Lone working is a term that is used a lot, but what does it really mean and how does it impact lone workers’ safety, security, and wellbeing? We had a chat with First2HelpYou, one of our exhibitors at this year’s Lone Worker Safety Live event and they shared with us some of their thoughts on the common misconceptions surrounding lone working. Grab a coffee and read on…
Myth no. 1) Lone workers operate entirely on their own
Probably one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding lone working in the UK. Lone workers can, in fact, work in densely populated urban areas but have no direct supervision and are therefore still classified as lone workers. Lone workers may also only be alone for some of the time but still face risks. For example:
- Homeworkers – yes, people who work from home (even for some of the time) are classified as lone workers. It’s common for employers to think it’s the workers’ responsibility to keep themselves safe in their own homes, but employers should consider the risks and measures that should be taken to ensure that workers have the right equipment and are able to access support from colleagues.
- Workers who cannot be seen or heard by a colleague – if a worker is in a populated building but is carrying out tasks away from others, they are classified as lone workers. Those who work alone out in the community surrounded by the public, may face specific risks, because they are not with a colleague, that need assessing and managing.
- Workers who travel alone for business – even if they are travelling to a site where they will meet others, their journey is part of their working day and should be considered as a lone working activity.
Myth no. 2) Lone working is illegal
Other than in some very specific situations where specific regulations apply, lone working is legal! However, employers must carry out risk assessments that take into consideration the impact of lone working before asking anyone to work alone. And if your organisation employs more than five people, this assessment must be recorded and written down.
Myth no. 3) Lone worker training isn’t important
Lone worker training is an essential part of keeping your workers safe. Lone workers must be made aware of the different threats and hazards faced during their working day and given strategies and skills to deal with those situations. Tailored training is the way to go, think about the risks relating to your workers and make it relevant to them.
Myth no. 4) The biggest risk for lone workers is the public
Risks to lone workers are not just from the public. Machinery, falls, trips, hazardous substances, and sudden illnesses are all risks that need to be considered. Isolation can have an impact on the mental health and wellbeing of workers and this important area should not be underestimated.
Myth no. 5) Lone Worker Devices and Apps are not worth the investment
A lone worker device/app gives employees the ability to take positive action when involved in a potentially dangerous or violent situation. There are multiple benefits to adopting a lone worker safety product and service as part of a safe working culture.
If you wish to discuss that last myth and explore lone worker devices and apps in more detail, First2HelpYou would love to chat with you. You can contact them on 0333 7729401, email firstname.lastname@example.org or come and chat at Lone Worker Safety Live on 11th October 2022 at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Secure your place by registering here: Lone Worker Safety Live Registration