Lone working is a necessary part of many professions, but it poses unique challenges that can’t be ignored Creating a strong risk assessment process and effective lone worker policies is essential for keeping these employees safe and healthy It’s a legal requirement to protect workers from harm “So Far As Is Reasonably Practical” This article will look at how risk assessments can help achieve this goal for lone workers in construction Assess the Environment The workplace environment can change frequently, so it’s important that lone worker risk assessments are dynamic Any changes should be recorded and a decision made on precautions, which could include training, equipment provision, monitoring systems and procedures for check-ins Keeping records of all this will provide a good base in the event that an incident occurs This process is often aided by the involvement of staff members themselves, who can highlight any risks they see This allows employers to make sure that all lone workers are covered Similarly, staff members should be regularly reminded about safety protocols so that they stay up-to-date Even though safety equipment has helped bring down the rates of injury in construction, it’s still a high-risk industry And this is made worse by the fact that lone working lowers levels of supervision and increases response times in the case of an emergency Once all the significant findings of the risk assessment have been recorded, they can be used to formulate a lone work policy that’s fit for your business These policies should also be documented so that they can be referenced in the future Whether you choose to record these documents digitally or on paper, they should be clearly visible for all employees to access Then, they should be implemented and all employees trained in the new lone worker policies and processes Assess the Work Lone workers are at higher risk than other employees because they do not have a colleague to spot dangers, point them out and help them deal with the situation Because of this, it is important for a lone worker risk assessment to be conducted every time a new location or work process is introduced This can include any change in staffing, a move to a different work area, or introducing new equipment As well as identifying any hazards, this assessment must also determine how likely it is that harm will occur and what the level of impact would be The assessment must then identify the steps that must be taken to minimise risks, including creating new working alone policies and processes Finally, a lone worker assessment should consider whether anyone else might be harmed by the work that is being carried out This includes not only other lone workers but any members of the public For example, if a lone worker drops an object while working at height and it hits someone below them, they could be facing serious consequences Finally, it is important to ensure that the lone worker is medically fit for carrying out the task in question This will involve considering any pre-existing medical conditions and checking that they are able to carry out their job without risking themselves or others Assess the Person Lone workers often work in remote locations and are not always able to seek help if they become injured or unwell If they are operating dangerous machinery, the risks of injury or illness can be very high Therefore, it’s important to assess whether the lone worker has enough knowledge and experience in order to operate such equipment If not, additional training should be provided to minimise the risks It’s also important to consider the psychological factors involved in lone working For example, if the lone worker is a police officer or a healthcare worker who visits patients in their homes, then they could be at risk of violence from a patient Lone worker policy and risk assessment documents should be carefully reviewed to include any such issues When assessing the risks, it is important to determine the likelihood that harm will occur and the severity of that harm This will allow you to identify the key hazards and determine which control measures should be in place It will also enable you to decide if short term controls need to be put in place whilst longer term control mechanisms are put in place It’s also essential to keep records of accidents, injuries and ill health in your workplace This will help to spot trends and prevent a similar situation occurring again in the future Assess the Equipment Lone workers are often required to operate equipment or materials which pose a risk of harm It is essential that a company assesses the risks associated with these items to ensure that employees are safe whilst working alone This includes the ability to access the items, whether they are able to use them safely and if additional training or equipment is required The condition of the person who will be working alone is also a key factor to consider in this process Especially if they are not physically fit to work, if they have medical conditions that affect their ability to work and if they need to wear protective clothing or equipment to carry out the job safely It is the legal responsibility of a business to protect their workforce in so far as is reasonably practical Once all of the potential hazards have been identified and evaluated it is time to decide on precautions that can be put in place This might include establishing procedures for regular check-ins or requiring the lone worker to have emergency contact details in case of any problems https//wwwloneworkeralarmsconz/panic-alarm/ It is important that companies take a dynamic approach to their assessment process Regularly reviewing the risks that a lone worker might face, as well as any incidents or close calls that may have occurred, will help to inform and improve the policies which are in place