Lone Worker Safety Essentials: Top 10 Tech Capabilities Checklist
As the number of lone workers continues to rise-with an estimated 15-20% of the workforce considered to work solo-concerns about their safety also increase. Operating predominantly out of sight and sound of others, and without immediate access to help, lone workers face a higher risk of the severity of incidents.
Nearly 70% of organizations reported a lone worker safety incident in the past three years. With 1 in 5 incidents described as 'quite or very severe'.
To keep these vulnerable workers safe, Industrial Hygienists must consider all the circumstances in which people work alone, the hazards they face, and develop a strategy to help them stay protected.
The range of on-the-job situations that can lead to a risky lone worker situation extends beyond an isolated oil and gas worker visiting a well site or a security guard working the late-night shift.
Lone workers can also be anyone who:
- Works separately from others at a fixed worksite
- Works alone away from the main worksite
- Works on the move/mobile workers
- Works irregular hours/shift workers
Some common risks to lone workers include:
Connected Tech Delivers Layers of Safety When Working Alone
Cloud-connected IIoT safety devices-such as gas detection and lone worker wearables, long with area gas monitors-are becoming standard as workplaces undergo digital transformations. These devices can link employees with live monitoring, enable real-time information sharing, collect vital location data, support more informed decision-making, and facilitate faster emergency responses. Most importantly, workers can confidently get their jobs done knowing they are protected.
TOP 10 LONE WORKER SAFETY CHECKLISTHealth and safety professionals should consider these specific tech capabilities to protect their lone workers:
- Location technology-integrates GPS to provide accurate positioning outdoors, alongside location beacons to provide more accurate positioning indoors where GPS signals may be weak or unavailable.
- Real-time visibility-harnesses built-in cellular-enabled cloud-connectivity for continuous communication and situational awareness, from anywhere.
- Satellite connectivity-offers additional coverage for a failsafe way to keep in touch, even in the most remote locations.
- Two-way voice-enables monitoring personnel to talk to workers via speakerphone.
- Emergency SOS-allows employees to call for help manually and silently, without looking or potentially pressing the wrong button, to access support discreetly.
- Fall/no motion detection-senses if a worker slips, trips, fall or when a person is motionless, then triggers and alarm.
- Missed checked-in-sends an alert if a worker fails to check-in and confirm their well-being at the agreed upon interval.
- Gas detection-detects potentially toxic, asphyxiant and explosive gas leaks in the atmosphere.
- Compliance management-provides data-informed insights into how devices are used, calibrated and bump tested to understand and improve worker behavior.
- Automated analytics-delivers out-of-the-box or customizable analytics to help you understand gas exposure, improve efficiency, and manage compliance.
For a deeper dive and valuable information into work-alone legislation, the five essential elements of a lone worker safety policy, a guide to policy adoption, along with case studies and additional resources, read the following article: 'Are You Protecting Your Lone Workers Enough? What you need to know from - regulations to real-time visibility'.