The employer should eliminate or reduce tasks where working alone is required. If working alone is unavoidable, always use a buddy system to check in with the worker whenever possible.
The employer must identify risks to the worker when working alone and develop a safe work procedure in consultation with the worker. The employer must set up a communication system that involves using a reliable communication device to monitor the worker's safety. The employer must consider how frequently the worker should be monitored given the risks involved.
Emergency situations should be considered when identifying risks to the worker and the control measures that should be in place.
It is the responsibility of the employer to provide information, instruction and training to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of the worker.
The employer must comply with the Workplace Safety and Health Act and Workplace Safety and Health Regulation. Part 9 of the Workplace Safety and Health Regulation applies to working alone or in isolation.
What other responsibilities does an employer have to workers who are working alone?
- Provide safe equipment and tools, and training on how to use the equipment and tools safely
- Assign competent supervision to monitor the worker's safety, health and welfare
- Identify risks in the job tasks and provide controls for each of the risks
- Develop a working-alone plan in consultation with the worker or safety and health committee (or the safety and health representatives if there is no committee)
- Co-operate with Workplace Safety and Health Branch officers, who enforce the Workplace Safety and Health Act and Workplace Safety and Health Regulation
- Communicate to others, including prime contractors, contractors, tenants, landlords or others that may be affected by the work activity, that there will be a worker working alone
The employer responsibilities listed is a summary of the main points. For further details of the topic, please see the Workplace Safety and Health Regulation, Part 9, and the Code of Practice for Workers Working Alone or in Isolation.
Check out our Shop Talk and safe work procedure template on working alone. (Below the FAQs are more resources related to working alone.)