What are some factors to consider when assessing the workplace or situations?
The following are some points to consider. Each circumstance will be different, so be sure to adapt the questions to suit your situation.
Length of time the person will be working alone:
What is a reasonable length of time for the person to be alone?
Is it reasonable for the person to be alone at all?
How long will the person be alone to finish the job?
Is it legal for the person to be alone while doing certain activities? (For example: some jurisdictions may restrict working alone in a confined space, or during lock-out / tag-out operations).
What time of the day will the person be alone?
What forms of communication are available?
Is it necessary to “see” the person, or is voice communication adequate?
Will emergency communication systems work properly in all situations?
If the communication systems are located in a vehicle, do you need alternative arrangements to cover the person when they are away from the vehicle?
Location of the work:
Is the work in a remote or isolated location? (Remember that a remote location does not have to be far away. Storage rooms that are rarely used can be considered remote or isolated.)
Is transportation necessary to get there? What kind of transportation is needed?
Is the vehicle equipped with emergency supplies such as food and drinking water, as well as a first aid kit?
Will the person need to carry some or all of the emergency supplies with them when they leave the vehicle?
Does the person need training to be able to use the first aid equipment?
What are the consequences if the vehicle breaks down?
Will the person have to leave the vehicle for long periods of time?
Type or nature of work:
Is there adequate training and education provided for the person to be able to work alone safely?
Is there adequate personal protective equipment available? Is it in good working order?
What machinery, tools or equipment will be used?
Is there a high risk activity involved?
Is fatigue likely to be a factor?
Are there extremes of temperature?
Is there risk of an animal attack, insect bite (poisonous, or allergic reaction), etc.?
If the person is working inside a locked building, how will emergency services be able to get in? (For example: a night cleaner in a secure office building)
Does the work involve working with money or other valuables?
Does the work involve seizing property or goods (such as repossession, recovering stolen property, etc)?
Characteristics required by the individual who is working alone
Are there any pre-existing medical conditions that may increase the risk?
Does the person have adequate levels of experience and training? (For example: first aid, communication systems repair, vehicle breakdowns, relevant administrative procedures, and/or outdoor survival?)
What is meant by working alone?
Is working alone a problem?
What are examples of high risk activities?
What can be done to help a lone worker stay safe?
What is an example of a check-in procedure?
Five Working Alone Situations That May Put Employees at Risk
Best Practices for Working Alone Situations