Stay safe when working solo
Working alone presents employees with a number of challenges. Yet lone work is not inherently unsafe, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety in Hamilton, Ontario.
CCOHS recommends the following steps to ensure the safety of lone workers:
- Assess each workspace’s hazards.
- Talk with employees about their work and ask for their input on possible solutions to hazards.
- Conduct thorough incident investigations at your workplace.
- Whenever possible, avoid using a lone worker for high-risk tasks.
- Provide appropriate training and education to all employees.
- Report to supervisors all potentially hazardous situations and near-miss incidents in which being alone emphasized the severity. Analyze the results and make changes to work processes or policies where needed.
- Establish a check-in procedure and maintain regular contact with all employees. Have a process in place to account for workers – either visually or verbally – while they are working alone.
- Schedule higher-risk tasks during normal business hours or when another worker is available to help in the event of an emergency.