The modern economy means more and more workers are out on their own, at least for part of the workday. Lone workers are not necessarily more vulnerable to work accidents – although much depends on the type of job they do – but they are in greater danger of becoming injured and not having anyone to help them.
There are many options to improve work safety for those working on their own, by implementing a few basic rules. In addition to protecting lone workers, knowing their employer is looking out for their welfare improves morale and reduces employee turnover. It also provides a connection for lone workers who may have little, if any, interaction with colleagues and the companies they work for.
A lone worker’s best friend is his or her smartphone. The right app allows a worker to immediately notify first responders and their employers that an emergency is occurring. All that is necessary is to keep the phone unlocked, and to pull a wrist tether. Beforehand, the worker must enter all applicable information, such as name, employer, home address, insurance coverage, previous and current medical conditions, and a family member or friend to contact. Emergency personnel find the worker via GPS, and the employee does not have to answer any personal questions while potentially in distress.
Volatile Jobs and Situations
Some jobs are dangerous by nature. Other jobs are not inherently dangerous, but a lone worker may find themselves performing their tasks in an unsafe area where they may become crime victims. Again, a safety app can come to the rescue. Find an alarm that workers can trigger easily and is loud enough to scare off potential robbers, attackers, or let anyone nearby know that something is very wrong.
There are plenty of such apps available, but it is critical to find one that the lone worker can set off without having to unlock the phone or press a lot of buttons. Those few seconds can literally mean the difference between life and death.
No matter how sophisticated the technology, there are instances when it will not help an individual lone worker. For example, if a worker falls and knocks themselves unconscious, they cannot use an app to notify emergency responders. That’s why regular communication between the lone worker and a supervisor is essential. Texts, emails or phone calls just to verify the worker is on the job and safe should suffice, but a general check-in time is needed.
Training Lone Workers
Just recommending a couple of smartphone apps is insufficient protection for the lone worker. It is important to conduct training sessions to ensure lone workers know company safety policies, and how to use the emergency notification equipment they have. Have a worker safety expert come in and address lone workers, advising them how to handle different situations they may encounter. Such an official can also warn them about potential hazards when working alone in a specific field, which may not have occurred to the worker.
Philadelphia Workplace Injury Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Fight for Injured Lone WorkersIf you are a lone worker, and have been hurt in a work accident, you need the service of the experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP. Call us today at 215-512-1500, or contact us online. Our office is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we work with clients from the surrounding areas.