Working Alone: How to Keep Lone Workers Safe on the Job


When a person is alone at work, he or she is working in an area where they can’t be seen or heard by anyone else. Depending on the type of work a person does, this can sometimes be dangerous.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) identifies heights, confined spaces and electricity as sources/areas in which working alone can be hazardous.

If any of your workers are alone in potentially hazardous locations, there are many things you can do to help ensure they are safe on the job. CCOHS offers these suggestions:

  • Assess the hazards of your workplace.
  • Talk to employees about their work to help uncover solutions.
  • Investigate incidents at your workplace and learn from incidents at other workplaces.
  • Avoid having a lone worker whenever possible.
  • Take corrective action to prevent the risks of working alone.
  • Provide appropriate training.
  • Report all situations, incidents or ‘’near misses” where being alone increased the severity of the situation.
  • Establish a check-in procedure.
  • Schedule higher risk tasks to be done during normal business hours or when another worker is present.

Do you have policies in place to help protect any of your workers who are alone on the job? What more do you think you can do to protect them from hazards?

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