Lone Working and The Law – What You Need to Know | EcoOnline US

Lone working and the law – what you need to know

Written by Helen Down

Published March 28, 2024

Chances are, you have lone workers in some shape or form within your organization. 

Estimates suggest that there are around 35 million lone workers in North America, which is more than a fifth of the total labor force.  

To help keep them safe, lone workers are subject to specific guidelines when it comes to health and safety – and for good reason.  

According to research, 68% of organizations have experienced an incident involving a lone worker in the last three years.  

So, how can you make sure you stay on the right side of lone worker safety regulations? 

All workers have a right to work in places where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled 


Under OSHA and CCOHS guidelines,
 you must manage the risk to the lone workers within your organization. 

This guidance is in place to ensure the safety of all staff, including those who work without supervision.  

Because lone working carries additional risk, anyone in your business who works alone for any period – including home workers – should be considered separately in your risk assessments, policies and procedures.  

Failure to adhere to health and safety legislation can have serious consequences.  

If a lone worker is threatened, attacked or injured at work, legal procedures could cost the business in fines, resources and time, with cases taking months or even years to complete. In some cases, the employer could also face prosecution and imprisonment if they are found to be at fault.  

Lone working and the law infographic for website NAM

You must manage any health and safety risks before people can work alone.

 

As an employer, you have a duty of care to ensure that your employees are safe whilst they work, travel, or meet with clients alone or in remote locations. 

Governing bodies recognize that there will be greater risks for lone workers without direct supervision, or anyone to help them if things go wrong. To help mitigate this, they provide specific guidance on how to keep your lone workers safe. 

One of the key recommendations is to monitor the well-being of your lone workers and keep in touch with them. This can include;  

  • knowing where your lone workers are; 
  • maintaining regular contact at pre-agreed intervals  
  • having means of raising an alarm in an emergency; and 
  • a reliable system to ensure a lone worker has returned to their base once they have completed their task 

One of the most popular ways to adhere to these requirements is via connected safety solutions such as lone worker apps, which can monitor employee safety in real-time.  

Using technology to meet your duty of care 


Lone worker safety solutions are fast becoming the number one choice for organizations that need a reliable and efficient way to manage their lone workers’ safety. 
 

StaySafe, EcoOnline’s Lone Worker solution, helps you to comply with regulatory guidelines for lone workers. 

Consisting of an app and cloud-based monitoring hub, StaySafe gives you real-time visibility of the location and safety status of your lone workers and enables them to signal for help quickly and easily in an emergency.  

StaySafe helps you to meet health and safety requirements by ensuring that; 

  • You know where your lone workers are  
  • You are in regular contact with them 
  • They can raise the alarm quickly in an emergency; and  
  • They have returned safely after a period of lone working 

Find out more about StaySafe


Author Helen Down

Helen has worked within the health and safety industry for nearly a decade and has a background in growth marketing within the SaaS space. Throughout her career, she has written extensively about health and safety, risk, legislation, and lone working.

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