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MANAGEMENT MASTERCLASSES I EMPLOYMENT ISSUES


Employment Issues


one working is an area of concern for many businesses, given the obvious health and safety risks and implications of working away from the regulated, safe environment of the HQ, for example. When not in close contact with a lone worker, an employer must make sure that the employee in question is in a safe environment to carry out a task, and that the employee is competent and fully aware of any potential risks and hazards.


Lone Working L


An employee is a ‘lone worker’ if they work by themselves without close or direct supervision. The lone worker may be, for example, a personal trainer working alone late at night or on a public holiday, or be working away from a gym environment – for example in Boot Camps or Outdoor running clubs. As an employer, you must consider what potential dangers an employee is likely to encounter. In an environment with as many potential hazards as a gym, this can be particularly difficult. The employer is responsible for the health and safety of the employee and will need to spend some time with the lone worker to see the hazards and potential risks that they face, the control measures used and to discuss the worker’s concerns about working on their own.


Issues that should always be considered by employers of lone workers include:


• Is the Lone Worker competent to work alone?


Employees must be fully trained and experienced before working alone. Employees under the age of 18 must always be supervised.


• Does the workplace present a risk for the Lone Worker?


Might they, for example, be at risk of strangulation or severe injury from any equipment or machines that they use?


40 I body LIFE 2 I 2015


Our resident employment specialist, Peninsula Business Services provides practical advice & guidance on employment issues.


Got an employment issue?


For further clarification on any of the issues raised above or to submit your questions about employment matters contact John Wilson, Peninsula Business Services Ltd Email: john.wilson@peninsula-uk.com Mobile: 07966 112 105


• Are there company policies and procedures in place to eliminate, reduce or control the risks, and are employees following these?


Routinely monitoring and checking compliance with guidelines is important. Remind your employees that their wellbeing is in everyone’s best interests.


• Is the Lone Worker at risk of violence?


The employee may be working alone at a client’s home or dealing with members of the public who could become confrontational or violent. They might be working at night and at risk of people wanting to steal takings. Make them aware of the dangers and have a plan in place for every eventuality.


Remember that simple systems and procedures are often the best way to improve safety for lone workers. The system may only need to maintain regular contact between the Lone Worker and their supervisor by phone or radio or the introduction of a ‘buddy system’, where the absence of a routine call prompts action. In many circumstances, where the work is of low risk, a simple text message to a manager or supervisor at the end of a shift or working day to show that all is well will be all that is required.


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