The UK’s Health and Safety Executive will support the second annual Lone Worker Safety Expo Conference, due to be held on 15 October 2019.
The increase in businesses employing lone workers – employees who work alone without immediate supervision, such as telecommuters, construction workers and cleaners – and the corresponding rise in technological solutions available to maximise the workplace safety of such workers have both contributed to an increased level of scrutiny over companies’ risk assessment and employee protection protocols with regard to lone workers.
Barbara Hockey, the Health and Safety Executive’s Policy Lead for Vulnerable Workers, who will be the keynote speaker at the Expo Conference, said: “Lone working happens in a wide range of workplaces. There are no specific regulations for lone workers except for a few very specialised workplaces such as diving, so our advice is to tailor the risk assessment based on actual work that is being done, taking into account that additional factors of being alone. It’s important that the emphasis is on the employer to fully understand the work activity and what impact working alone can have – not just physical safety but also the health and wellbeing of employees.”
Alongside the Health and Safety Executive, the 2019 Lone Worker Safety Expo Conference will be sponsored by the British Safety Council; the British Security Industry Association; lone worker safety solution providers SkyGuard, Reliance Protect and SoloProtect; among others. It will also partner with the affiliated Health and Safety Event, set to take place in Birmingham from 9 April to 11 April; and which will focus this year on protection of the UK’s approximately eight million lone workers.
Hockey added: “When considering implementing lone worker systems, many employers rely on a technical solution but regular testing of how effective the system is and how employees comply is the way to be satisfied if it is working well. Lone workers can work in stressful environments or find working on their own stressful. With over 11 million days lost at work a year because of stress at work, it is an area many employers are focused on – not least because they have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work by doing a risk assessment and acting on it.”