January 26 | 2017

How To Identify ‘Lone Workers’

In Canada, 15% of all workers are lone workers. It can be hard to identify if you have lone workers working for you because there are many jobs and professions involved.

What is a lone worker?
Lone workers are individuals who work without supervision or with audio/visual contact to others. This doesn’t mean that you do not have contact with the public or work alone, this means that you may be isolated for long periods of time while you do your job. For instance, a receptionist may only interact with clients when they come in to the building but have no contact with coworkers for long periods of time. Another example would be a construction worker who is working on a remote part of a building while the rest of team is working in another part. There are four specific type of lone workers: Indoors, outdoors, remote and off-premise.

This category of lone worker includes those who work on large construction sites such as skyscrapers, underground in water treatment plants, warehouse workers, lab technicians or those who work in medical centres. In most cases, other coworkers and crew members or even the public are present on the job except they are not in the same room or part of the building as the lone worker. Indoor lone workers include receptionists, cleaners, security staff, tradespeople, maintenance personnel, housekeeping staff and teachers. Convenience store, gas station attendants and retail associates are also considered indoor lone workers because although they do service the public, they are often isolated and alone at their posts for long periods of time.

Outdoor lone workers are people who work outside, often alone or isolated from the public or coworkers. This group includes loggers, miners, people who service power plants and oilfield workers. Outdoor lone workers are more often than not required to perform their tasks regardless of weather or other environmental conditions. Gardeners and landscapers are also considered outdoor lone workers since they are often working alone at a home or building that is not theirs with no contact with the public during their shifts.

This category of lone workers involves those working in an isolated area where communication options are limited. Remote lone workers are everyone from survey crews, biologists working on or in the water, geologists, mountaineers – basically anyone who is sent to a remote location to do a specific job where communication may be difficult.

Off-premise loan workers
Work that involves driving for extended hours alone, going door-to-door and making house calls are examples of off-premise loan workers. You may be employed by a large corporation or company but the majority of the work you do is not in an office, warehouse or lab on their premises. This type of loan worker can range from a long-haul trucker, taxi or limousine driver, bus or other public transit driver, telephone and cable technicians, parking meter attendants, at-home workers, police officers, food delivery people, parole officers, couriers/messengers, healthcare workers, social workers, real estate agents, nannies and caregivers, postal workers, agricultural workers and oil and gas service personnel.

Do you have any workers that job fits any of these four categories? If so, you have a lone worker working for you!


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