Lone workers are defined as not having visual or audible communication with other people during work. That is, someone who can offer them immediate assistance in the event of an emergency. Lone working includes those who work out of normal working hours. They are vulnerable to delays in first aid intervention, rescue, and medical help. Consideration must be given to this fact when assessing risks to your workers, and provision must be made to mitigate such delays.
Lone workers may not consider themselves to be at any greater risk than others. For them it is just part of their job, they are used to it, and they may enjoy it, with a greater sense of freedom to just get on with job without interference or interruption. Many lone workers are merely extending their normal working hours in the company of co-workers into the quieter weekend or out-of-hours. A little Saturday morning clean-up or evening work to clear the rush. The work they are permitted to do (and conversely the work they are prohibited to do) must be made clear to them. If the assessment has been carried out properly, the work they are permitted to do should be of a safe nature. This brings me to the point I wish to make. When reviewing lone worker arrangements, you will be engaging that worker and asking them about their work and how they go about it, what they can do and what they are cannot, whether they feel secure in what they do and whether there is anything they think can be done to improve their immediate safety. Their answer will be a resounding ‘no’. For actually, they like their out-of-hours work gig as it is, thank you very much and they will be cautious of any changes you may bring. ‘Hey, I am only doing low risk work after all’.
But here’s the thing. Anyone can suffer from ill-health. It doesn’t have to be an accident and physical injury to render someone unconscious or otherwise incapable of summoning help for themselves. Perhaps they have become trapped or locked-in. No lone worker should be out of reach of medical help or other practical assistance, and there are plenty of technological devices available nowadays with which to raise the alarm.
If you need help with lone worker risk assessments specific to your own workplace, give Delibero a call on 07484 760998
Our Proof-Check system offers compliance assurance to give you peace of mind that you are duly diligent in managing your occupational health and safety risks. Your consultant will examine all aspects of health and safety relevant to your organisation, offering helpful advice and guidance along the way. We take time to talk, discuss and have safety conversations – this is not a scary impersonal audit.
We pride ourselves on offering a personalised coaching and mentoring service. Formal health and safety training courses have their place, but only go so far. If you have responsibility for health and safety at work but feel you need face-to-face guidance and answers to your specific needs, we are here to lend a helping hand.
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