Six Things You Need To Stay Safe While Working Alone
When it comes to working alone, your safety is of the utmost importance. Before going off on that sales call, doing a night-shift by yourself at the gas station or venturing to a remote location for a geological survey, here are six things you need to stay safe while working alone:
- Wear protective equipmentHard hats, gloves, goggles, reinforced-toe boots and other equipment may be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time but they exist for a reason: Your protection. When you’re working alone, wear all the protective gear necessary to ensure your safety. If you don’t, you could injure yourself and remember, you’re alone so it could take some time before someone comes to your rescue.
- Take note of your surroundingsWhen you arrive at your destination, especially if it’s somewhere you’ve never been, take stock of what’s around you. Whether you’re visiting a client’s home or heading to an unfamiliar environment, taking note of your surroundings will keep you safe. If there’s something out of the ordinary you’ll be able to stop it right away and remove yourself from danger. Furthermore, you should know where the exits are. Should something happen and you need to get out of harm’s way quickly, knowing where the exits are will save you time and in severe cases, your life.
- Do not misuse equipmentIf you’re not sure how to use a piece of equipment, don’t try. When you’re working alone and operating heavy machinery and other potentially dangerous equipment, you should know how it works, what it does and how to properly use it. If you don’t, you could risk injury.
- Report all on-the-job injuriesEvery injury from small cuts and scrapes to broken limbs need to be reported to your employer immediately. You may think a scrape isn’t a big deal but to your employer it means that something is getting in the way of your safety. Remember that you’re alone and this time it’s only a scrape, next time it could be a broken leg.
- Keep first-aid materials handyFirst aid kids and other life saving materials need to be within your reach when you’re working alone. You should be able to get to them in an emergency, especially since it could be some time before help arrives.
- Check inIf your employer has not implemented a check-in system, you should bring this to their attention immediately. Most alarm and protection companies offer check-in systems for lone workers. These check-ins can be done through an app, on the phone, over radio – basically, however you need it to be done and at whatever intervals necessary. Check-ins help your employer know that you are safe when you arrive at a job site, during your workday and that you arrived at home safely after you’re done.
If at any point you feel unsafe while working alone, leave. Your safety is more important than the work you are doing.