Ensuring the safety of employees at work is a top priority for any business, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because legislation to safeguard workers means that employers have a duty of care to their employees.
This makes it essential to create a safe and healthy work environment in order to protect workers from potential hazards and accidents. Companies therefore routinely implement policies and procedures that promote employee safety in the workplace, such as health and safety protocols, accident prevention measures, and regular inspections of the work environment. By taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of their employees, businesses can reduce their risk of liability in the event of an accident or injury occurring.
However, whilst most businesses will be well aware of their responsibilities and will have well established meaures in place to help ensure the safety of their employees when working on the companies premises, when a worker’s job takes them to other locations, which may be remote or where they may be having to deal with members of the public on their own, the additional dangers are not always fully appreciated, even though they can actually be far greater.
Working alone can be dangerous in a number of ways. For example, for those having to use equipment or machinery, or work at height, there is the ever present danger of an accident occuring. Similarly, when a lone worker has to deal with members of the public face-to-face there is the potential for confrontation, assault or some form of attack to take place, even if an employee is fully trained in how to deal with such potentially hazardous situations.
One way that an increasing number of companies are helping to fulfil their duty of care to their lone workers is by using a lone worker safety system which can be used to summon assistance if needed. These type of systems can be very discreet, so that they do not draw any attention, and yet they can include features such as GPS tracking, two-way communication and panic buttons which can alert emergency services if required. Lone worker alarms may also have automatic sensors to detect if an accident has taken place that has incapacitated the worker and to summon assistance in the event of a so called “man down” situation.
Of course, employers should also provide regular training and guidance to employees on how to stay safe while working alone and how to respond in an emergency situation, but the use of technology like lone worker alarms to help back up this training is something that all employers who send their workers off-site to carry out their duties should seriously consider. Through the use of such devices, employers can ensure that they are providing a safe working environment and taking proactive steps to reduce the risk of attack or other harm. In doing so, they are not only protecting their employees from harm, but also protecting themselves against charges of failing to meet their duty of care.