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Lone working.

Lone workers are simply people who work alone without direct or close supervision and this is usually legal.

Mobile workers, such as drivers, surveyors, engineers or care workers, are lone workers when they work away from their employer’s base. Some lone workers are at a fixed workplace but isolated, or in a maintenance role that takes them all over the worksite. “On call workers” who work overtime, outside normal hours or who open and close work premises, can also be lone workers.

The risks of lone working

Lone workers are more at risk than others because of the nature and location of their work. They risk violent attack, whether from a thief when opening or closing work premises, or because they work in an area of social deprivation or with vulnerable people. Some lone workers risk being in serious road accidents or injuring themselves because of previously unknown poor health. Other implications for lone workers:

  • unfamiliar with the risks of a remote worksite
  • adopt unsafe practices because they have no supervision
  • manually handle tools and equipment between vehicle and workplace or during deliveries
  • cannot get help or advice in case of sudden illness, accident or other emergency

 

Reduce the risks of lone working

As an employer you have a few ways to reduce the risks to your lone worker:

  • train them fully in the risks of their type of lone working
  • set up a system of routine communication with them
  • give good supervision
  • identify potentially violent situations and use control measures that could reduce or stop lone working
  • provide effective emergency procedures.

Employsure can advise you on reducing the risks of lone working.

For peace of mind, please call our 24 hour Advice Line now on 1300 651 415.

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