Lone workers are a necessity in many industries today. But these men and women who go out alone to perform vital tasks are at greater risk because they are working alone. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve safety for your lone workers. These are five ways you can reduce risks for your workers in the field.
- Educate Lone Workers about Potential Risks they Face
Depending on your industry the risks may be related to the work they do, as well as any of the following:
- From auto accidents, to falls from heights, slips and trips, and countless other accidents that can occur along the way, lone workers are more vulnerable because they are alone, sometimes in remote locations, when these accidents and corresponding injuries occur.
- Physical attacks. The fact that they are working and traveling alone makes them more attractive targets for people looking to hurt someone else.
- Criminal acts. People believing lone workers may have money or access to equipment that can be sold for quick cash will target lone workers as well as people interested in hostage-taking.
- In addition to accidents that can cause injuries, there are environmental factors to consider, such as flash flooding, lightning strikes, and even animal attacks.
The better your workers understand the risks they face as long workers, the better prepared they are to avoid them or respond when they do.
- Equip Workers with Push-to-Talk Two-Way Radios (with panic buttons)
The panic buttons on push to talk two-way radios are instrumental in sending out alert messages with GPS coordinates so you can respond quickly and effectively to the call for help. In a world where seconds matter, this one piece of equipment can be the difference between life and death for your lone workers.
- Establish Check-In Policies
It’s important to know where your employees are at all times and that they are safe. This policy requires workers to check in periodically (every half hour or every hour) to let you know that he or she is safe. If the employee misses a check-in someone from the main office needs to send out an inquiry to see if everything is okay and find out why the employee didn’t check-in.
- Train Employees about Code Words to Signal Danger
In some industries, kidnapping for ransom is a real possibility. Teaching employees about code words to use during check-ins to reveal all is not well can be a lifesaver.
- Create Policies that Promote Safety for Lone Workers
It’s one thing to educate employees, something else entirely to establish policies that require mindfulness about the many risks they face and how to reduce those risks and respond to them if they arise.
These safety tips will not guarantee no harm comes to your lone workers but will reduce risks and improve response times if they do.