WORKING ALONE: RISKY BUSINESS

As a business owner, you’re ultimately responsible for the safety and health of all employees – including those who work alone, either off site (traveling salespeople, telecommuters, etc.) or around your facility (such as security guards and night maintenance staff).

To help determine if these lone workers are safe, ask yourself:

  1. Does the workplace present a special risk?
  2. Is there a safe way in and out?
  3. Can one person handle temporary access equipment (such as portable ladders)?
  4. Are there potentially dangerous chemicals or hazardous substances involved?
  5. Does the job involve lifting objects too large for one person?
  6. Is more than one person needed to operate equipment or workplace transport safely?
  7. Is there a risk of violence?
  8. Are young, pregnant, or disabled employees at risk if they work alone?
  9. If the worker's first language isn’t English, are there arrangements for clear communication, especially in emergencies?
  10. Is the worker medically fit to work alone?

Once these questions are answered, you can reduce the risk to your solo workers by:

  • Establishing a check-in procedure
  • Recognizing that some high-risk activities can’t be performed alone and providing a buddy system for these situations
  • Having the worker meet clients in a safe location if there’s a risk of violence
  • Instructing distant employees not to enter any place or situation that feels unsafe
  • Making site visits whenever possible
  • Staying in touch with the employee by phone, text, e-mail, webcam, or radio.

For more information, please free to get in touch with us at any time.

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