Lone worker safety?
If you have staff members who work remotely or in isolation, you should know both your moral and legal requirements when it comes to ensuring their safety. Not only do you need to have an effective communications system in place, you will need to ensure that your lone workers can trigger a panic alarm at any time of the day or night and receive immediate help.
Lone Worker Guidance Updated
According to this article by the HSE, a significant conference event took place on the 15th of October 2019 by which there was a ‘welcomed review of the Lone Worker Guidance produced by the HSE’. Let’s explore this in further detail.
A Lone Worker Explained
Lone workers are staff members who work in isolation, on their own or remotely. Typically, they do not have access to other members of staff all of the time and are very often carrying out their work duties on their own.
There is crime all over but we have heard of specific safety incidents involving lone workers who have encountered threats while working alone, whether that be physical or verbal threats. It is essential that all lone workers have the ability to make instant contact with security teams, other staff or support teams at any time.
In this day and age (especially since the Covid-19 pandemic), the way in which employees work has changed dramatically compared to 10 years ago. As crime evolves and criminals take more chances, so the need for state of the art lone worker security devices increases.
How did the need for changing the lone worker guidance come about?
According to the HSE head of vulnerable workers, Barbara Hockey, “Lone Workers make up an increasing and important part of the workforce, within a range of roles and sectors. Although there are no specific regulations relating to lone workers the HSE has always recognised that this group of workers can be at higher risk”.
It was stated that the need to review the procedures and guidelines around lone workers was prompted due to the vast increase in the number of lone workers, the type of work required as well as the vulnerability of staff working in isolation.
Barbara explained how she then went back to her team to review the initial guidance provided by the HSE with a new vision of updating the systems and making lone working safer and more efficient. Shortly after the initial review into the guidance, various sector authorities and industry-specific companies were brought in to work with the HSE in updating the lone worker guidance. This included: