No legislation prohibits employees from working alone. While it’s legally allowed, it’s the employers’ responsibility to access risks and make policies to control or avoid them. Providing lone worker monitoring with check-in protocol is part of mitigating risk for employees who work alone.
Who is considered a lone worker?
If the employee is alone and cannot be seen or heard by another person, they are considered a lone worker. Essentially, if no one can come to their aid if needed, they are working alone. Even if they’re only alone for portions of their shift, they are still considered a lone worker.
Whether they’re working remotely, in potentially hazardous conditions, or not, you’re responsible for providing work alone monitoring.
What do you include in a lone worker policy?
Your lone worker policy needs to be customized to each employee, their specific tasks, and in accordance to risk assessments for that job, location, and task. It also needs to comply with lone worker legislation for your particular area.
Checking your local work alone legislation is an excellent place to start. Referring to legislation ensures your policy is compliant and that your organization meets high safety standards. You should include the acts listed in legislation in your policy. You can also review these helpful lone worker checklists from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Your policy should be clear and can act as a reference for you and your employees.
Employees must review the lone worker policy to know what they’re responsible for regarding risk assessments, check-ins, and other procedures.
Do I really need a lone worker policy?
Yes, having a written lone worker policy is required by law in most jurisdictions. If an accident happens while the worker is executing their duties, in transit between job sites, or even outside the company’s premises, you are considered legally accountable.
As an employer, you must assess and reduce risk to your employees wherever possible. It shows employees that you genuinely care about their safety. As a result, you’ll help avoid workplace accidents, keep your workers safe, and improve employee retention.
Learn about The CommAlert Group’s lone worker safety program.