Creating Safer Environments

Why should you consider lone worker solutions and what steps can you take to keep your lone workers safe?



Lone worker definition
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) defines lone workers as "those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision".
What legislation exists?

Important legislation relating to lone workers in the UK includes:

The Health & Safety At Work 1974
This legislation covers employer duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees including stating requirements for safe systems of work, health and safety policies, and safe working environments.

The Management of Health & Safety At Work Regulations 1999
This legislation details the approach to managing risks to employees.

The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992
This legislation covers welfare issues for employees.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases & Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995
This legislation details the recording and reporting of accidents at work.

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007
This Act clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies including large organisations where serious failures in the management of health and safety result in a fatality.

How do you manage the risks?

The starting point with managing any risks is a robust risk assessment process. Typically this an ongoing process covering the identification of risks, assessment and evaluation of the risks identified, implementing measures to eliminate or minimise the risks identified, monitoring the effectiveness of those measures, and then continuously repeating the cycle. This can lead into an over-arching lone worker policy, which can then be taken by individual teams/departments/staff to create local level lone worker procedures.

Risks to consider for lone workers include:

  • The environment(s) – fixed sites, mobile workers.
  • Travel – methods of travel, length of time travelling, where travelling to and from.
  • Tasks to be performed – work at heights, working on machinery, providing care, enforcement.
  • Public facing roles – aggression from other people?
  • Sudden illness and emergencies.
  • Working hours (outside normal hours?).

What risks are there?

Whilst most risks can be identified pre-emptively, lone workers especially need to be able to perform ‘dynamic risk assessments’ where they make operational decisions based on the risks which cannot be foreseen.

From the perspective of managing lone working staff, key questions to ask include:

  • Do I know where my staff are now?
  • Do I know what tasks my staff are performing now?
  • How do I know my staff have got home safely at the end of the working day?
  • How can my staff communicate quickly and effectively if they find themselves in difficulty?
How Reliance Protect helps

Adopting technology solutions such as Reliance Protect is only part of the investment and commitment to providing safe working environments for lone working staff. Aside from ensuring compliance with the legislative requirements, investing in staff safety delivers the following benefits to staff:

  • Staff recruitment and retention.
  • Staff feeling safe and confident when performing the day to day duties.
  • Staff feeling valued.

Organisations are also mitigating against costs associated with not complying with legislation:

  • HSE fines
  • Criminal prosecutions
  • Brand damage and negative publicity
  • Staff turnover

 

Click here to find out how Reliance Protect can help protect your lone worker staff.