Building a risk-based approach to safety is usually more streamlined, simpler and more engaging for your lone workers. The approach can support one safety standard for all your employees while allowing flexibility for different safety procedures across various business units and operating regions.
Typically, a risk-based safety program will actively engage your employees in an initial hazard assessment process. When employees undertake a hazard assessment, they take into consideration their own work tasks, location and communication risks. Employee participation in this process not only results in a more optimized procedure but one that is simpler for them to use. And employees naturally use simplified processes more consistently.
Whenever employees are engaged in developing safety procedures, there are other inherent benefits that typically result in their greater safety awareness and more consistent compliance. That's good news for everyone!
Any company can build their safety program using a risk-based approach following a few basic steps and including a few best practices.
The Process: Build Your Risk-Based Safety Program
First, identify all the lone workers in your organization. Then, list all the risks that all your lone workers face. Next, group together all the common risks that are faced by all lone workers in your organization. Then, group your lone workers based on the unique risks they face. Finally, you can begin to build your procedure based on the groups, risks and requirements you have identified. At a bare minimum, your risk-based safety tool-kit should include the following best practices.
Risk-Based Safety Program Best Practices
Hazard Assessment: It's very beneficial to engage employees in thinking about the risks they face when they enter a lone worker situation. This assessment can also be done by a third-party.
Two-Way Communication: Be sure to provide employees with two-way communication at all times. This allows you to assess the context of every situation and nature of an emergency should it arise. There are options for two-way communication in areas with no landline or cell phone coverage, including satellite technology, devices and apps that sync with WIFI.
24/7 Check-In: Ensure that there are dedicated staff members available to monitor employees, someone who can respond to a lone worker situation immediately at any time.
Location: It is important to know the location of your lone workers or remote workers as close to real time as possible. This is crucial in emergency situations. Tools that may assist with this include an app that syncs with your phone GPS, a satellite device or security cameras.
Developing safety procedures is something we do quite often with our clients at Telelink, so if you need or want a template to help you build your risk-based safety procedure just let us know, and we'd be happy to set you up with something.