PF Olsen Aus logo.jpg

Working Alone

Working alone magnifies risks to the health and safety of your workers. You must take all reasonable steps to reduce these risks.

Within the forest industries, most employers and employees are aware of the issues associated with working alone but, most commonly, these risks are underestimated or their full potential not realised.

Definition: Working alone

Working alone means that a person:

  • Is on their own;
  • Cannot be seen or heard by another person

A risk management plan should be implemented for workers working alone. This is particularly important when they are undertaking hazardous work or working within a hazardous environment.
 
If you have workers working alone at any time, you must identify and assess the health and safety risks your workers will be exposed to and control those health and safety risks.  Ensure that this risk assessment includes all those that are required to work alone not just those that are considered to be in a higher risk environment or task.

Some of the risks to be considered are:

  • Will the worker be working in a remote location where immediate rescue or attendance of emergency services could be difficult?
  • Is the nature of the work or the work environment hazardous or could this change while the worker is working alone?
  • Are you easily able to communicate with the worker?
  • Does the site have emergency plans available? If so, can they be quickly enacted?
  • Are facilities such as first aid suitable for working alone?
  • Does the person working alone have pre-existing medical conditions that may increase their risk?

The best working alone risk control that I’m aware of is not to work alone. A no working alone policy has been implemented by many leading businesses. Such a policy eliminates this issue altogether.
Working alone magnifies risks to the health and safety of your workers.  You must take all reasonable steps to reduce these risks.
 
Within the forest industries, most employers and employees are aware of the issues associated with working alone but, most commonly, these risks are underestimated or their full potential not realised.