Throughout history people have worked alone, it is simply the nature of certain jobs. A lighthouse keeper often worked alone, as do farmers, care workers, and an array of other individuals. For many people it is simpler, helps to get the job done faster, and having a second person is either not necessary or a hindrance.
Working alone simply means that you are by yourself. This could mean you are surrounded by people undergoing their everyday chores or that you are in a remote spot by yourself.
One thing is certain, you won’t have a colleague with you. Lone workers are more at risk of serious injury. However, this is not because they are working alone. The risk of an accident is no greater than if they were working in a team.
The issue is that there is no one around to help if a problem occurs. That means that even a relatively simple injury can become a much more serious issue.
The good news is that there are several things an employer can do to mitigate the hazards of being a lone worker.
Assess the Job
The first step is to identify the job being done and the risks associated with the work. This allows an employee to set protocols that an employee will work by, minimizing the risk.
However, it is also important to note that, even with the best procedures in place, accidents will still happen. That’s why technology should be incorporated into the protective measures.
An Alarm System
There are several types of duress alarms that can be used, depending on the job and location. At the basic end of the scale a simple device that makes a lot of noise will alert anyone nearby, allowing them to help an injured employee and contact medical services.
This is the very least that any lone worker should have and is really only viable if they are working alone but in an area where there are plenty of other people.
At the other end of the scale, a device can be worn that monitors heart rate and the position of the body. If you collapse, your heart rate dips too low, or you are detected as being laid down then the alarm will automatically and remotely tell the head office. They can attempt contact with the employee to verify the issue and send emergency help.
This type of alarm also has a panic button that allows an employee to send a signal that they need help.
Using the right alarm system means that you will always know when your employee needs help and can get them the response they need faster. This can make the difference between life and death or even allow potentially life-changing injuries to be successfully treated.
In certain environments, it is also possible to use a sensor system and cameras to monitor the employee. This is not meant as a lack of trust but merely to confirm the employee is safe and well throughout the job. Cameras and sensors can be mounted in buildings or attached to the employee.
The bottom line is that you will know, via technology, when your employee needs help. That will help them to get the aid they need as quickly as possible. Because, as mentioned, accidents do happen.