What are The Biggest Dangers to Lone Workers?

Dangers of Lone working

Dangers of Lone working

All employees within an organisation should be entitled to work in a safe environment, where they can carry out their work without unnecessary risk. Employers have a duty of care requirement to ensure the safety of all their employees regardless of what their job role is.

Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show us that, 137 workers were killed at work in 2016/17. Furthermore, over 600,000 workers were reported to have suffered a non-fatal injury at work. These figures give an important insight into why it’s important for every organisation to ensure a safe working environment for their employees. Failure to do so could result in heavy fines and even jeopardise the reputation of the organisation.

Employers can carry out risk assessments to identify some of the risks/hazards within their organisation. This will help prevent some of the easily avoidable accidents suffered by employees at work.

The HSE have also released some of the most common causes of accidents suffered by employees at work. Below we summarise the top 3 dangers that have resulted in the death of a worker during 2016/17:

  1. Struck by moving vehicle: According to the HSE statistics 31 workers lost their lives in 2016/17 due to a moving vehicle. This could be anything from vans, trucks, lorries and even forklifts which are common among many large warehouses.
  2. Falls from a height: This particular kind of accident resulted in 25 fatal injuries last year and has claimed on average 40 lives between 2012/13 – 2016/17.
  3. Struck by moving object: Another dangerous kind of accident caused by objects moving, flying or falling from a height. Statistics from 2016/17 suggests that 20 workers have died due to this.

Along with the above, trapped by something collapsing/overturning, contact with moving machinery and contact with electricity, were some of the other main kinds of workplace accidents that resulted in a fatal injury to employees in 2016/17. Conducting a robust risk assessment should help organisations to prevent or minimise the number of fatalities from these types of accidents.

When carrying out risk assessments, it’s also important to cover all employee job roles, including employees who work alone within your organisation. Lone working employees are more vulnerable to accidents at work, due to the simple fact that there is no one else in the vicinity able to provide help if they were to suffer an injury.

Let’s take falls from a height as an example – along with being one of the top 3 causes of workplace fatalities, it is also one of the most common causes of serious non-fatal injuries suffered by employees at work. To a lone working employee, falling from a height or even slips and trips could be fatal, if immediate medical assistance is not provided.

Working alone is not illegal, however employers need to ensure that adequate support is provided to employees who may be working alone for long periods of time without direct supervision. Utilising personal safety devices, such as the MicroGuard, will allow lone workers to effectively raise an alarm in the event of an emergency. The device is also capable of activating automatically if the user suffers a slip or trip and fall unconscious, thanks to the built-in ‘Man Down’ feature.

All alarms raised via the MicroGuard are connected directly to a 24/7 Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), where specially trained Controllers will assess the situation and escalate it to the emergency services, if need be.

Staff should also be provided with adequate training based around their job roles, this would help create awareness on the biggest dangers and the consequences of not following their training to carry out their duties. Lone workers would also benefit from effective training, as it will allow them to understand the risks they could face when working alone and what to do in the event of an emergency.

Contact our sales team today on sales@peoplesafe.co.uk or 0800 990 3563 to find out how our service can help ensure the safety of your lone working employees.

 

Sources

HSE Stats: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh1617.pdf

HSE Fatality: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf