Lone worker solutions: Your guide to keeping a remote team safe

September 1, 2020
Caroline Preece

Your business’s lone worker solutions should be at the centre of your workplace health and safety policy, with those working alone often at more risk of on-the-job accidents than any other part of the workforce. 

Here we will discuss how to assemble a comprehensive lone worker policy with risk assessments, checklists and training, as well as how lone worker panic alarms, Man Down sensors and alarm monitoring systems can help keep your workers as safe as possible. 

Risk assessment

Before you do anything else, you must conduct a thorough risk assessment for your business, taking into account any and all potential risks, hazards and environmental/social threats inherent to the role your workers perform. As an employer, you have a duty of care to protect those working for you, and failure to do this can result in hefty fines under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. At minimum you must cover:

  • Identify potential causes of injury or illness.
  • Decide how likely it is that someone could come to harm and how seriously.
  • Take action to eliminate the risks where possible.

As said, your lone worker policy should be a large part of any health and safety regulations as this part of your workforce is amongst the most vulnerable. Working alone opens employees up to a myriad of additional risks that need to be avoided or mitigated wherever possible. To find out more about what your risk assessment needs to cover, click here or download our free lone worker risk assessment.

Daily personal safety checklist

As much as it is your responsibility as an employer to do everything reasonably within your power to protect workers, some responsibility also lies with the employee themselves. Checklists can be an invaluable tool here, and it is incredibly useful for everyone to be on the same page when it comes to workplace safety. With a list of things that must be done, checked or avoided on a day-to-day (or even hourly) basis, lone workers can make sure that nothing gets missed even when their supervisor isn’t around. This can include things such as:

  • Appropriate safety gear that must be worn in certain situations.
  • Alarms and devices that need to be on the workers’ person.
  • Equipment that must be checked for safety before use.

Health and safety training

To bring together the various strands of your company’s risk management strategy, regular and comprehensive health and safety training needs to take place. It can be tempting to train staff when they first join or when a new project is introduced, but regular refresher courses can often be the only way to make sure all employees are working with the same knowledge and expertise, and that nothing gets missed because of complacency or memory gaps that can slip in over time.

Lone worker alarm

Checklists and training go a long way to making sure your lone worker solutions are keeping everyone safe, but it can also be beneficial to incorporate something like a lone worker alarm into your health and safety arsenal. Personal safety alarms are small devices that a lone worker can keep on their person while operating in potentially high-risk situations (such as working at height etc.) or without supervision, with a dedicated SOS button that can be pushed if and when a dangerous situation arises. This then connects the user with either an alarm monitoring centre or a nominated contact, who can help resolve the issue. You can also use a lone working app in the same way.

Man Down alarm

Similar to a lone worker alarm, many devices also come with a Man Down sensor that is used when a worker falls down. Because lone workers are often working remotely without team members or supervisors anywhere close by, being injured can be even more dangerous than usual with workers unable to alert anyone about the accident. Enter the Man Down alarm, which senses when a fall has taken place and alerts a nominated contact.

Alarm monitoring

The final piece of the puzzle when it comes to your lone worker solutions is alarm monitoring, which takes care of the alert management and tracking side of things. With Protector™ by Vatix, for example, when an SOS button or Man Down alert is triggered on a device, it creates a ticket that can then be dealt with by either a nominated contact within the user’s company or by a highly-trained operator. It also offers real-time information about the user’s location, which helps to keep them safe even when they’re travelling or working alone. 

To find out more about Vatix services, click here or call us on 020 3991 5555.

Image credit: Mopic/shutterstock.com

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