Solo employees need their own set of regulations and procedures to follow in order to guarantee they are protected from the myriad of unique dangers they may face.
A lone worker policy is an official written document that outlines the dangers that are experienced by lone working personnel as well as the duties of both the employer and employee in ensuring that lone workers may operate in a safe environment.
Why Is It Necessary for Me to Have a Policy for Lone Workers?
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act of 1974, employers have a general duty to ensure their employees’ health, safety, and welfare to the greatest extent that is reasonably practicable. This duty requires employers to provide their workers with safe systems, a safe place of work, and suitable arrangements for the employees’ welfare. In addition, employers must pay attention to the health and safety of their workers.
A proper and sufficient evaluation of hazards deriving from work activities, including lone working, is required to be carried out in order to satisfy the requirements of Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
When determining the tasks that workers will be responsible for, any employer will be required under Regulation 13 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to take into account both the employees’ physical and mental capacities.
It is easier to fulfill your duty of care under this legislation if you have a safety policy and risk assessment in place for lone workers.
Creating a Policy for Working Alone: Some Helpful Hints
Developing a policy for employees who perform their jobs alone is an essential undertaking, and we recognize that at times it may appear to be intimidating. We recognize that getting the buy-in from your lone workers may be one of the most difficult challenges, which is why we have compiled the following suggestions for developing a safety policy for your lone workers.
Simple Is Best
You should strive to maintain your policy as clear and uncomplicated as possible so that it is easily understood by your lone workers and followed by them. Make sure you communicate with them in a manner that is easy to comprehend, and be specific about what is expected of them.
Because clarity is so crucial, you should give careful consideration to both the format of the document and the language that is employed.
It is crucial that your policy be routinely updated anytime your risk assessment is evaluated or if you introduce new lone working rules, such as enrolling employees in a new training course or putting in place a solution for lone workers.
Engage Your Employees Who Are Working Alone
If you want your lone employees to support the new policy for lone workers at your company, you should think about incorporating them in the entire process from the beginning to the end. Ask them to assist you in identifying potential dangers and to provide suggestions for how they could feel safer.
After you have produced your policy for lone workers, you should seriously consider organizing a workshop or a health and safety day. During these events, you should have an open dialogue about why you have developed the policy and what measures have been put into effect. Be sure to center your attention on sending a message of crystal-clear safety while also highlighting the advantages to your lone employees.
Procedures For Working Alone
A lone worker protocol is a sequence of processes that must be performed in order to ensure the safety of those who are required to work alone. You need to make sure that your processes for lone workers are documented in the policy document for lone workers. This should cover everything from protocol around patrols to the use of a personal safety app.
You could find it helpful to develop a variety of processes that are ideal for different groups of employees so that they can simply absorb the necessary information. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Examples of stand-alone operating procedures:
What the lone worker is expected to do to check in with their supervisor and how frequently they should do it.
Why one should use any number of lone worker solutions, such as applications or gadgets, as well as when to use them?
What one should do in the event of an emergency, including instructions on how to evacuate the building and who to call?
What to do in the event that a customer exhibits indicators of hostility?
What actions should be taken in the event that unauthorized individuals try to enter a building in which an employee is working alone?
This list is not comprehensive, and there are many other circumstances that may call for the implementation of a lone worker method. On the other hand, one can potentially save lives by carrying out all that is required. Because of this, it is essential that the procedures that you have established be made obligatory and that you steer clear of any wording that would imply a choice, such as “you should” or “you might.”
It is crucial to offer briefing and training for your lone workers when initially adopting new work alone processes. This will ensure that they are aware of everything that is required of them and can perform their jobs effectively. They should be provided with a written step-by-step instruction that they can refer to, and it would be beneficial to establish a safety checklist for your lone employees to follow until the processes become standard.