Lone and High-Risk Workers

Who are lone workers?

Lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. Anybody who works alone, including contractors, self-employed people and employee, is classed as a lone worker.
Lone workers include:

  • people in fixed establishments where only one person works on the premises, e.g. in small workshops, kiosks, petrol stations, shops and home-workers
  • people work separately from others, e.g. in factories, warehouses, some research and training establishments, leisure centres or fairgrounds
  • people who work outside normal hours, e.g. cleaners, security, special production, maintenance or repair staff, etc.
  • people who work away from their fixed base, e.g. on construction, plant installation, maintenance and cleaning work, electrical repairs, lift repairs, painting and decorating, vehicle recovery, etc.
  • agricultural and forestry workers
  • service workers, e.g. rent collectors, postal staff, social workers, home helpers, district nurses, pest control workers, drivers, engineers, architects, estate agents, sales representatives and similar professionals visiting domestic and commercial premises.

If you are working out of sight of another work colleague you are a lone worker!

Hazards

Hazards that lone workers may encounter include:

  • accidents or emergencies arising out of the work, including inadequate provision of first aid
  • sudden illnesses
  • inadequate provision of rest, hygiene and welfare facilities
  • physical violence from members of the public and/or intruders

Three broad groups of workers whose activities involve a large percentage of their working time operating in situations without the benefit of interaction with other workers or without supervision are those:

  1. Working alone on site
  2. Working away from base
  3. Homeworkers (including “outworkers”)

It is should also be noted that many of the problems of lone working could also apply to pairs of workers who work in isolated areas or potential high risk working environments. Using the GPS Geo Guard will always give you the quickest response with evidential and analytical data even when working in teams.

WORKERHAZARD
Taxi DriversAbusive customers, road rage, violence, robbery, road accidents
Social workers, institution staff, community workersAbusive/violent patients/clients/relatives, manual handling (lifting) injuries
Electrical/Maintenance workersElectric shocks, trips, cuts, falls, accidents, confined spaces
Emergency services, security workersAbuse, violence, robbery, traffic hazards, accidents, biological hazards, falls, burns, toxic exposures
Farm/forestry/horticultural workersAnimal attacks, weather, machinery accidents, chemicals, falling trees
Home help, care assistants, cleanersFalls, injury, lifting, injuries from garbage handling, infections, needle sticks, chemicals, violence, robbery
Lab workersChemical over-exposure, biological agents, physical hazards, fires
Meter readers, delivery, postal workersAnimal attacks, abusive customers, violence, robbery, accidents
Nursing staffManual handling injuries, abusive/violent patients, drug handling, robbery, violence
Parking attendantsRobbery, violence, abuse, vehicle fumes
Shop/service sector workersRobbery, violence, abuse, manual handling injuries
Public workersConfined spaces, toxic gases, biohazards, slips and falls
Transport workersAbuse, road rage, violence, robbery, road accidents, falling asleep at the wheel, breakdowns/running out of fuel/getting bogged in isolated areas (tragically, several drivers have died as a result)

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