Logosoft helps fulfil ‘Duty of Care for Lone Workers
Working alone is not in itself against the law and it will often be safe to do so – in fact in excess of 6 million people in the UK work either in isolation or without direct supervision. However, the law requires employers to consider carefully and deal with any health and safety risks for people working alone.
Lone workers are those who work by themselves (without close or direct supervision), typically outside normal hours – for example; security, maintenance and repair staff, and cleaners. Either working from a fixed establishment, or mobile working away from a fixed base.
Under the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2008 along with the Health & Safety Offences act 2008, employers have a ‘Duty of Care’ to help protect employees who work alone.
Although lone workers cannot be subject to constant supervision, it is still an employer’s duty to ensure they are healthy and safe at work. Supervision can help to ensure that employees understand the risks associated with their work and that the necessary health and safety precautions are carried out. Before you even start to estimate the cost of fines from disobeying Health & Safety Acts, the costs of an investigation by the HSE could run into tens of thousands of pounds.
As an employer, you have a legal and moral duty to care for your employees and to protect them from any unnecessary risks involving them in their place of work. If one of your employees were to suffer some kind of harm from work, as a consequence of doing their job, you could be sent to court regarding the matter.
The level of supervision required is a management decision and should be based on the findings of a risk assessment; clearly the higher the risk the greater the level of supervision required. It should not be left to individuals to decide whether they require supervision.
Steps to take when considering risk:
- Involve workers when considering potential risks and measures to control them;
- Remove risks where possible, or put in place control measures e.g. selecting the right equipment for the job to ensure the worker is able to perform the required tasks in safety;
- Instruction, training and supervision;
- Review risk assessments periodically or when there has been a significant change in working practice.
Procedures should be in place to monitor lone workers to help keep them safe, these may include:
- Periodic visits by supervisors observing people working alone;
- Regular contact between the lone worker and the supervisor;
- Automatic warnings if specific signals are not being received periodically from a lone worker;
- Other devices designed to raise the alarm in an emergency, these can be operated manually or automatically by the absence of activity;
- Checks to ensure a lone worker has returned to their base once a task is completed.
Lone workers should be capable of responding correctly to emergencies. Risk assessments should identify foreseeable events and emergency procedures should be established as well as employees trained in them. Information regarding a premises’ emergency procedures and danger areas should be given to lone workers. They should have adequate access to facilities including carrying a first-aid kit suitable for treating minor injuries.
How does an employer combine delivery of a good service with ensuring the safety of an employee?
The answer is a solution such as Patrol Manager from Logosoft. This android smartphone app enables employees to log their location, tasks and any other information as needed. If their safety is compromised they can easily and safely summon help.
Patrol Manager helps employers comply with current lone worker legislation by providing management with the means to effectively monitor and review the employee’s location and time. With features such as book on/off, check calls, incident reporting and duress alerts all included you can constantly monitor employees – helping ensure their health and safety in the workplace.
Real time who, where and when details – 100% accurate information for payroll and billing purposes;
- Complete audit trail and integration with back office systems;
- Photographic evidence available for incident reporting;
- Full 2 way workforce communication with record of all messages and responses;
- Location specific instructions, information and check lists presented automatically.
For further information about Logosoft’s suite of workforce management solutions contact us on 01527 874977 or click below.