Tuesday 27 February 2024

Four ways to improve lone worker safety

This is a collaborative post

All work can be risky given the right (or wrong) circumstances, but working alone comes with a unique risk profile simply because it involves working independently of others.

As the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reminds us: "Lone workers face the same hazards at work as anyone else, but there is a greater risk of these hazards causing harm as they may not have anyone to help or support them if things go wrong."

That being the case, health and safety managers must devise the policies and kit lone workers out with the right tech that gives them the best chance of staying safe.

Let’s take a look at four ways businesses can improve their lone worker safety.

Assess The Risks

Anyone from machine operators and engineers to teachers and social housing managers can be asked to work alone, meaning they face an elevated level of job-related risk.

How much risk and where the biggest risks lie should be determined by a company’s risk assessment or risk audit process. 

A risk assessment is key to identifying the safety issues that lone workers are likely to encounter and keeping on top of the changing risk profile of a workforce.

Electrician working alone
Photo credit Emmanuel Ikwuegbu via Unsplash

Train Staff

It’s all very well drawing up a set of safety protocols, but if workers aren’t familiar with them they are next to useless.

Therefore it is essential that a business shares its risk assessment findings with staff and familiarises them with the protocols it has established to mitigate lone worker risk.

At its most basic level, this might mean providing staff with a simple check-in/check-out system so that a boss can keep tabs on a worker’s whereabouts.

However, it’s also likely to involve a good deal of training in the right use of equipment, both the tools of the trade and the safety devices a company uses to keep lone workers safe.


At the heart of any effective lone worker safety regime lies staff monitoring. Here, technology has an important role to play.

Perhaps the most effective way an employer can provide a lone worker with a vital lifeline in case of an accident or emergency is to fit a worker with a lone worker alarm.


The lone worker alarm comes into its own when the lone worker hits a snag or has an accident. 

At this point, an accessible SOS button provides the worker with a vital lifeline by allowing him to reach out to colleagues and the emergency services.

If the alarm is sounded the company must have the protocols in place to know how to respond to a lone worker’s mayday signal.

An extra layer of monitoring comes in the form of GPS-powered true man-down detection, a real-time system that allows colleagues and emergency services to pinpoint the exact location of an incapacitated worker.


There is believed to be somewhere between seven and nine million lone workers in the UK. The risks these lone workers face can appear formidable, but with the right protocols and technology in place, it’s always possible to mitigate risks and manage the biggest dangers they face as they go about their jobs.

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