A remote worker is considered anyone who works away from a fixed site within rural regions (Safety and Health Practitioners, 2017). This can include surveyors, engineers, foresters and construction workers who often work alone. It’s important that organisations don’t adopt an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to staff working away. Organisations must understand they are liable for the safety of all their employees, no matter where they are.
Our Ten Tips
Navigation. Remote working often involves working in isolated, unfamiliar locations such as woodlands. It’s therefore easy to get confused with directions, especially with no one to help guide you. Ensure staff are equipped with a map and other navigational equipment.
Take regular breaks. The type of work that tends to be carried out within rural areas can often be manual. Standing on your feet for hours can cause fatigue, this can cause employees to make mistakes. Take short breaks when you can to prevent this.
Carry a first aid kit. It’s always a good idea to keep a first aid kit handy. Small injuries can often be treated by supplies in an emergency kit.
Dress appropriately. Ensure you are wearing protective clothing and footwear that has good grip to help prevent slipping.
Supplies. When working in remote areas, it’s not always easy to pop to the local shop. Ensure you are stocked up on food and water to keep you hydrated and energised throughout the day.
Be prepared for bad weather. Weather conditions in the UK and Ireland can be unpredictable so staff should prepare for the worst.
Training. Provide staff with regular training on how to deal with difficult situations that they could face whilst working.
Safety guidelines and procedures. Ensure your organisation have strict, safety guidelines. If staff are aware of the potential risks associated with their roles, they are more likely to take extra care.
Report all incidents. Employees need to know the procedures for reporting work-related accidents, ill health or any health and safety concerns. All reports received should be investigated by a senior member of staff.
Resolve the issue of limited mobile signal by equipping staff with personal safety devices. The most prevalent issue associated with remote working is having a lack of communication. Why not eliminate this risk completely? Guardian24’s service offers a wide range of solutions to meet the needs of all types of lone workers.
The SPOT Gen3, is an innovative lone worker device which operates via satellite technology therefore, it is ideal for those working in remote locations with network ‘blackspots’. At the touch of a button, the device will track the user and follow their escalation preferences. Users can raise an alert to Guardian24’s very own 24/7 Alarm Receiving Centre. With this system in place, rural workers can feel confident in knowing they have a form of backup when nobody is around to help.