A lone worker is anyone who works or performs tasks alone or in an isolated area. Working alone can draw risks that can create serious and fatal situations. In Australia there are regulations for monitoring employees who work remotely, there is also a corporate responsibility for each company to look after their work force.
'Lone Worker' is an umbrella term that is used for a variety of workers.
This is typically workers in the industrial sector working with dangerous chemicals, gases, equipment, at height or in remote locations. This term also includes anyone who works by themselves including: couriers, support/health care workers and many others. In the past to ensure the safety of these workers, call ins or tedious worker monitoring systems had often been used. With the latest instalment of Blackline Safety’s Work Alone devices, response time has been cut and money can be saved in ensuring the safety of workers.
Examples of lone worker occupations
People or employees who work in the following occupations/areas can be considered lone (remote) workers;
- those who work from home
- anyone working in the energy industry / oil & gas Industries: including upstream workers like surveyors, land managers, drillers, and midstream or downstream workers such as refinery workers and drivers
- construction workers
- mobile workers: traveling salesmen, truck drivers, health care professionals, repair technicians, emerency services, police and other first responders
- manufacturing facility workers
- those who work outside of normal hours such as security guards, cleaners, service station attendants
- utility workers: meter readers, technicians
- anyone who is self-employed
- people who work apart from their colleagues: receptionists, retail clerks, service station attendants
- real estate agents, home care nurses, nannies / au-pairs
The importance of work alone devices
The broad range of work alone devices available give employers instant notice that an incident has occurred. Our range of Lone Worker Monitors from Blackline Safety offer the ability to self monitor or additionally have Blackline's own safety operations centre respond to incidents. This flexibility gives you around the clock safety monitoring when employers are not available.
Along with the back to base support each device has a different use and function available depending on the situation it is used in. In remote areas with limited or no 3G there are options with satellite, likewise if your device needs fall detection or just GPS tracking or maybe you only need the application on your smartphone, there are options and plans available for all different scenarios.
Regulations to working alone
In Australia as of the 1st of January 2014, it has become compulsory for employers to monitor the health and wellbeing 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 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.
Accidents in the work place / while working
As important is it to following regulation, companies have a responsibility to look after their employees. Safe Work Australia recorded in 2014 that 188 employees lost their lives while at work and that on average 0.52 fatalities occurred each day. Using work alone devices, companies are aiming to reduce these workplace accidents and fatalities. It also provides workers with peace of mind that if an incident is to occur the correct people will be notified to provide help.