A Guide to Lone Worker Safety: Ensuring the Well-being of Your Solo Employees
Lone workers face their own set of safety challenges, and as a manager, it’s your responsibility to make sure they stay out of harm’s way. In this ultimate guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure the well-being of your lone workers, from understanding the risks they face, to implementing practical safety solutions. Let’s dive in to your lone worker safety strategy.
Getting to Know the Risks Faced by Lone Workers
Lone workers face a greater risk compared to those who work with others due to the inherent nature of their work environment. Working alone means there is no immediate support or backup readily available when faced with potential hazards or emergencies.
They lack the presence of co-workers who can provide assistance, witness incidents, or raise an alarm. Not only that, but lone workers may be more vulnerable to external threats, such as violence or attacks, as they lack the safety in numbers that comes with working in a group.
Lone workers can feel isolated, which affects their mental health and can cause more stress, anxiety, and a sense of vulnerability. Because they lack immediate help and face unique challenges working alone, lone workers are at a higher risk and need proactive safety measures to protect them.
On top of this, your lone workers will face the same industry-specific hazards as the rest of your workforce. This is why a risk assessment is so important, and you can either create a separate section for lone workers, or address lone working throughout. Take a look at our guidance on how to approach your lone working risk assessment.
Meeting Legal Requirements and understanding lone worker legislation
Keep up with the laws that govern lone worker safety to make sure you’re compliant and avoid any legal trouble. As an employer, it’s your job to create a safe working environment or your team, and what that process looks like will depend on your industry or sector. An office may seem like a low risk environment, for example, but that can make people more complacent to the very common risks of slips, trips and falls.
We’ve heard of directors falling ill, and a member of staff falling down the stairs while on their own at the office, and it’s important not to underestimate the impact of these incidents. If you know people are going to be working early or late on their own, what are you doing to ensure they get help if they need it?
Do you have someone regularly working on their own where the risk of injury is high? That might be a HGV driver getting in and out of a cab, or someone working in an off-licence. If so, what are you doing to make sure they can get help quickly if they need it?
Need some help on your risk assessment? Check out our guide and free risk assessment templates.
While you hold a lot of the responsibility, it’s not entirely on you. Safety is a team effort, and your lone workers need to understand they also have an obligation to follow safety protocols you’ve set out and report any hazards. This can help you as you create a dynamic risk assessment if needed [LINK].
Practical Safety Measures for Lone Workers
Evaluating Risks from Top to Bottom: Take a close look at your workplace, identify potential hazards, and come up with ways to reduce the risks your lone workers face. If you don’t know where to start in creating your risk assessment, we can walk you through this process with our five step guide.
The Power of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Equip your lone workers with the right gear to keep them safe on the job. Hats, gloves, goggles—whatever they need, make sure they have it.
Embrace Technology for Lone Worker Safety: Lone worker solutions don’t have to cost a lot and take a long time to set up. WIth our PG Smart app, you can be protecting your high-risk employees in minutes, and it’s so simple to use, that they can get help quickly if or when they need it. Find out more about the PG Smart, and take a look at our comparison between our lone worker safety app versus our standalone pebble device.
Clear Communication and Emergency Response Plans
Keep the lines of communication open by finding the most efficient way to stay connected with your lone workers. Should they check in regularly? Are they working in areas where there’s low or no signal? Can they access their phone in an emergency situation? Make sure your lone workers can reach out for help when they need it.
Part of your communication plan might include a check-in system so your lone workers can let you know they’re safe. It’s a small step that can make a big difference. If you want to find out more about how our lone worker apps and devices work, take a look at our lone worker solutions or get in touch for a no obligation chat.
Prepare for Emergencies and have a plan in place for different incidents your lone workers might face. Make sure they know what to do and who to contact when things go wrong. With your lone worker solution from Pick Protection, we can help explain how an SOS is escalated to named emergency contacts, operators and emergency services.
Practical Solutions for Lone Worker Safety
Lone worker safety solutions are designed specifically to ensure that your employees get help quickly, even if they’re not able to press a button or access their phone. Our monitoring partners at Pick Protection hold BS8484 and NSI Gold Standard accreditations, meaning that they meet the highest standards in lone worker safety available.
Think about what kind of device is going to be the most useful to your workers, as there are a few options out there. Our most popular option is a combination of the PG Smart App, and our BlueTooth trigger device, the PG Click.
Having an app-based alarm means that your team are more likely to be carrying this potentially life-saving device around on them, and it uses the phone’s existing technology like GPS, so there’s no extra costs for hardware. The PG Click offers discretion, which can be useful for employees who are at a higher risk of aggression, such as social workers.
By following this ultimate guide and taking practical safety measures, you can ensure the well-being and security of your lone workers. Remember, keeping them safe not only protects your employees but also boosts productivity and creates a positive work environment.
Ready to take further action to optimise the safety of your lone workers?
Get in touch and we’ll explain how we can support you with a simple, flexible lone worker system than can be set up in minutes.
Lone worker protection e-book
Get a better understanding of who your lone workers are, what the law says, and practical steps to protect them in our free e-book.