Working alone may not be common in the workplace but may be necessary on certain occasions. While it is not always hazardous to work alone, there are circumstances that could make it even more hazardous than working with others.
What Does ‘Working Alone’ Mean?
A person is considered working alone when they cannot be seen or heard by another person while performing a task. This includes employees who may go for a period of time where they do not have direct contact with their co-employees.
Several occupations with solitary shifts are:
– Security personnel
– Retail clerk
– Home care nurse
– Ranch hand
– Oil field mechanic
What Are The Circumstances That May Put Workers At Risk?
- Employees who handle cash. E.g. taxi drivers, store clerks, and food outlet employees.
- Employees who work offsite to meet clients. E.g. home care nurses, social service employees and law enforcement officers.
- Employees who do hazardous work but have no routine interaction with customers or the public. E.g. Employees in the logging, oil and gas industries.
- Employees who travel alone but have no routine interaction with customers or the public. E.g. truck drivers and business people in transit
- Employees who are at risk to violence due to isolation from public view. E.g. security guards and custodians.
What Can Employers Do To Help The Worker Stay Safe?
- Assess the hazards of the workplace.
- Converse with employees about the work they do, its potential hazards and their recommended solutions.
Avoid having a lone worker whenever possible, particularly for jobs at risk.
- Establish a check-in procedure. Establish ways to account for people, either visually or verbally, while they are working.
- Take corrective steps to eliminate or prevent potential risks of working alone.
Workers should also be responsible for their own safety. Adhering to the appropriate measures initiated by the employer and reporting any unsafe conditions are good practices to remain safe and secure especially while working alone.
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