Employing a Lone Worker? Make sure you’ve got their back

Rhian Greener

3 minutes read time

March 03, 2020

Employees who work alone often lack the safety or backup of those around them should they face confrontation, injury, or otherwise require assistance. In many countries, the law requires employers to carefully consider and then mitigate the health and safety risks to employees working alone. 

Is Lone Worker safety specific to the construction industry?

Although working alone is synonymous with contractors and employees in isolated or remote locations, in the eyes of the law, it’s possible to be surrounded by a thousand people and still be working alone. 

By definition a lone worker can actually include:

  • Staff on the night shift working in petrol stations
  • Contractors working inside occupied premises but in isolation of any close or direct supervision
  • Delivery drivers
  • Social and medical workers
  • Cleaners
  • Security guards on lone patrol
  • Miners
  • Maintenance and repair staff in the field
  • Agricultural and forestry workers
  • Telecommunications technicians
  • Estate agents
  • And many more…

How do I keep my Lone Workers safe?

Managing the risks associated with employees and contractors working alone can be a challenge. Luckily, there are a number of apps and services available to help organizations reduce the chances of lone worker injury or loss of life.

People presence software is a great place to start, as understanding who is on or off site (and in your duty of care) is the first hurdle to overcome.

A small number of people presence software providers go further than this, with mobile apps, features, and add-ons specifically created to keep your at-risk workers safe. WhosOnLocation is a perfect example of this.

How can technology help?

Mobile sign in

WhosOnLocation’s mobile app, WolMobile, allows employees and contractors to sign in for work even when they’re out on the road or working in a remote location. For those locations where safety is a top priority, a geofence can be configured to automatically sign in anyone who enters the location. As soon as an employee or contractor’s phone crosses the geofence, WhosOnLocation automatically records their status as on-site, and signs them out again as they leave.

Follow Me

Do your employees or contractors often travel between sites, or work alone on a large site? For added safety, WolMobile offers the option to ‘follow me’. Each time the employee or contractor’s geolocation moves more than 100m an update is sent to WhosOnLocation, so you can be there to offer assistance as quickly as possible in an emergency.

Set up alerts

Using WhosOnLocation’s Triggers feature, alerts can be set up when an employee or contractor signs in to carry out work alone. The software can also ask how long the work is expected to take, and can send alerts when employees or contractors are overdue to finish and sign out. 

Triggers don’t end there – alerts can be sent when someone tries to sign in after hours, on non-business days or has signed into a hazardous zone.

Be ready in an emergency

WolMobile has an SOS Alert button in-built. If your lone worker gets into trouble and needs immediate assistance, they simply hit this button to send an SOS with their geolocation to a nominated safety operator.