A lone worker is an employee who undertakes a part of their role without close supervision and in isolation from other workers.
Lone workers are particularly vulnerable and at-risk employees due to the additional exposure faced by having no-one to assist them should they face any issues.
As is the case with many roles, it isn't always efficient or an ideal safety solution to pair up staff members, and this is where Lone Worker safety devices come into play.
Depending on where you're located the definition of a Lone Worker will also vary.
New Zealand's Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment defines working alone as "Work carried out in an area where normal means of contact (eg. verbal or sight) with other staff is not available so that the potential risk of existing hazards is increased to the extent that extra precautions are needed. This may include working in isolated areas, onsite or offsite, either during or outside normal working hours".
In Australia, the definition is very similar. "Lone workers are considered those who work by themselves and/or work in the community with only limited support arrangements, which therefore expose them to risk by being isolated from the usual backup support. This is the case whether they regularly work alone or are only occasionally alone and do not have access to immediate support from managers or other colleagues."
The term Lone Workers in common usage does extend beyond isolated and solitary workers though. Employees working in situations that are isolated from the office in teams are often considered Lone Workers as they are often working in remote or isolated locations without immediately available backup support.
To find out more about protecting your high risk lone workers, click here.
If your organisation has Lone Workers. Get in contact with Smartrak to discuss a lone worker personal safety solution for your organisation's workforce.