SPOT CONNECT GPS TRAKER for remote or LONE WORKERS
Secure-AWARE-Sydney: Security Licensed via S.L.E.D,
OH&S Obligations: While OH&S law differs from state to state in Australia the intent of all is similar and assigns specific responsibilities to the employer for the welfare of employees.
State Specific Isolated and Remote worker OH&S regulations:
A compilation of links to web pages and documents outlining state by state the associated regulations and acts governing isolated worker and remote working conditions.
Most states in Australia all have clear regulations in regards to what is required by an employer to ensure a worker's safety.
If an employee is isolated from other persons because of the time, location or nature of the work then the employer must ensure that —
• there is a means of communication available which will enable the employee to call for help in the event of an emergency; and
• there is a procedure for regular contact to be made with the employee and the employee is trained in the procedure.
Other states without specific legislation requirements still require employers to carry out risk assessment when dealing with remote work locations and lone workers to ensure adequate compliance with their states duty of care responsibilities.
According to any States duty of care principles, the employer is responsible for the health and safety of their staff at all times. When choosing to send your most valuable assets into a potentially dangerous remote site or isolated working condition, providing them with a means of communicating or raising a distress signal is a small price to pay to ensure your employee's safety and company's OH&S compliance.
NSW: Duty of care principle Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001
Responsibilities of employers
An employer must ensure the health, safety, and welfare at work of all the employees of the employer. That duty extends (without limitation) to the following:
(a) ensuring that any premises controlled by the employer where the employees work (and the means of access to or exit from the premises) are safe and without risks to health,
(b) ensuring that any plant or substance provided for use by the employees at work is safe and without risks to health when properly used,
(c) ensuring that systems of work and the working environment of the employees are safe and without risks to health,
(d) providing such information, instruction, training and supervision as may be necessary to ensure the employees’ health and safety at work,
(e) providing adequate facilities for the welfare of the employees at work.
Generally, the employer’s responsibilities are extended to all levels of management. Directors and managers are responsible for OHS within their areas of control and influence. They are the employer’s representatives and have the responsibility, authority, and delegation for resourcing, developing, implementing and reviewing policies and procedures.
All management or supervisor positions have a responsibility for the health and safety of all staff reporting to them. This responsibility is limited to the scope of their control, authority, or influence. In some circumstances, supervisors are regarded as employees.
Employees also have responsibilities
Specifically, they are required to:
• cooperate with the employer in their efforts to provide a safe and healthy workplace, .e. follow safe systems of work, use equipment according to procedure, participate in training, and report any risks or injuries
• take reasonable care not to endanger anyone else by what you do (actions) or what you fail to do (omissions). Employees are also obliged by the OHS Regulation (clause 28) to report anything that could reduce the employer’s ability to comply with the OHS Act. This could include reporting:
o an injury or accident
o faulty equipment
o unsafe work practices, or work practices that employees are unable to comply with Any of these situations could increase the risk to the employee, colleagues or others in the workplace.
Working alone – is it legal, is it safe?
Members who work alone could be put at increased risk through using moving machinery or handling chemicals without help, or being placed under stress through social isolation. However, in legal terms, there is no simple answer, which applies in all circumstances.
=========================================================================================Can people legally work alone?
There is no specific legal prohibition on working alone, but the general legal duties of employers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (2004) still apply.
"An employer shall provide and maintain so far as is reasonably practicable for employees a working environment that is safe and without risks to health." [Section 21(1)]
Establishing safe working conditions for lone workers is no different from organising the safety of other employees. Employers should identify the hazards of the work, assess the risks involved, and implement changes to the workplace and safe working arrangements to ensure the risks are either eliminated or adequately controlled. When it is not possible to devise arrangements for the work to be done safely by one person, alternative arrangements providing help or back-up have to be devised.
Lone workers should not be exposed to significantly more risks than employees who work with other people. Precautions should take account of normal working conditions and foreseeable emergency situations, e.g., fire, equipment failure, illness and accidents.
Employers have a legal duty to provide facilities for first aid, training, and information on plant, hazardous substances, etc, and must monitor and keep of records of accidents and the health of employees. In addition, any requirements under the law applying to other exposed workers also apply to the lone worker - e.g. confined spaces, electricity, etc.
Employers also have the duty to consult with health and safety representatives.
Who is at risk?
Three broad groups of workers whose activities involve a large percentage of their working time operating in situations without the benefit of interaction with other workers or without supervision are those:
1. working alone on site
2. working away from base
3. homeworkers (including "outworkers")
Taxi Drivers Abusive customers, road rage, violence, robbery, road accidents
Social workers, institution staff, community workers Abusive/violent patients/clients/relatives, manual handling (lifting) injuries
Electrical/Maintenance workers Electric shocks, trips, cuts, falls, accidents, confined spaces
Emergency services, security workers Abuse, violence, robbery, traffic hazards, accidents, biological hazards, falls, burns, toxic exposures
Farm/forestry/horticultural workers Animal attacks, weather, machinery accidents, chemicals, falling trees
Home help, care assistants, cleaners Falls, injury, lifting, injuries from garbage handling, infections, needle sticks, chemicals, violence, robbery
Lab workers Chemical over-exposure, biological agents, physical hazards, fires
Meter readers, delivery, postal workers Animal attacks, abusive customers, violence, robbery, accidents
Nursing staff Manual handling injuries, abusive/violent patients, drug handling, robbery, violence
Parking attendants Robbery, violence, abuse, vehicle fumes
Shop/service sector workers Robbery, violence, abuse, manual handling injuries
Public workers Confined spaces, toxic gases, biohazards, slips and falls
Transport workers Abuse, road rage, violence, robbery, road accidents, falling asleep at the wheel
It is should also be noted that many of the problems of lone working could also apply to pairs of workers who work in isolated areas.
Make it safe - Action for health and safety reps
• Talk with your members, particularly those who have to work alone for at least some of the time. Discuss with them their ideas and issues.
• Ensure risk assessments identify lone working on and off site and potential hazards.
• Investigate if jobs can be re-organised to provide a safer system of work.
• Raise the following issues with your employer for special attention regarding solitary work (either current or planned):
o Can the risks of the job be adequately controlled by one person or are more people necessary?
o Does the workplace present a special risk to the lone worker?
o Is there a risk of violence?
o Are women especially at risk if they work alone?
o Are young workers especially at risk if they work alone?
o Is there safe access and exit for one person? Can one person safely handle any temporary access equipment, such as portable ladders or trestles?
o Can all the plant, substances, and goods involved in the work be safely handled by one person? The work may involve lifting objects too large for one person, and more than one person may be necessary to operate essential controls for the safe running of equipment.
o Is the person medically fit and suitable to work alone? Employers need to consider both routine work and foreseeable emergencies, which may impose additional physical and mental burdens on the individual.
o What training is required to ensure competency in safety matters?
o What supervision will there be?
o What checks will be made to ensure people are safe?
o What happens if a person becomes ill, has an accident, or there is an emergency?
• Ensure that the employer provides staff, particularly new members, with information on high-risk geographical areas or jobs.
• Ensure that there is a system in place, which records staff whereabouts.
• Ensure that there is a system in place whereby safe completion of jobs is reported.
• Consider proposing the following additional measures:
o Buddy system: A second person is assigned to work with the first, because the job cannot be done safely alone. This may particularly be the case with home or community visits
o Communications: Telephones, mobile telephones, two way radios or walkie-talkies can be a lifeline in some cases.
o Electronic and visual monitors: If introduced through proper negotiation these can offer some protection. Personal alarm security systems can also help.
o Alarms: Many counter, service and care workers also have access to panic buttons. A range of other emergency, personal distress and violent attack alarms are available.
• Review procedures regularly to make sure they are working.
• Ensure that all accidents, near misses, and incidents of violence are recorded and studied at regular intervals to prevent further occurrences.