Do you train workers to reduce risk when working alone?

by on November 18, 2014 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network
two workers at machine

You know working alone presents special challenges – even highly trained and experienced workers may find themselves feeling pressured to take shortcuts. After all, working alone means you do everything yourself. There’s no one to help hold up the other end of an insulation panel, for example. There’s no one who noticed if you remove your eye protection because it’s fogged up. And there’s no one to help if you get into trouble.

You may want to consider special safety procedures when people will be working alone and away from anyone else for a considerable distance or time. Some things to consider:

  1. Recognize new hazards: Heavy lifting, material-handling, working at heights – all have different hazards if no one can assist if something goes wrong. There’s no one else to warn you.
  2. Keep in touch: In today’s highly connected world, people aren’t as alone as they used to be. Have people working alone check in with their supervisors regularly. That not only reassures people that they are OK, but also gives them an opportunity to ask questions and request assistance. Plus, just knowing they have to check in gives a supervisory “feel” to a task. That may rein in risky behavior.
  3. Put some tasks off-limits: Workers may be tempted to try things they shouldn’t – but you can protect workers by placing some tasks off-limits when working alone. Moving excessively heavy items or machinery that might go off-balance easily, for example.

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