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Safety Tips | Lone workers

Keep lone workers safe

February 24, 2014

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A lone worker is defined as a worker who cannot be seen or heard by another person, and cannot expect a visit from another employee. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety recommends carefully considering any lone-work situation before delegating it.

To-do list

To help ensure the safety of a lone worker, supervisors should:

  • Assess the hazards of the lone worker’s jobsite. Does it involve working at height? Using hazardous machinery?
  • Avoid assigning lone work whenever possible.
  • Take corrective action to prevent or minimize potential risks of lone work.
  • Provide appropriate training and education to lone workers.
  • Schedule higher-risk tasks during normal business hours, or when another worker who can help is present.

Create a check-in procedure

For any lone worker, CCOHS recommends having a check-in procedure in place involving the following:

  • Create a daily work plan so the location of the lone worker is always known.
  • Designate one person to be the contact at the office, plus a backup contact.
  • Have the contact person call or visit the lone employee periodically.
  • Create an emergency action plan for when a worker does not check-in.