- PERSONAL GAS DETECTION
- AREA MONITORING
- LONE WORKER
- GAS SENSORS
A lone working policy can be one of the most important ways an organization can protect the health and safety of its employees. It can help keep you prepared to respond to any emergency and empower lone workers to take more responsibility for their own safety on the job.
Lone workers should be as safe as every other worker in your organization. By developing a practical guide for employees and managers, your lone working policy can help ensure everyone is safe, no matter where or how they work.
A lone working safety policy establishes your organization’s rules for employees who work by themselves with no close supervision. For a lone working policy to be effective, it should provide clear and simple guidance for safely working alone, the risks that employees may face, the process for coordinating an emergency response, the tools and processes your organization provides to protect the health and safety of lone workers, how incidents must be assessed and reported, and more.
Your lone working policy should be customized to the needs of your organization and your teams. However, there are common key elements that any company should include in their lone worker policy in addition to a statement of the policy itself.
In the next section, we’ll expand on these elements and provide an outline you can use for your own organization.
“Lone worker” is a broad term that includes not only those employees who work completely by themselves, but also anyone who works at any time without being seen or heard by a coworker.
You can quickly identify employees as lone workers, such as maintenance personnel who work alone in an industrial setting or delivery drivers who are on the road. Others, however, may not be so easily identified, since many lone workers don’t work in continuous isolation in the field or remote locations. Some examples include a worker who periodically is checking some readings in your company’s facility, team members spraying or blasting parts in a booth and personnel who work after-hours in service call-outs.
Surveying your employees can help surface less apparent lone-working situations, helping you to identify all of your lone workers. Look for employees whose circumstances may fit these descriptions:
Risk assessment is comprised of identifying the ways in which employees may be harmed in their workplaces and evaluating the effectiveness of your organization’s measures to control the risks.
The UK government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) offers an overview and resources for how to assess the risks in your workplace. Its step-by-step guidance includes processes for:
This section of your policy should be clear and simple, offering practical guidance on working alone safely. Your own procedures should be tailored to your company, employees and industry, but most policies should include this fundamental information:
When it’s time to apply it in an emergency, a lone worker safety policy is only as effective as the people who implement it. Ensure that responsibilities are clearly stated in your policy, with lone workers and managers understanding the responsibilities assigned to each of them.
No single policy can take into account every type of emergency situation. Ensure that your policy provides information on additional resources that employees can use to:
Working conditions and their associated risks, employees’ roles, safety regulations and your industry change over time. As part of your overall safety training and program, schedule regular reviews of your policy, updating it as needed. Identify new processes, equipment and substances, and repeat your risk assessment for each. Consider any new roles that may have been created in association with new procedures and whether people in these roles will be exposed to previously unidentified hazards.
Also consider soliciting feedback from lone workers, managers and safety team members who can identify any gaps in your original policy. Your regular review is a good time to confirm that new employees are being provided with all of the resources and education they need to keep themselves safe.
Your completed lone working policy should be distributed to all employees. When you share the policy, make sure that the employees who fit your description of lone workers understand that the policy applies to them, including contractors and temporary employees.
To ensure the success of your new lone worker safety policy, focus on ways to bring people together to discuss it. Whether it’s a meeting or workshop, this is your opportunity to convey why the policy is important and how it will help employees. Be as transparent as possible — tell employees why the policy was created, talk about how you assessed the risks and identified lone workers and ask for questions and feedback. Let employees know that the lone working policy will be reviewed and updated at regular intervals, and that their input is an important part of continually improving it.
At Blackline Safety, we meet the lone working monitoring needs of companies around the world in the most challenging environments. Whether you employ personnel who work alone at remote outdoor locations or in hazardous indoor environments, we have a safety monitoring solution for every industry, role and scenario.
Utilities and public works personnel often work alone at high-voltage substations, treatment plants, natural gas distribution and telecom.
Industry statistics show that electrical-related incidents are the number one cause of workplace fatalities in the utilities and public works industries. Each year in the U.S., more than 4,000 people are injured and 300 perish due to electrical hazards in the workplace. Incidents also occur in natural gas and water sectors.
Our lone worker monitoring solutions can help every member of your team work more safely, particularly those who work with or near toxic chemicals and gases, contaminated water, high-voltage materials and more.
Both indoors and outdoors, lone workers in the oil and gas industry are exposed to a number of risks. Your operators, mechanics, technicians and even lab workers may work alone, on an everyday basis or intermittently as part of their normal routine.
Statistics from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show that the fatality rate for the oil and gas industry is seven times greater than that of all other U.S. industries. Seven types of incidents are particularly prevalent:
We have real-time monitoring solutions that optimize emergency response time to injuries, health incidents and more. With Blackline’s technology, responders can be directed to a precise outdoor location or the exact indoor floor and room.
The miners, loggers, geologists, land surveyors and others who work in the natural resources sector are often at extremely isolated sites around the world. Thousands of incidents occur each year that injure lone workers in this industry, with mining at the top of the list of the most hazardous occupations in the world.
Whether your employees are in forestry, mining, or another natural resources profession, Blackline Safety’s lone worker monitoring products can improve the outcomes of these types of incidents:
Workers in public-facing positions in transportation, prisons, public safety, healthcare, sanitation, parks and other services that the government delivers often meet the definition of lone worker. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2013 that nearly 500 work-related fatalities occurred in government sectors, and almost 6,000 local and state government transit and intercity bus drivers sustained injuries while on the job.
Blackline Safety’s work-alone devices have features such as lights that let workers know their safety is being monitored or that help is on the way, manually triggered silent emergency alerts, and our proprietary indoor location technology that pinpoints employees’ locations.
Fatalities in the construction industry comprise an estimated 20% of all occupational fatalities in the U.S. and 31% in the U.K., making construction sites one of the most dangerous workplaces in the world.
Blackline Safety’s lone worker solutions can help you reduce emergency response times in the event one of the engineering and construction industry’s “fatal four” occurs: falls, caught-between accidents, electrocutions and struck-by accidents.
Healthcare workers do their critical jobs in high-risk, high-stress environments, where thousands of incidents occur each year. According to OSHA, hospitals alone accounted for more than 250,000 work-related injuries and illnesses in 2011.
From technicians in research labs to paramedics on the road, healthcare workers face increasing dangers, including crimes committed against them. Blackline Safety can help you protect your healthcare employees with technology that gives you the ability to respond to health incidents, injuries and more in the shortest time possible.
Staying competitive in manufacturing means long hours spent working in environments where fatigue and physical demands can lead to accidents. The risks can be high when employees are working with the heavy equipment, chemicals, conveyor belts and other elements manufacturing relies on. Add the noise and fast pace of a production plant or warehouse, and it’s clear that a comprehensive safety monitoring program is essential.
If you employ operators, engineers, assemblers and other workers, you are likely to have dealt with the hazards that heighten these types of safety concerns:
When an incident occurs, accurately pinpointing your employees’ precise locations is critical to the fastest possible response. Blackline’s lone worker technologies can help you stay prepared to reach crew members quickly, whether they work outdoors or indoors in a vast manufacturing facility.
Compliance with safety regulations and the ability to quickly respond to a workplace emergency is essential for companies that employ workers in biotech and pharma. Scientists, technicians, physicians, factory line staff and others often work in complex environments or beyond the sight and sound of their coworkers.
When an accident, injury or other incident occurs, personal protective equipment (PPE) is not enough when an emergency response is needed. The best safety protocols for your biotech and pharma employees who work alone include a lone worker policy and the most reliable devices for summoning responders. Blackline’s technology can be used to direct responders in real-time to a pinpointed location inside your lab or research facility.
Employees in the transportation and logistics sector face a number of serious risks, especially when working alone. Drivers, for example, may spend long hours behind the wheel, risking fatigue that can lead to truck accidents, while warehouse personnel are exposed to the dangers of operating large, heavy equipment and moving products. Workers in all types of roles in transportation and logistics may qualify as lone workers when they can’t be seen or heard by coworkers in a noisy environment.
Blackline Safety’s technology makes it easier to monitor lone workers, providing live, real-time information and audible, text and email alerts that accelerate your organization’s emergency response capabilities.
All types of technology have enabled more employees to work alone and/or remotely, but few innovations are focused on keeping lone workers safe no matter what type of job they have or where they work. At Blackline Safety, we can help elevate your safety monitoring program with 3G and satellite communications, GPS and proprietary indoor location technology, automatic incident detection, and manually triggered alerting to keep all of your lone workers safer on the job.
Our lone worker monitoring devices can help improve outcomes after a safety incident, reduce work-related injuries and fatalities and ease lone workers’ workplace stress that can lead to accidents. We have solutions that give you real-time safety status of your employees who work alone and meet your most critical safety challenges — get in touch to discuss how these solutions can help your organization.