Workers are often encouraged to look out for their colleagues while on the job. However, this may prove to be impossible when an employee is working alone and away from others. To ensure the safety of solo workers, employers may want to take steps such as requiring that they have access to a phone or radio and check in with it regularly. Workers should also be required to check in when they return to the main work site.
If a worker is going to spend several hours in an isolated or confined space, employers may be required to check on them on a regular basis. While OSHA does not specify exact time intervals, employers need to create a system that will keep workers safe. In practice, an employer may wish to check on a worker at least once an hour when the person is working alone for a long period of time.
To determine an employer’s responsibility to its lone workers, it must know what a lone worker is. Lone workers may include anyone who works overnight or during the weekend in a factory or travels extensively for work. Protecting them on the job may include providing emergency response training or creating protocols for what happens during an emergency. Another option may be to limit what an employee can do while he or she is working alone.
Work accident victims may be eligible for coverage under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policies. Benefits that may be available can include the provision of necessary medical care and treatment as well as a percentage of any wages that are lost during the recovery period. An attorney who has experience with these matters can often be of assistance throughout the filing process.