Despite UK businesses having a legal obligation to protect their employees, 36% have insufficient measures in place to protect their staff when working alone, according to recent research.
A study, undertaken on behalf of communications business Daisy Group, found that two thirds (66%) of people were required to work alone as part of their job, either regularly or occasionally, and a fifth of all of those surveyed (19%) said their employer never checked the welfare of staff when working alone.
Of those required to work either alone or off-site (for example attending meetings), 65% said that the monitoring arrangements in the organisation they worked for were haphazard. Just one in four said they were aware that they had responsibilities to let others know of their whereabouts and to ‘check in’ with colleagues when working alone.
If incapacitated due to an accident whilst working alone, one in six lone workers said that they would expect it to take up to seven hours for their colleagues to notice they were missing. A further 10% expected it to take eight hours or longer.
The Office of National Statistics estimates that there are approximately six million lone workers in the UK, however the research suggests that the number could be much higher when taking into consideration occasional lone working, such as attending client meetings, doing site visits or making deliveries.