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How You Can Look After Your Lone Workers

25/05/2020

If you perform an activity that is carried out in isolation from other workers without close or direct supervision there is a high chance you or your team will be considered lone workers.

If you’re in this boat, there is a high chance you or your team will be considered lone workers. While working alongside your team may not be an option, looking out your staff should be a top priority. 

People are classed as lone workers if they: 

  • Travel alone as part of the job 
  • Travel long distances 
  • Work in remote or isolated locations 
  • Work unsupervised for an extended period of time 
  • Work late night or shift work 

 

If this sounds like your workforce, then you need to consider the following: 

 

Security 

Naturally, lone workers need to be more aware of risks or threats to the safety of themselves or the equipment/ material they are working with. 

 

Self-isolation

Working on your own can be lonely. With no co-workers or customers to interact with or bounce off, people can become isolated. 

Make sure you arrange regular catch-ups to check-in with your team. This could be a simple phone call once a day, group messages or video calls. Don’t underestimate the power of human interaction in these times. 

 

Organisation isolation

Remote or lone workers require the exact same level of training, development opportunities or important information, as other employees. 

In times like this, keep the lines of communication open with everyone. Just because they aren’t next to you on-site, doesn’t mean they should be less informed. 

 

Technological isolation

Set your team up for success. Ensure all lone workers have the technology and equipment they need to carry out their jobs as usual. 

 

Physical safety

Employee safety should be your highest priority. Whether they’re working on-site, in an office or remotely, all risks should be considered and managed accordingly. 

Protect your team by ensuring they have access to the following: 

  • The necessary Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) 
  • Complete first aid kit  and trained in first aid
  • A fire extinguisher that has been checked recently and certified (fire extinguishers need to be checked every 12-months in New Zealand) 
  • Means of communication in emergencies, such as a cell phone or two-way radios
  • GPS or locator tracker for those working in isolated locations 
  • The HazardCo app 

 

Communication is key 

Whether you have multiple staff working remotely or only a handful, set up a buddy system. It may sound basic, but this is a simple and easy way, to not, only increase the safety of your team but increase the lines of communication and engagement. 

Have team members check in with each other on a daily basis, share their location, daily workload, and encourage a bit of banter. 

By doing this, you raise the likelihood that if something does go wrong, it is picked up in a reasonable time. 

 

The biggest tip we can give you, look out for your team as if they were still with you on-site or in the office. 

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