Should you provide lone workers with lone worker alarms? If you employ people who work alone, this may be a question you have asked yourself and still aren’t any closer to getting an answer, let alone a lone worker solution put in place.
Lone working is risky and as such, the safety of your employees will need more consideration than the rest of your employees who tend to work in a fixed location, or amongst colleagues. This blog post will hopefully guide you in your decision to purchasing a lone worker alarm solution.
Lone Working and The Law
Lone working isn’t illegal, lot’s of people in the UK work alone; the most recent estimate is 8 million individuals are classed as lone workers. So with so many people working alone, it’s surprising that there aren’t more specific laws that relate to lone working.
However, you do have a legal responsibility to keep your employees as safe as you possibly can. A risk assessment must be undertaken for lone working; this comes under The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999).
Both regulations require that you identify any hazards, assess the risks your employees face, and then put measures in place to control the risks. This is standard practice across most businesses, but here is how it would look when assessing lone working, and at what point you would consider lone worker alarms:
- Identify hazards – acknowledge and identify lone workers within your business.
- Assess risks – a formal risk assessment for you lone workers.
- Put measures in place to control risks – this is where you would introduce a lone worker policy, and discuss the option of lone worker alarms.
With the above steps completed, you will be in a much more informed position to be able to decide if your employees need lone worker alarms.
If there is still a very high risk of incident, even with control measures put in place, then yes, lone worker alarms are necessary. Putting a lone worker solution in place will ensure that you have done everything within your power to decrease the risks lone workers face. In the event anything should happen to your lone worker, you would have done all that you could to minimise the damage.
Moral Obligation and Employee Wellbeing
If you have decided that your lone workers don’t face high levels of risk, or that lone worker devices are not necessary, there are a couple of reasons you should still consider…
The first is your moral obligation. A moral obligation is something you should do, which isn’t enforced by law. If you consider yourself to be an ethical and moral employer, it stands that you would want to do everything you can to keep your employees from harm.
If you employ low-risk lone workers, you might have established that the chance of major incident is so low that it simply isn’t worth implementing a lone worker solution. However low the chances are of something happening, you should view it seriously and try your best to protect your staff.
Giving staff lone worker devices is a small price to pay in comparison to the multitude of ‘what if’ questions, you will ask yourself if something should happen to a member of staff. However small the risk, isn’t it worth ensuring that your employees are covered for worst case scenarios?
You also have to consider your reputation, not only in the business world but to future potential customers and employees. Of course, you want to be seen as a business which puts considerable care into the keeping their employees safe, who wouldn’t?
To take it one step further, you ought to consider the personal wellbeing of your employees. It’s a well-established fact that stress can cause physical illness, and is one of the top reasons for employee absence. You should be doing everything you can to reduce work-related stress on your employees.
Working alone is stressful for many people, mainly due to concerns about safety, or feelings of helplessness. Having a lone worker solution in place would go a long way to alleviating some of those worries. Boosting staff wellbeing can help reduce absence and high staff turn-over, this is obviously of great benefit to your business too.
Employees that feel cared for and have lower levels of stress are more likely to stay and enjoy their jobs. Knowing that your employer cares about your safety, takes the risks associated with lone working seriously, and is prepared to do something about it is a great morale booster.
Choosing a Lone Worker Alarm Provider
We are the number one name in lone worker safety and have extensive experience in helping implement effective lone worker solutions.