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Avoid Complaints From Lone Workers

Published September 19, 2016 (last updated November 19, 2020) -

Lone workers are people who work alone without any direct or close supervision.

Mobile workers, such as drivers, surveyors, engineers or care workers are lone workers when they work away from their employer’s base. Some lone workers are at a fixed workplace but isolated, or in a role that takes them to a variety of locations or worksites. On call workers or workers who work overtime, outside normal hours or who open and close work premises, can also be classed as lone workers.

The risks of lone working

Lone workers are more at risk than others because of the nature and/or isolation of their work. The risks associated can include exposure to attacks to their physical being or extended time spent on the road. In addition, other risks include:

  • unfamiliarity associated with remote worksite requirements
  • adopting unsafe practices due to lack of knowledge or supervision
  • incorrect procedures associated with manual handling
  • limited help or advice in case of sudden illness, accident or other emergencies

Reduce the risks of lone working

As an employer there are a few ways to reduce the risks associated with lone workers that include:

  • training your employees in the risks associated with their type of work
  • set up a system to allow for easy and continual communication
  • provide adequate supervision, where possible
  • identify potential situations or hazards and use control measures to reduce them
  • provide clear and effective emergency procedures should a situation present

Employsure can advise you on reducing the risks to lone worker, avoiding complaints, and ensuring their safety. If you currently employ a lone worker, call Employsure today on 0800 568 012 to ensure you are meeting your employment obligations under the Employment Relations Act and Health and Safety at Work Act.

About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small and medium businesses, with over 5,000 clients. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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