As we embark upon the long winter months, this is a really good time to reflect upon the extra measures we might need to take at this time to ensure we’re safe as lone workers. The days are getting shorter, the mornings are getting darker and the weather is already much colder!
The types of risks we face, both environmental and social, are really effected by the turning of the season. It’s really important that when we’re carrying out our daily duties we stay vigilant and continue to assess our continually changing environment.
The colder weather brings a whole range of additional environmental risks for lone workers to be wary of. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that the incidence of slips, trips and falls is increased during the autumn and winter months. This increase is attributed to a number of reasons; the change in the weather brings more rain, ice and snow, the leaves are falling and making surfaces slippery and wet. There’s also less daylight making it darker and more difficult for us to negotiate these hazards.
HSE data from last year showed that slips, trips and falls make up almost 20% of all injuries suffered by workers. In total, the UK lost 4.5 million working days due to workplace injury in 2016.
Issues that lone workers will want to consider during the winter months are:
- Wet and decaying leaves
- Rain water
- Ice, frost, snow
Fewer daylight hours can also increase the potential for aggressive situations to occur. We should think about avoiding dimly lit streets and alleyways and it might be time to reconsider visiting the last client of the night or changing our way home to a more public route.
Employers have a duty of care to their workforce. A great way to ensure lone workers are safe is to provide information about increased risk and deliver appropriate training dealing with dangerous situations. This has been shown to decrease the risks of an incident occurring.
Lone worker solutions can be even more invaluable at this time of year. When your job takes you away from the workplace, or out of sight, your company has a responsibility to protect you. Due to the increased risk, this becomes even more important when the colder seasons are upon us. Without lone worker protection, an organisation could experience serious financial reparations if a lone worker is harmed whilst undertaking their duties and it is deemed they have not been sufficiently protected by their employers. They also risk accumulating a negative brand perception which will ultimately affect their ability to attract customers and staff alike.
The colder months bring with them greater and more distinctive risks, and these need to be carefully considered by both staff and employers. If you’d like to discuss how our lone worker solution could help you or your business then please do get in touch today.