4 Tips to Improve Lone Worker Safety
For many businesses, working alone is a common occurrence. However, this can be risky as lone workers face a range of safety hazards.
What is a lone worker?
A lone worker is anyone who works by themselves without close or direct supervision. Any worker in this category could be at risk of harm.
The Safework Australia model code of practice puts lone workers into 5 categories:
All-night convenience store and service station attendants.
Sales representatives, including real estate agents.
Long-distance freight transport drivers.
Scientists, park rangers and others carrying out fieldwork alone or in remote locations.
Health and community workers working in isolation with members of the public.
However, there are many more examples of lone workers and the definition can include:
Working separately from others
Such as in factories, warehouses, research and training establishments, leisure centres or fairgrounds, petrol stations, kiosks.
Working away from a fixed base
Such as construction, plant installation, maintenance and cleaning work, electrical repairs, lift repairs, painting and decorating, vehicle recovery.
Such as rent collectors, postal staff, social workers, home helps, district nurses, pest control workers, drivers, engineers, architects, estate agents, employees viewing domestic and commercial premises.
Agricultural and Forestry Workers
Such as Loggers, tree fellers,labourers, farmers.
Working Outside Normal Hours
Such as cleaners, security, special production, maintenance or repair staff.
What Are Employer Obligations?
According to Safework Australia, employers “Must manage the risks associated with remote or isolated work, including ensuring effective communication with the worker carrying out remote or isolated work.”
It’s essential for employers to implement safety measures to protect lone workers.
This includes personal duress systems (PERS) if a phone is difficult to access or use in an emergency. The Model Code of Practice states PERS are suitable for people who move between locations to see clients, including health care workers.
4 tips to improve lone worker safety:
- Use a PERS, also known as a personal safety alarm or lone worker alarm.
Lone worker alarms are personal safety alarms that are designed to keep lone workers safe while they work. These alarms allow workers to call for help quickly and easily in case of an emergency. Lone worker alarms typically feature an emergency button that the worker can press to trigger an alert. Many alarms also have a falls detection feature which sends an alert if the user has a fall.The alert is then either sent back to base/HQ or to a monitoring centre, where trained professionals can respond and provide assistance.
- Ensure employees know how to use lone worker devices
It’s essential to ensure that all employees who work alone know how to use their personal safety alarms. This includes training them on how to activate the device and what to do in case of an emergency. It’s also essential to make sure that the device is charged and in good working order. Regular testing of the device can help ensure it’s working correctly.
- Implement a check-in system
A check-in system is another effective way to improve lone worker safety. This system requires workers to check in regularly with a supervisor or a monitoring centre to confirm that they are safe. This check-in system can be implemented using various methods, including phone calls, text messages, or a lone worker device. Devices such as the TEQ-Secure allow 2-way voice calls and so can be used in this instance. Another useful feature of the TEQ-Secure for check-ins is geofencing. This allows certain areas to be set and notifications to be sent when the worker enters or exits the area. This system can help ensure that lone workers are accounted for, and any issues can be identified and addressed promptly.
- Establish an Emergency Response Plan
Having an emergency response plan in place is essential to improving lone worker safety. This plan should include specific procedures for handling emergencies, including who to contact, what to do, and how to respond to different situations. Regular training and practice sessions can help ensure that all employees know what to do in case of an emergency.
Personal safety alarms for lone workers are an essential tool for improving workplace safety. However, it’s essential to ensure that employees know how to use their devices, establish a check-in system, and have an emergency response plan in place. By following these four tips, employers can help ensure the safety and well-being of their lone workers.
Ensure Your Employee Is Safe At Work With SOFIHUB
Employers have a duty of care to ensure their lone worker employee is safe and supported at all times. With SOFIHUB’s lone worker safety pendant, you can feel confident that your employees are safe no matter where, 24/7. Contact our team today to book a demo or call us at 1300 110 366.