Working Alone Procedure
Working Alone Procedure in Australia: Work Health and Safety Compliance
Is it against Australian Work Health and Safety laws to work alone?
- provide a safe work environment
- provide safe ways of working
- provide any supervision needed for safety
- monitor the health of workers and conditions at the workplace (1)
Victoria’s working alone legislation
- deploy communication and/or location systems
- implement duress alarms
- keep movement records (3)
What is the purpose of a working alone procedure?
The purpose of a working alone (remote or isolated work) procedure is to provide guidance and information to an organisation’s workers to enable them to effectively and safely manage hazards and risks while undertaking remote or isolated work and to implement safe systems of work to identify, assess and control all reasonably foreseeable hazards and risks.
In implementing a working alone procedure, the organisation commits to providing a work environment that is safe for all workers and other persons by eliminating (where possible) hazards and risks, or where it is not possible to eliminate, effectively controlling hazards and risks as far as reasonably practicable.
Using SHEQSY to work alone
Below is an example of a working alone procedure that utilises SHEQSY to effectively and safely manage foreseeable hazards and risks faced by a lone worker.
In this example, we examine an in-office manager and a lone-working healthcare professional who is performing an in-home care visit with a patient.
Scheduling appointments & starting work
- The manager sets the work schedule via their calendar or scheduling platform that can automatically sync appointments with SHEQSY if enabled.
- To start an appointment, the lone worker opens the SHEQSY app on their smartphone.
- The app can be utilised for steps 3-4 with calendar integration enabled or skip to step 5. The employee views upcoming appointments and clicks “en-route” when they’re ready to travel to the appointment.
Travelling to the patient’s home (job site)
- The app links to Google Maps and Apple Maps to provide GPS navigation to the patient’s home, meanwhile, their manager receives a real-time view of the lone worker’s movements.
- The lone worker arrives and sets a safety boundary, allowing them to safely transit to/from their arrival location (e.g. parking spot) and the patient’s home.
Before & during the appointment
- The SHEQSY lone worker app can prompt the lone worker with a pre-start form that aligns with the working alone procedure and/or ask activity-specific questions.
- After one hour, the lone worker completes a periodic check-in via the app to confirm they are safe.
- If the activity will take longer than expected, the lone worker can extend the activity duration within the app.
- At any time, the lone worker can easily and discreetly activate a duress alarm to commence the organisation’s emergency escalation process.
- If the lone worker fails to check-in or extend the activity within a time threshold set by the organisation, then a duress overtime alarm will also activate to ensure the wellbeing of the employee is confirmed.
After the appointment
- The lone worker leaves the patient’s home, walks safely to their car and marks the activity finished in the SHEQSY lone worker app. Now that the employee is safe, the organisation no longer has real-time visibility of their location.
- Detailed history of the appointment including employee name, time, date and location is stored within SHEQSY’s secure platform so the organisation can demonstrate compliance with the working along procedure.
To learn how Epworth HealthCare (Victoria’s largest not-for-profit private hospital group) uses SHEQSY to safeguard employees working on their own, read this case study.
Safeguarding employees who work alone
SHEQSY makes it easy for organisations to maintain compliance with their working alone procedures and to effectively meet their obligations outlined in Australian Work Health and Safety laws.
With features including periodic check-in, simple and discreet duress alarm activation, real-time location sharing, and data monitoring and recording, SHEQSY enables compliance with your lone worker procedures.
Our team is available via web meeting to discuss your requirements, answer questions, provide product overviews, and assist with free implementation of the SHEQSY lone worker solution. To request a demo of SHEQSY, click here.
- Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Work health and safety
- Working alone
- Victoria's new workplace manslaughter offences