Lone and remote working is on the rise. Fuelled by flexibility, responsiveness, and technology employers and workers alike are actively choosing lone working scenarios. Often these workers in your organisation will be apparent to you. But some lone workers may be more invisible. What about the librarian who stays late to tidy up and is alone in the building; or the utility engineer who is working with customers but isolated from colleagues?
Who is working alone?
The Health & Safety Executive defines lone working as “those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision”. This definition includes staff in fixed establishments who may be out of sight of colleagues, those who are occasionally mobile and working away from their usual base, and those who permanently, or usually, work by themselves.
Devices for everybody
Since each worker’s role and risk assessment will be different, it’s essential to ensure they have a device ideally suited to their scenario. For each type of lone working environment there is a perfect solution, here are a few examples:
- Working in remote areas with a weak mobile signal will need satellite devices.
- Customer-facing staff need a wearable device or product with an easy to locate SOS feature.
- Team members using smartphones or even standard mobile phones may not want to carry an additional device, they need a system accessed via an app or short dial programming.
- Office or home-based workers using PCs or laptops need desktop-accessible systems.
- Staff working near to combustible materials or in industrial locations will require an intrinsically safe device specifically to remove the risk of a spark.
- Workers in areas where exposure may be time-limited should be protected with alarm beacons that monitor access and egress.
We would discuss these in general terms (not specific brands), including product categories that LWS doesn’t necessarily support. Companies with varied remote and lone workers need to be sure that their system supports every device and every person, regardless of their work/risk scenario.