What is a Lone Worker? Four Questions to Ask
MANY EMPLOYERS MAY BE PUTTING THEIR EMPLOYEES AT RISK WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT.
It’s not always easy for employers to identify which of their employees might be classified as “lone workers.” Yet employers have a moral and a legal obligation to keep all of their workers safe. Here are four questions employers can ask themselves to find out.
It’s estimated that 25 million workers work alone across North America.
Is your employee one of them?
This is an important question every employer must ask themselves.
This is because not only must employers comply with lone worker safety legislation, they must also “do what’s right” and keep their employees safe.
DO EMPLOYERS AND MANAGERS OVERLOOK THESE EMPLOYEES?
The problem is sometimes employers and managers can overlook “lone worker” scenarios.
For example, “road warriors” such as your traveling sales executives are lone workers. A cable technician is a lone worker, as is a realtor showing homes to prospective buyers.
Yet how many employers have a lone worker safety plan for these workers?
Without a plan, managers for lone worker safety are potentially putting their employees at risk as they work alone, and are also leaving their companies open to fines and other sanctions by the government.
IS YOUR EMPLOYEE A LONE WORKER? FOUR QUESTIONS TO ASK
Many employers may be putting their employees at risk by failing to develop and implement a lone worker safety solution.
These employees are overlooked, often because as mentioned above they don’t conform to the traditional image of a lone worker.
So, here are four questions that can help managers quickly determine which of their employees is working alone, and start the process of truly keeping them safe:
1) Presence — Are other people in the vicinity?
2) Awareness — Will other persons capable of providing assistance be aware of your needs?
3) Willingness — Is it reasonable to expect those other people will provide assistance?
4) Timeliness — Will assistance be provided within a reasonable period of time?
As a manager, if you cannot confidently answer yes all of those questions then your employee is working alone or in isolation.
LONE WORKER SAFETY SOLUTIONS KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES SAFE
New innovations in technology such as wearables and smartphones and satellite devices can help improve lone worker safety while helping your business become more efficient.
Most importantly, innovative solutions are exception-based and easy to use.
Lone workers check-in and quickly confirm their safety electronically with the tap of a button.
An automated control center receives these alerts and notifies a human member of the team only when there is a problem such as an SOS or a missed check-in.
This should all lead to greater productivity which should influence your bottom line but more importantly, you’ll know you are keeping your lone workers safe.
And that’s what our mission is all about.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Turner is VP of Sales and Marketing at Aware360, a leading lone worker safety solutions provider. We help hundreds of businesses become more efficient, increase revenue and keep their employees safe. You can contact Paul Turner here.