With the COVID-19 virus spreading across the entire globe, more of your team members are going to have to work at home and in many cases, alone. But because you’re not sharing an office with these workers, it doesn’t mean that you can’t protect your team:
Proper Training: Make sure you train your lone workers thoroughly, teaching them how to deal with every possible scenario they might experience. Working remotely or from home will introduce new obstacles and safety challenges. It is your responsibility to make sure that employees know the risks, and how to deal with them.
Conduct a Hazard Assessment: Assess and list all of the hazards of the lone worker’s workspace. Identify the severity of each risk and explore ways to either eliminate or mitigate these hazards. Risks may be physical, biological, environmental, social, ergonomic, chemical, or electrical.
Develop a comprehensive lone worker policy: Use the results from your hazard assessment to plan, thoroughly evaluate the potential risks, and providing clear guidance for risk reduction. Your lone worker policy should ensure that employees on the job are always in contact with you. Establishing a check-in procedure is an effective way to make regular, planned contact with lone or remote workers throughout the day.
Ensure that workers have the proper equipment: Employees must have the appropriate technology and equipment to complete their jobs safely and effectively. If workers require unique equipment to fulfill their jobs remotely or from home, this should be considered and each case evaluated individually. It’s a good idea to equip your lone workers with a panic button to press for help during an emergency. If needed, equip your lone worker with a GPS-connected device so that you know their location while on the job.
Promote employee wellness: For their mental health and happiness, make sure your lone worker is taking regular breaks from their work. This is important not only for productivity but for the health and wellbeing of the worker. It’s also a great idea to hold regular team meetings via video chat. Meetings can be both work-related and unrelated; staying connected matters.
During these stressful times, these are a few steps your organization can take to preserve the safety of its people. As we all make the transition from office to home, be mindful of the unique challenges.