There are an increasing number of workers that perform job tasks outside of an office and away from other employees. Many of these workers take on responsibilities that are inherently risky and require strict adherence to processes and procedures to drive safety. Below you’ll find simple ways to improve workplace safety for this segment of your workforce.
1. Ensure Awareness of Potential Hazards
Protecting lone workers requires you to be familiar with potential workplace hazards. Simply put, it’s difficult to prevent a problem if you don’t acknowledge that it exists. Mitigating workplace hazards will require you to identify issues that workers may encounter. Some of the most common problems in the workplace are slips and falls. In fact, this is the leading hazard that employees face. Unfortunately, it can become far more dangerous for lone workers that spend a lot of time in isolated locations.
In addition to slips and falls, there are a long list of other potential workplace dangers that should be acknowledged, such as biohazards and chemicals. Depending on the nature of the job, there are also potential dangers during interactions with the general public. For instance, it’s possible to experience a physical assault at the hands of a customer. When workers are aware of potential dangers, they can be more vigilant to avoid them.
2. Provide Regular Safety Training
Workplace training for lone workers can sometimes make the difference between life and death. As an employer, it’s imperative that you have a clear safety procedure for lone workers because lack of knowledge is dangerous. When encountering an unsafe situation, having the procedural knowledge needed to overcome the problem is critical. Training might include information on how to call for help in an emergency or how to escape a dangerous scenario. It’s important to identify the type of training needed based on the nature of the job. Safety training should be provided to new hires and existing employees. It’s also important to ensure policies and procedures are easily accessible.
3. Promote Accountability
Although employers are responsible for ensuring the safety of their workers, employees must also be accountable for their actions. It’s important for employers to promote personal responsibility when it comes to doing what’s necessary to optimize health and safety. For instance, if a worker feels like they need help, they are responsible for making it known by speaking with a supervisor. Similarly, if they are struggling with any part of the job or if they have concerns, that information should be communicated.
Sometimes the problems that lone workers encounter have to do with their personal health. When this is the case, they must take the steps necessary to resolve the issue. Employees should be encouraged to speak up when a problem arises.
4. Optimize Use of Technology
There are many technologies available that can help protect lone workers. For instance, it’s incredibly easy to equip workers with GPS technology that can boost their safety. Motion detection and fall detection are examples of technologies that can help to ensure lone workers are safe. The cost of equipping your employees with technology to promote safety is well worth the expense, especially since it has the potential to save lives. Some equipment used for lone workers can significantly reduce risk and possibly lower workers’ compensation claims.
Without a doubt, lone workers face unique challenges. Fortunately, there are easy ways to manage those challenges to promote a workforce that’s happy and healthy. Having clear safety procedures and the right technology is imperative when it comes to keeping lone workers safe.