Lone worker monitoring
Lone worker monitoring is the practice of monitoring the safety of employees who may be exposed to risk due to work conditions in which they are located out of sight and sound from a person who may be able to offer aid in the event of an emergency.
In some areas including the United Kingdom Australian States and certain Provinces in Canada, legislation has driven the adoption of lone worker policies as well as methods of monitoring the safety of these employees. In the United States, no explicit legislation exists regarding an employer's obligation to monitor the safety of its lone or isolated employees except in the shipbuilding industry.
Methods of Monitoring Lone Worker Safety
Numerous methods have been developed and are currently in use by companies world-wide. These methods include:
- Phone-based check-in systems. Employees are required to call in to a designated receiver after a predetermined time. Check-ins are often performed hourly or bi-hourly. The two approaches to phone-based check-in systems are call centre-driven and cloud-based automated monitoring, which may use a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.
- Buddy systems. Employees may be paired up to perform certain tasks. Theoretically, should an emergency occur and one of the employees be rendered incapacitated, the other would remain available to call for help and provide aid.
- Safety monitoring smartphone applications. With the widespread adoption of smart phones, the deployment of a dedicated application allowing employees to quickly request aid has become more feasible. These applications may provide a panic button or allow for prompt check-in without requiring a phone call to be made.
- Safety monitoring devices. Dedicated monitoring devices for monitoring local environmental conditions, such as dangerous levels of gases, that smartphone-based Lone Worker monitoring solutions are unable to account for.
- , BSIA Lone Workers guide for Employers
- "Queensland - Managing the work environment and facilities Code of Practice 2011" (PDF).
- "Western Australia - Guidance Note Working Alone 2009" (PDF).
- "Victoria - Working Alone Information Sheet" (PDF).
- , Working Alone (Part 28 of the Occupational Health and Safety Code)
- , WorkSafeBC OHS Regulations General Conditions Part 4
- , Workplace Health and Safety Regulation
- , The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
- , OSHA Shipbuilding Factsheet