Guide to Working Alone

Table of Contents

WorkSafe Guardian's Guide to Working Alone Safety.

A Guide to Working Alone Safely

In today’s dynamic work environment, many professionals find themselves working alone. This scenario, while common across various industries, brings with it a unique set of challenges and considerations. Ensuring the safety and well-being of lone workers is of paramount importance. In this guide, we’ll delve into the procedures, safety measures, and best practices that organisation’s can implement to safeguard their lone workers.

Understanding the Lone Worker

According to Safe Work Australia, a lone worker refers to an employee who performs their duties without direct supervision or immediate access to assistance. This situation, though prevalent in fields such as healthcare, construction, and field service, requires careful planning and safety protocols to mitigate potential risks.

Key Components of an Effective Working Alone Safely Procedure

Personal Protective Equipment

It is necessary for every organisation to equip its employees with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), ensuring their protection in emergencies or hazardous situations. The specific gear required may vary depending on the nature of the work. Examples may include a lone worker safety app, hard hats, safety glasses, masks, gloves, first-aid kits, and more.

Organisations should also implement measures to promote and mandate the use of this protective equipment. Actions like notifying employees about designated areas where PPE is mandatory and installing safety signs in workplaces are two effective approaches.

Risk Assessment

Before starting any task where an employee works alone, it’s crucial to thoroughly assess potential risks and hazards. This means carefully looking for possible dangers and taking steps to reduce them. For a step-by-step guide on this important process, check out our blog on Identifying Risks for Lone Workers: 5 Steps. This resource offers practical advice for employers to keep lone workers safe and secure.

Communication for Lone Workers

For a lone worker facing an emergency, every second counts. That’s why having reliable communication channels or tools available to lone workers is essential. It ensures that in the event of an accident, injury, or any unexpected situation, lone workers can reach out for help.

Emergency Response

Health and safety emergencies demand swift action. A clear emergency response plan is vital for organised and timely intervention. Key considerations for your plan should include:

  • Designated supervisor for emergency alerts.
  • Communication method.
  • Specific actions for the alerted supervisor.
  • Dispatch of emergency assistance.
  • Contingencies for unavailability or non-response.
  • Automated notification of an alternate supervisor, if needed.

This thorough approach ensures a rapid and effective response in critical situations.

Working alone after-hours

For employees working beyond regular business hours, it’s crucial to have a lone working system in position to guarantee their safety in times where limited assistance is available.

One widely adopted method is to enlist the services of a professional 24/7 response centre. Operators from the centre are responsible for handling missed check-ins, medical alerts, and duress alerts, all in accordance with what should be discussed in your organisation’s lone worker safety policy.

Compliance and Legal Considerations for Lone Worker Safety

WorkSafe Guardian aligns with industry-specific regulations and standards, ensuring that organisations meet legal obligations related to lone worker safety and duty of care for employees. This not only safeguards employees but also protects organisations from potential liabilities.

Learn more about Lone Worker Legislation in Australia here. 

The Foundation of Working Alone Safely

A reliable procedure for working alone forms the foundation of a secure environment for lone workers. WorkSafe Guardian, a leading safety app, provides a comprehensive solution for organisations to set up and enforce these critical procedures.

The WorkSafe Guardian Lone Worker Safety Solution incorporates practical features like welfare check-ins, safety and medical alerts, as well as geo-fence notifications. Moreover, it ensures a 24/7 coordinated response, offering a strong framework for keeping lone workers safe. This means that lone workers can stay connected and receive assistance when they need it most.

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