
Prevention begins with understanding and identifying ways employees can be harmed. Beyond saving lives, profitability and morale are boosted over the longer term, What is the most effective way to go about safeguarding your lone workers? Here are three critical steps to deliver the results you’re looking for.
Step One: Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment
A risk assessment for lone workers
starts by identifying each type of lone worker situation in your workplace and creating a committee of different skill sets to analyse them; fully assessing a situation—and its potential risks.
Step Two: Create a plan to mitigate risk
Categorise risks—then eliminate, reduce, or manage them
- Step-by-step analyses on workplace activities should be completed
- Flagging situations that can cause injuries or threaten health. These might include
- Substances used that may be potentially harmful;
- Risk factors associated with the equipment used
- Identification of times when an employee working alone is particularly at risk.
Once the risk assessment has been completed with the potential risks for each group of lone workers identified, the next step is to evaluate how your company is currently addressing these risks and to fill in the gaps, as appropriate, to mitigate risk
Step Three: Invest in lone worker safety devices and monitoring
Beyond saving lives, profitability and morale are boosted over the longer-term
- Determine what procedures you’ll need to implement to mitigate the risks that remain
- Any new risks that may be created as a result of the changes.
- Hazardous areas, for example, may be shut off unless a worker absolutely must be there.
- PPE can be improved upon, first aid stations added, and communication devices can be enhanced to keep lone workers safely connected.
Because lone workers are more physically isolated than people who work in groups, they can experience their own unique levels of high stress. Providing a lone worker with a reliable, connected safety monitor gives them a lifeline to others should an accident or incident occur.
The most advanced lone worker safety technology
can combine layers of safety to protect those most at risk:
- Call for immediate assistance – with connected devices, workers can activate SOS alerts to immediately connect them to safety monitoring personnel in the event of an incident requiring assistance. Devices that have two-way voice communication via text or optional push-to-talk, offer another way for your workers to quickly call for help, regardless of the circumstances.
- Voice Activation – once identified, the device can trigger an emergency alert, even if the device is not accessible
- No motion detection – an accelerometer in a device can also detect if a worker has stopped moving for some time. This can indicate several hazardous situations a worker may have encountered, such as loss of consciousness while stationary, which would not trigger a fall alert.
- Missed check-in – for lone workers in the field or working independently for extended periods of time, rather than relying on text messages, phone calls or other manual methods prone to human error, regular check-ins can be automated using a pre-configured countdown timer. With a push of a button, the worker can acknowledge that they are OK at pre-set intervals without a supervisor needing to directly contact the worker to check and verify their wellbeing. If a check-in is missed and the worker fails to respond to a warning alert, the device can trigger a tailored emergency response protocol.
- Data Analytics – when coupled with data science and analytics, connected safety devices can identify hazards before they harm workers. The ability to detect patterns through connected device readings allows safety managers and operators to take proactive steps to mitigate risks.