Even after many of us have begun returning to offices, some will continue working alone. A worker is considered “lone” when they go long periods without direct contact with a co-worker. Think gas station attendants, security guards, power line workers, and custodians among others.
Lone workers make up 15 per cent of the combined workforce in Canada, the United States, and Europe. These can include people such as receptionists in large office buildings, construction workers, and security guards. Around 53 million lone workers keep the power on, buildings safe, and construction moving. They are an essential part of keeping the world running.
Employers are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of all workers, including feeling safe and connected to their colleagues when working alone. Working alone is not always dangerous but, in certain circumstances, can pose a significant risk to worker safety.
What makes lone work dangerous:
Workers are at serious risk of injury when work is done:
- in confined spaces with electricity
- with hazardous products such as chemicals or tools such as chainsaws
How to keep lone workers safe on the job:
According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, lone work should be avoided when possible, especially in circumstances of recognized risks. The good news is that there are many ways to ensure that lone work is done safely.
Here’s what can be done to keep lone workers safe:
- Assess the hazards of a workplace: Some jobs are more dangerous than others. Employers have a responsibility to make sure every effort is made to mitigate those risks.
- Ensure workers have the right training: Work and risk training are necessary whenever workers work alone.
- Get feedback: Solicit input from lone workers. They can identify risky conditions quickly and will have ideas on how to improve working conditions.
- Communicate with workers: Have mechanisms in place for workers to alert you when there’s an emergency. Personal alert solutions are an easy, one-button solution for workers to get the help they need quickly.
- Increase visibility: Know where your lone workers are when they’re working. In case of an emergency, you’ll be able to find them quickly.
What are the benefits of a personal alert system?
For lone workers, it’s important to have an easy, dependable way to get help. In an emergency, a cell phone can’t necessarily be reliable when every second counts. A personal alert system, like Red Dot Alerts’s On the Go, offers peace of mind to know lone workers can get help quickly.
Here are just a few ways a personal alert system offers more safety than a cell phone:
- One touch: Rather than struggle with multiple security features and buttons, a personal alert system provides a one-touch system. Lone workers need only press one button to get help.
- Monitored 24/7: Someone will always answer a distress call and all calls are recorded.
- GPS location: The personal alert system has a built-in GPS locator so workers can be found easily.
- Small and discreet: Rather than maneuver a bulky smartphone, a personal alert system can be easily and discreetly clipped to a belt or tucked in a pocket.
- Silence feature: If a lone worker is in trouble but doesn’t want to make a sound, a personal alert system can be used silently.
Employers must take reasonable steps to reduce the likelihood of risky incidents and provide a communication system as a safeguard.
Both employers and workers should have peace of mind in case of an emergency. With Red Dot Alerts, workers can wear A discreet personal alert button to keep them connected 24/7 through two-way, bilingual voice communication.