Lone worker risk control strategies – a balance of controls to manage identified risks
Controlling the risk is about the identification of risk management measures appropriate and proportionate to the risk assessment. What is the risk, its likelihood and consequences?
“What can be done to stop or change this event occurring?
Responses to risks include any or all of:
- Prevention – remove the risk
- Reduction – take action to control the risk
- Transference – pass the risk to a third party, e.g. insurance or penalty
- Acceptance – tolerate the risk if nothing can be done at a reasonable cost – this is not denial!
- Contingency – organise action plans to come into force when the risk occurs
If there are no cost-effective actions available to deal with the risk, perhaps the action (or even the business) should be abandoned.
Hierarchy of risk control
Identify and evaluate a range of options for treating each risk, and prepare and implement risk management plans. The controls should be proportionate to the risks.
Lone worker control measures in descending order of preference:
1. Eliminate the hazard
2. Minimise the hazard
- Substitute with something safer
- Isolate the hazard from people
- Introduce a physical control measure
3. Control through human behaviour and supervision – Administrative controls
Consider the systems, procedures and training that will best keep your staff safe. Is specialist lone worker training (e.g. conflict management, self-defence, first aid etc) required? What about PPE, smartphone Apps & Lone Worker Management Systems, satellite communication, tracking devices, breakdown equipment etc.?