Supervisors making periodic visits and maintaining contact, a clear plan of action in case of emergency, an automatic warning system that tells others if lone workers aren't in regular contact, risk assessments and verification that lone workers have returned to other areas are features of lone worker policies, states the National Safety Council. Federal law requires employers to protect their workers in situations where they are in isolated areas or not within calling distance of others.
Lone worker policies apply to employees who are on site or working away from their typical work space, notes the National Safety Council. These policies are designed to help workers who suffer injuries on the job or from health problems, such as heart attacks. Workers who are alone in factories on nights or weekends and workers who travel in construction, agriculture, utilities and other fields are some of the employees to whom lone worker policies apply. Companies should continually evaluate their lone worker policies due to changes in equipment, technology or the overall work environment or the addition of new employees.
While the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers regulations regarding lone workers, these regulations are not always easy for businesses to interpret, advises the National Safety Council. OSHA standards call for checking on workers at regular intervals, but do not specify what those intervals should be. In spite of a lack of clear national standards, employers should have their own specific policies and communicate them effectively to workers.