Risks of Being a Lone Worker

When you own a business and employ a handful of people, it’s often very common that in some cases you have an employee working by himself or herself.

It’s easy enough to forget that working alone can pose a risk to your employees. It’s not enough that they have a place where they can sit down, that they have access to the restroom, and food or water should they get hungry or thirsty. You also have to think about lone worker safety, because the fact is that there’s always a chance that your employee will need immediate assistance. If they can’t get help, then there’s a very good chance that they can get unnecessarily hurt.

Here are some of the most common hazards for lone workers:

They Can Get Hurt Accidentally

Even the safest workplaces can be dangerous if people aren’t overly careful. Sometimes people may slip and fall and that can lead to broken bones or a concussion. In the kitchen area, they may cut themselves accidentally. A heavy piece of equipment may also be hanging on a shelf and it may fall upon your employee.

It’s bad enough if the employee gets hurt and there’s no first aid kit nearby. It is worse when they’re seriously hurt and their injury prevents them from calling for help on the phone. This means that they won’t get immediate medical assistance and the consequences can turn very serious.

They Can Get Sick

Some of your workers may get sick in a short amount of time. An allergic reaction to a bee sting may not always be minor. In some cases, the allergic reaction can be quite severe, and this can be potentially life threatening. The symptoms of such an allergic reaction can include dizziness and loss of consciousness, and it can take a while for the worker’s problem to be discovered if there are no safety provisions for lone workers.

Other workers may also suffer from an asthma attack or an epileptic seizure. Such an episode may leave them vulnerable and unable to call for help. Illness is even more likely among your older workers, as they may suffer a heart attack or a stroke. If they don’t get immediate medical assistance, the consequences can be severe if not fatal.

Customers or Intruders May Attack Your Employee

Think about having a single worker alone in a shop, and then a violent criminal walks in and threatens them. Verbal abuse and intimidation is bad enough as it can be very traumatic. But actual physical assault can be much worse. It can even be fatal.

You can go online and easily find news reports of attacks on employees who work alone. These include teachers, nurses, and show employees. Betting offices have also been in the news, as irate bettors who have lost money on bets may end up venting their frustration on employees who are alone.

What to Do About It

Ideally, you may want to have employees working alone if they don’t have to. But if they have to at least have some security measures in place so that your workers can ask for immediate (and also discreet) assistance. Being alone can make employees feel vulnerable, but at least these security solutions can assure them that if they get into trouble, assistance will be forthcoming. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you do all you can do to make your employees feel safe.