When you think of schools, you don’t often think of someone being on their own, but in reality, many people become lone workers throughout the school day.
Who is a lone worker?
Key holders: Being the first person on site opening up the school and turning all the lights on or the last person locking up and setting alarms at night, or on a call out
Class teachers: Staying late in the evenings or coming in early morning to finish marking or lesson planning, coming in during holidays or weekends, running after school clubs
Janitor/Caretaker/Site Manager: Completing repairs/jobs outside of school hours, doing work at height, coming in during holidays or weekends
Early years staff: Going on home visits for new pupils
Cleaners: Being on site outside of school hours either late at night or early morning
Counsellors: Working one on one with pupils in isolation
Teachers/tutors: Home schooling for children e.g. those who are medically unable to attend school, language lessons, music lessons
What can be done to support lone workers?
Ofsted states that all schools must have a Health and Safety policy and a lot of schools are now including a section on Lone working. These policies include recommendations on manual handling, working at height, home visits and late/weekend working.
Some schools have included recommendations that those who frequently work alone are given contact phone numbers of senior staff or let their family members know where they are and when they are expected back.
This puts a lot of onus on the staff members to contact others and makes the assumption that they will be able to contact others. What lone workers in schools really need is a lone worker solution that will let others know they are all right and raise the alarm if they aren’t.
What is the solution?
Staff should be using a lone worker system that enables them to be monitored correctly. The solution should ensure all workers are safe and able to check in or request help if needed.
Ok Alone is that solution. A simple, easy to use solution that is downloaded onto a worker’s phone, so there is no need to buy additional devices. The system has GPS that can be used to locate a worker if they do not respond to messages or reminders or if a man down alert is triggered. But most importantly, Ok Alone can offer peace of mind to lone workers by letting them know that if something happens (a help alert is sent or a check in is missed) someone from their school or at the Live Monitoring facility will be alerted.