Do You Know How Many Workers You Have That Are Defined As “Working Alone”?
Many companies don’t realize how many of their employees – whether on contract or work full-time – actually have some aspect of their job where they work alone. Working alone comes with it’s own unique set of hazards and challenges, so it’s important to be clear on the work alone definition and categories so your company can properly equip your staff with the tools they need to be safe.
Definition of Work Alone:
A worker is considered to be working alone if the worker works by himself or herself at a work site in circumstances where assistance is not readily available when needed.
5 Categories of Working Alone:
(1) Workers who do hazardous work away from the public, such as field service operatives. These workers may be doing checks in remote locations, working in confined spaces, or separated from other operatives by physical barriers. The hazards they face may be very high risk when including the fact that assistance may not be readily available.
(2) Workers who travel away from the office and interact with their customers, such as home care workers and social service workers. Employees in these situations may be at a heightened risk of experiencing violence in the workplace when interacting with new clients, or be in a vulnerable position during transportation to and from the office.
(3) Workers who travel alone but have no interaction with customers, such as truck drivers. These workers could be at risk of accidents, injury or sudden emergencies that could be dangerous if no response is given.
(4) Workers who handle cash, such as taxi drivers, and gas station attendants. These workers could also be at risk of violence in their workplace, including threats towards their person, robberies, or other dangerous behavior, that would need an emergency response.
(5) Workers alone in at an isolated site, such as security guards. These workers are at risk of violent attack by people or animals because their site is isolated from public view or in a very remote location. They could also be subject to other accidents that would need emergency response.
(6) Working from home are considered lone workers. An employer has the same responsiblity for the safety and health of employees regardless if they work from home. The employer should accept liablity for accident or injury of a worker who is working from home.