As an employer, you are responsible for managing the risks related to the safety of all employees and contractors – and this extends to lone working risk. You are required to ensure you have the correct training in place and are also required to keep in contact with any Lone Workers and maintain adequate supervision. Examples of the common risks and related obligations are summarised below:
Training – Many Lone Workers do not have immediate access to a more experienced or senior members of staff whilst working, it is critical they are sufficiently trained to carry out their role safely and be prepared to deal with any unexpected situations or emergencies.
Supervision – The levels of supervision should increase to manage specific risk factors such as danger of the job and the experience of the employee. A Risk Assessment should be carried out detailing control measures and communicated with affected employees and contractors.
Monitoring – It is essential to keep in contact with Lone Workers and ensure they understand the monitoring systems and procedures you use. It is an employer’s responsibility to test these systems and update employees regarding any changes.
All of these factors apply to employees who have moved to a homeworking scenario during the pandemic. Many of these will have been unprepared and unaccustomed to working remotely, so it is essential that employers provide effective supervision, education and training, as well as implementing relevant control measures to protect homeworkers. This includes mental wellbeing and helping to manage stress at home, as subject we elaborate more on this in another blog.