The number of lone and remote workers is increasing. This is because of technology, and people love flexible work schedules. A lot of workers and employers prefer lone working. The law, however, requires employers to protect their lone workers. It is a moral responsibility for employers to protect their lone workers.
The company does not have to just provide a protection system to protect their lone workers. The company must ensure lone workers understand their protection system. It should also make it easy for their workers to access the protection system.
Here are 6 tips for companies to protect their lone workers:
1. Identify the Lone Workers
It is easy for an employer to identify some workers in their company, such as water samplers, district nurses, crane operators, etc. It is, however, difficult to identify lone workers. Why? An office worker can work on a project late into the night, so the worker stays alone in the office. Utility engineers work with customers, so they are usually isolated from their co-workers. Lone workers are also people who occasionally work from their homes. It is a moral and legal requirement to provide these workers with protection. It is the responsibility of the employer to identify their lone workers and protect them.
2. Risk Assessment
It is vital to conduct a risk assessment to identify hazards or threats. These hazards or threats can arise to cause more problems, especially if you did not anticipate them. If your company employs lone workers, the law requires you to identify the risks that your lone workers might face. Once you identify the risks, create plans to combat them.
Every job position comes with risks. It is, therefore, better to combat these risks to enhance the safety of your workers. You can create a written procedure for your lone workers. There should be notes on risk assessment and an escalation protocol in your procedure.
3. Provide Support
Companies can use lone worker apps for their lone workers.
Red Alert can connect remote or lone workers to an Alarm Response Centre (ARC). ARC can identify the lone worker, the GPS location of the lone worker, and the support that the lone worker requires.
Lone workers use Yellow Alerts to leave voice messages to tell their employers their exact location, especially if there is an emergency. Yellow Alerts can give the lone workers peace of mind. It is even ideal for people who have flexible work schedules or those who work alone in a large office building.
Workers Down monitor the movement of mobile devices and the orientation of these devices using built-in motion sensors. For instance, if a sudden impact is detected, it can mean a fall. Then, Safe Hub uses ARC to automatically raise an alert. It is easy for the worker to deactivate false alarms.
Safe Check sends an email, a text, or a voice message automatically. The user, therefore, uses their risk assessment to set the intervals for these messages. The message asks the user for an identity code to know if the user is okay. If the user is okay, the system resets. If the system does not get a response within a specific time, it connects to the ARC to alert the staff. The staff uses the company’s escalation procedures to manage the alert.
Managers use Group Alert to send crucial messages to pre-defined groups, specific lone workers, or users in a specific place. It is, therefore, easy for managers to send important messages during an emergency, including extreme weather or terror alert.
Safe Beacon sends alerts between Bluetooth-enabled beacons and Safe Hub. Employers place the Bluetooth-enable beacons discreetly within their structure or building. The Safe Beacon monitors specific areas. If a lone worker enters these areas, Safe Beacon sends an alert to the line manager and the worker. The message communicates dynamic risk notifications and proactive safety warnings. The purpose of the Safe Beacon is to ensure the lone worker understands the Health and Safety policies.
4. Provide Devices for Lone Workers
The situation of the lone worker comes with specific risks. Therefore, it is better to look for opportunities to improve lone workers’ safety. The lone workers can use their devices to access lone working protection systems. Therefore, the device must suit the specific situation of the lone worker. Every lone worker requires different things, including:
Lone workers in a remote area will require a satellite device if the mobile signal is weak.
If the worker meets customers face-to-face, then they require a discreet product or a wearable device. However, the device or product should have an SOS feature to make it easy to locate the worker.
If the lone workers use the standard mobile phones, such as smartphones, they may not need an extra device. They can, however, need systems that they can access on their smartphones. If the lone workers use laptops or PCs, they need systems that they can access on their desktop.
If the lone workers work in industrial locations or combustible materials, they need safe and durable devices, which can remove the risks of sparks.
If the lone workers work in areas where exposure is limited, then the employer can protect them with alarm beacons. However, if the lone workers are in multiple areas, then the company needs to provide Safe Hub and multiple devices to these workers.
5. Management and Auditing
It is crucial to monitor the safety of the lone workers. The company can use data to monitor the safety of lone workers. It is, therefore, essential for the company to have access to clear data to help them with management and auditing. The company can use the best systems to get individual user profiles and full management and auditing.
Health and Safety employees can use lone worker safety apps to create individual profiles for their lone workers. They can even use Safe Hub to define the monitoring and escalation protocols of every lone worker. It is easy to use the platform to check the activity of every lone worker. The platform provides precise and prompt reporting to ensure the company complies with Health and Safety requirements. Therefore, the employer can use this platform to promote health and enhance the safety of their employees.
Once you identify lone workers in your company, you can now develop risk assessments and policies for these workers. It is even better to identify the most appropriate responsibilities for your lone workers and choose suitable devices for them. Do not, however, stop here.
6. Deployment and Training
Last, but not least, you need to choose and deploy the best system. Your workers will use the system daily. It is not always possible for lone workers to exploit the technology where their employer deploys it. One of the main reasons is that the lone workers are not comfortable with the new technology. It can take time for the employee to get used to the new technology. Therefore, many lone workers are more likely to avoid using new systems. It is, therefore, necessary for the employer to look for a usable and user-friendly system.
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