How to protect lone workers who may be exposed to risks in the workplace

Many of us are lucky enough to work in environments that allow us to fulfil our human need for socialising and team building, however many individuals work makes it necessary for them to work in isolation from other employees. An estimated 8 million people in the UK are classified as loner workers who work by themselves without supervision and assistance. Roles that often require lone working include construction workers, gas and electricity tradespeople and logistics workers. Here are some of the ways you can help to protect lone workers in your organisation.

  • Perform lone worker risk assessments

Risk assessments are a vital part of any organisations strategy when it comes to creating a safe environment for people to work in; they can help uncover hidden issues and act as a good point of reference to measure how you are doing when it comes to health and safety.

When it comes to creating lone risk assessments, the lack of an HSE executive template means you are able to create one that suits your needs. Try and involve the lone worker when conducting the risk assessment, this may give you insight that you would not have been able to gleam by yourself. Once the risk assessment has been conducted, be sure to put in to place actionable steps to improve safety.

If for example, during the lone worker risk assessment you uncover a hazard due to the lack of proper clothing, look into the use of protective equiptment.

  • Encourage the use of Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to increase the safety of operations in many different businesses, such as face masks from companies like StringKing to help with putting a stop to disease spreading in close quarters. Electricians and construction workers are all required to wear PPE which minimizes there exposure to hazards and allows them to perform their job with minimum risk of injury or death. For lone workers who do not work under a designated supervisor, the importance of PPE is heightened due to the higher risk of incidents due to individual error.

  • Take steps to safeguard employees mental wellbeing

Lone workers can often feel isolated from organizations, and this can contribute to a poor mental state that may lead to increased incidents through a lack of attention or conscientiousness. If you take steps to safeguard employees’ health and wellbeing, you will reduce the risk of an incident occurring. These steps can come in the form of one on one sessions, the encouragement of breaks, and feedback opportunities. There is also the possibility of putting an onsite clinic in the workplace that will be able to help employees’ when needed. To see how health insurance can support this, websites such as Eden Health are able to offer further insight.

Take a Holistic approach

It is worth stating, that in order to fully safeguard lone workers, no one of these changes will act as a ‘silver-bullet’. As a company, if you have lone workers you should take a top-level approach looking at various different areas to make sure you are covering enough ground to make an effective difference.

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Tim Spafford

Tim is a student who works hard to get a degree in finance and build a successful career in business consulting. Being a student and living in London Tim has a real-life experience in budgeting, saving, money making, traveling and having fun.