Lone worker

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A lone worker (LW) is an employee who performs an activity that is carried out in isolation from other workers without close or direct supervision.[1] Such staff may be exposed to risk because there is no-one to assist them and so a risk assessment may be required. Lone workers are now often supported by cloud-based automated monitoring systems and specialised monitoring call centres - often referred to as an 'Alarm Receiving Centre' or 'ARC' in the UK, or 'Emergency Dispatch Center' or 'EDC' in the US. [2][3][4]

Examples of lone workers[edit]

There are different types of lone workers including:

  • People working at home such as telecommuters, affiliated marketers, writers
  • Workers in the energy industry or oil and gas Industry including upstream workers like surveyors, land managers, drillers, and midstream or downstream workers such as refinery workers and drivers
  • Construction workers
  • Mobile workers such as traveling salesmen, truck drivers, health visitors, repair technicians
  • People who work in any type of manufacturing facility
  • People working outside normal hours such as security guards, cleaners
  • Utility workers such as meter readers or technicians
  • Self-employed people
  • People who work apart from their colleagues such as receptionists, retail clerks, service station attendants
  • Real Estate agents, Home care nurses

Countries with lone worker legislation[edit]

The following countries have enacted lone worker legislation:

  • Australia
  • Canada (Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan)
  • France
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Spain

In Australia[edit]

Australia has legislation regarding lone workers and their employers. As of the 1st of January 2014, it has become compulsory for employers to monitor the health and well being of any of their employees working remotely or in isolated conditions. Control measures are now in place to ensure effective communication and worker monitoring are in place as well as access to assistance of emergency services for isolated or remote workers. Regulation 48 from the Managing the Work Environment and Facilities Code of Practice 2011[5] outlines definitions of isolated and remote workers as well as possible control measures and should be read for more information in regard to this law.'

  • Guidance Note, Working Alone 2009[6]

In Canada[edit]

Some of the provinces in Canada have enacted legislation regarding employer's responsibility towards Lone Workers. In these cases, the definition of a Lone Worker is someone who is alone at work or when they are on their own; when they cannot be seen or heard by another person. [7]

Alberta[edit]

  • Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Code: An Explanation of the "Working Alone" Requirements 2009 [8]
  • Working Alone (Part 28 of the Occupational Health and Safety Code) 2009[9]

Additional Province-issued documents include:

  • Working Alone Safely – A Guide for Employers and Employees 2000[10]

British Columbia[edit]

  • Working Alone or in Isolation Regulation 2011[11]
  • WorkSafeBC OHS Regulations General Conditions Part 4 2009[12]

Manitoba[edit]

  • Code of Practice for Workers Working Alone or in Isolation 2006[13]
  • Workplace Health and Safety Regulation Part 9[14]

Saskatchewan[edit]

  • The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 1996[15]

In France[edit]

France has enacted laws protecting lone workers.

  • Code du travail - Article R4512-13 2008[16]

In Germany[edit]

Germany has codified laws mandating when it is legal to work alone and how those workers must be protected.

  • § 5 Arbeitsschutzgesetz

In Spain[edit]

Spain has codified laws governing the protection of lone workers.

  • Ley 31/1995 de Prevención de Riesgos Laborales 1995 [17]

In the United Kingdom[edit]

The UK has a Code of practice relating to the 'Provision of lone worker services' via the British Standard, BS 8484. In August 2016, the standard was republished, and BS 8484:2016 was introduced (This supersedes BS 8484:2011 which will be withdrawn on 28 February 2017).

Other UK legislation relevant to the safety of lone workers:

In November 2015, The Sentencing Council introduced a 'Definitive Guideline for Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences', effective in sentencing from 1 February 2016.[18] Fines imposed are considered in accordance with a number of factors:

  • the culpability of an organisation or individual;
  • the likelihood of harm;
  • financial information relating to an organisation - i.e. fines can now be directly linked to the turnover of a business or the earnings of an individual

Managing lone workers[edit]

Common practices used by companies to manage the personal safety of their Lone Workers are:

  • Conducting Risk Assessments
  • Documenting a Lone Worker Policy
  • Implementation of a Buddy System
  • Lone Worker Training
  • Conflict Management Training
  • Use of monitoring systems and equipment (Panic Alarms, Mandown (fall/impact) Detectors, Pendant Trackers, GPS based Mobile Apps.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1], BSIA Lone Workers guide for Employers
  2. ^ Phil Hughes, Ed Ferrett (2009). "Lone workers". Introduction to Health and Safety at Work. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-85617-668-2. 
  3. ^ [2], NHS Lone Working Guidance Section 3.3
  4. ^ [3], NHS Lone Working Guidance Section 3.3
  5. ^ "Managing the work environment and facilities Code of Practice 2011" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-05. 
  6. ^ [4], Guidance Note, Working Alone
  7. ^ Safety, Government of Canada, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and. "Working Alone - General : OSH Answers". www.ccohs.ca. Retrieved 2017-08-25. 
  8. ^ [5], Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Code: An Explanation of the "Working Alone" Requirements
  9. ^ [6], Working Alone (Part 28 of the Occupational Health and Safety Code)
  10. ^ [7], Working Alone Safely – A Guide for Employers and Employees
  11. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2013. , Working Alone or in Isolation
  12. ^ [8], WorkSafeBC OHS Regulations General Conditions Part 4
  13. ^ [9], Code of Practice for Workers Working Alone or in Isolation
  14. ^ [10], Workplace Health and Safety Regulation
  15. ^ [11], The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
  16. ^ [12], Code du travail - Article R4512-13
  17. ^ [13], Ley 31/1995. de 8 de noviembre, de Prevencion de Riesgos Laborales
  18. ^ [14], Sentencing Council - Definitive Guideline, Health and Safety Offences, Corporate Manslaughter and Food Safety and Hygiene Offences Nov 2015.

External links[edit]