Workers around Australia, from various industries, are required to work late, overnight, or by themselves. ‘Working Alone’ is defined, by Safe Work Australia, as working anywhere you cannot get immediate assistance. Common examples may include Staff that open and close retail stores, workers with client appointments after hours, working with international clients in different time zone, public transport and taxi drivers, cleaners and maintenance workers, and countless others.
There are several Risks surrounding working alone, the two most common of which are exposure to violence and an inability for individuals to access emergency assistance. The risk of being exposed to violence increases when by yourself, robberies of stores and shopfronts increases during hours where there are less staff and customers around to intervene. People may see individuals who are working by themselves as easy targets. Working alone also offers poor access to assistance in case of an emergency. Workers who fall and hurt themselves and are unable to get assistance, an accident can then become a emergency situation with severe consequences.
What can be done to help mitigate or remove these risks? Employees should be trained to identify and control risks. The identified risks should be addressed and if possible removed. Where risks cannot be removed these tools should be used to assist in creating a safer working environment.
- Buddy Up and keep in contact with at least one other person on a regular basis.
- Have a working environment which allows for increased visibility, CCTV monitored area and areas where access in is controlled.
- Personal duress alarms
- Security services
- and many more
If you would like to learn more about working alone then check out the RMTO Workling Alone Course today!