The British Security Industry Association estimates that more than six million people across the UK work either alone or without direct supervision, often in places that put them at potential risk. And the risks are very real, with more than 160 attacks on lone workers every day.
All employers have a duty of care to their staff, and according to a new white paper on lone workers from people protection experts Orbis, employers who support and protect their staff are also protecting their reputation and their business.
Lone workers are also placed at risk from slips, trips, falls and occupational hazards and can also suffer from personal wellbeing risks which can be sparked by working within stressful environments. The white paper therefore addresses the threats faced by lone workers but also explores the legal obligations placed on the employing organisation and advises on a number of solutions for supporting and managing lone workers and offers best practice advise.
Chief executive officer at Orbis, Guy Other, commented:
“The threats to lone workers can be stark. As well as offering advice for supporting and managing lone workers in our new white paper, Orbis offers effective solutions to support and protect them.”
The white paper advises that is is the employer’s duty to assess risks to lone workers and to take steps to avoid or control risks where necessary.
Top tips for managing lone workers include:
1. Assess the risk
Identify and categorise the job roles performed as low, medium or high risk. Identify any staff who may have an increased risk due to any underlying medical conditions.
2. Assess the solutions
Consider whether you can use your current technology or you need to invest in new devices.
3. Implement the product
Introduce your technology solution as part of a change in safety culture. The services and solution have to be embedded in your organisation’s culture and result in a real change in staff behaviour.
4. Assessment and audit
Constantly analyse your solution’s effectiveness. Assess each lone worker’s risk annually and monitor productivity and efficiency gains. Consider setting up a user group of internal champions in the business to be your eyes and ears for lone workers and get feedback from them on the success and uptake of the technology and other challenges and problems.