Businesses all over the UK are receiving more injury claims than ever before, with 1.2 million people suffering from work related injuries in the years 2013/14, costing businesses a monstrous £14.2bn. With a lack of specific lone worker regulations from the HSE and company directors at risk of prosecution, more action needs to be taken to raise awareness and provide help.
Research shows that over 150 Lone workers are attacked each day and approximately 14,000 serious injuries to lone workers were recorded along with a staggering 61 fatalities in 2008 alone. This statistic could have been much lower if the correct training and equipment was supplied for company directors.
The first ever prosecution due to a lone working incident was a primary example of the repercussions of being unprepared, in this case a small company was fined £385,000 due to an employee dying whilst working alone in a 3.8 meter deep unsupported pit after it caved in.
Lone Worker expert Simon Bull from Castle Group Ltd explained, “Most employers are unaware of the dangers lone workers face every day and the amount of injuries caused each year that could have been prevented. Policies and procedures should be put in place to ensure the safety and well being of staff to not only increase the defence for the company against any claims, but to reduce the amount of workplace injuries and, ultimately, fatalities. I am running a free seminar covering lone working to raise awareness and provide support to businesses looking to address the issues in their organisation.
Fortunately there are some simple steps that can be taken towards creating a safer lone working environment. Making sure that all staff who work lone are safe is vitally important, not only because it could end in death, but it could also end in a corporate man slaughter jail sentence for whoever is deemed to be responsible.
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