Lone workers are more productive than workers that work with other people, according to an Ask.com survey. Lone workers currently make up 15% of all workers in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
While there are clear benefits associated with working alone, there are big health and safety risks, too. This was demonstrated in March 2022 when a JDC Demolition Co. Inc. worker lost his life while working alone on a building demolition. So, let’s find out what precautions employers should take to protect them.
Employers should always know where their lone workers are. One way to do this is to get them to contact their boss with their location every time they move to a new workplace. A more effective method is to use technology to track lone workers. Lone worker apps have many functions, including GPS location, check-ins, and a panic button.
Some of these apps also have a timed session feature. This is particularly useful if the lone worker is going into a potentially dangerous situation. They can set it to say they’ll be in and out within 15 minutes, for example. If they don’t leave within this time or manually turn the timer off, law enforcement is automatically alerted.
It’s important that employers train their employees to do their job safely and effectively. The construction industry often utilizes lone workers. Yet, it’s been reported that 25% of workers in this industry don’t have safety training. Training should be given when the worker first starts and should continue to be given on a rolling basis.
Failing to do this could result in a serious accident. Every year, 2.7 million nonfatal occupational injuries are reported. Injured workers are often entitled to compensation. An experienced work accident attorney will usually be hired by the injured worker and they’ll fight for compensation for them.
Don’t forget safety equipment
Providing safety equipment to lone workers could protect them from a serious accident. In May 2022, a female flooring installer lost her life after falling from the 13th story of a high-rise condominium being built in West Palm Beach. It is not known whether any safety equipment was being used by the victim.
However, a recent study found that just 59% of workers wear PPE. Employers must ensure that PPE is provided and worn. PPE must also be regularly inspected and repaired or replaced as and when necessary. It needs to be easy for employees to report faulty equipment and it must be removed and replaced immediately to prevent it from being misused.
Lone workers make up a large proportion of the nation’s workforce. These individuals have the right to be protected just as well as all other workers and employers must do all they can to safeguard them. These are just a few measures that they could be taking.