When you have lone workers in your company it is really important they are equipped with a lone worker solution. The solution needs to give workers a way to communicate with supervisors throughout their shift and alert someone if there are any problems or safety risks.
Introducing a lone worker safety solution to the workforce isn’t enough though, they need to be trained in how to use the solution to their best advantage. The lone worker training for lone workers needs to be accessible for all levels of staff, and fit the users needs, so everyone leaves comfortable and confident using the system.
Lone worker safety training
The lone worker safety training needs to explain;
What the solution does –
Be transparent with workers on monitoring and the use of data locations. Tell them who can access this information and the privacy levels issued to supervisors. Emphasise that location information is for personal safety, keeping workers safe in an emergency, not tracking throughout a shift.
Why the solution is being introduced –
In some instances, solutions are introduced to comply with local lone worker regulations/legislation or a company’s duty of care. In the majority of cases lone worker solutions are introduced to improve worker safety either in a pre-emptive move or as a result of workplace injuries.
How to use the solution –
Workers need to be shown the solution working in real time. Training with workers needs to involve activating alerts to let people see what happens, so they’re not worried about activating an alert in the future. There should also be an attitude of ‘false alarms don’t matter’ as they show the system is working.
Any monitoring system needs to be embedded into an organisation so it is understood by workers to be creating a safe work environment. Ideally, there needs to be solution ‘Champions’ within the company, especially across departments, that cover employee training and usage need. These individuals can be involved in organising and delivering training, answer any health and safety-related questions and be ‘best practice’ examples for others to follow. They could also be a point of regular contact who other staff can discuss any safety issues or safety procedure concerns with.
Companies must put clear procedures in place, because effective communication is essential to any solution’s success. One good practice is regularly testing lone worker solutions and all emergency procedures to ensure lone workers can be reached or contacted if a problem or emergency is identified. This allows employers to check staffing is correct within each department and that all personal contact details are up to date. Another good practice is to offer additional lone worker training to any workers who would like a refresher course in how to use their lone worker solution effectively. ALL new employees must receive the same standard of training upon starting a new position.
Lone worker safety policy
Companies that have lone working staff need to have a robust Lone Worker Policy. The most effective policies are ones that are written by the lone workers themselves, not management. The workers have a more balanced view of safety within the work environment, their job assignments and therefore what lone working solution is required. Workers are best placed to identify common hazards and potential hazards as well as unexpected situations that could arise. People also tend to take ownership of policies they are involved in creating, over ones issued from higher ups.
A piece of paper cannot keep people safe, it is once people read the paper and then decide what to do with the information on it. That is why a lone worker safety program created by those who work alone is more valued by other staff members.
As well as training on any lone worker solution staff are using, there should also be lone worker first aid training given to staff and complete first aid kits issued.