Monitoring lone workers on behalf of councils
By Julian Harris, Director Managed Services, Peak Services
Who is considered a lone worker?
Anyone working by themselves, without close or direct supervision is considered a ‘lone worker’. That could be in a workshop, office or even ‘on the road’ service delivery officers. As a result, these workers can be exposed to increased risks when accidents and emergencies (fire, equipment failure, illness and accidents) arise, and it is the employer’s responsibility to have measures in place to safeguard their workers’ health and safety.
Assessing the risk
Apart from a risk assessment to prescribe the control measures that need to be in place to minimise or eliminate known risks, lone workers should not be subject to higher risk than regular workers, and extra safety measures should be implemented where needed.
Our Peak 24/7 team currently assists 20 organisations across Australia with a variety of after-hours and emergency services, including lone worker duty of care services.
As every council is unique, our support options are tailored to meet the individual needs of each council, given the varied nature and size of each region and the team members requiring support.
Whether serving major coastal or regional cities or tiny communities in the bush, we work with each council to ensure the safety of those working alone.
Monitoring lone workers for Queensland councils
Whilst there is no single response protocol on how we approach lone work monitoring, our knowledge of local government means that we can rapidly adopt council’s specific protocols. In some cases, the response protocol for a council may involve immediate escalation to emergency services, whilst for others it may require internal council escalations.
Since 2018, we have been engaged by the Gladstone Regional Council in their lone worker monitoring, with our services now covering monitoring of both daytime and out of hours operations. We also monitor the council’s Lone Worker App, which is integrated with Navman and sends us notifications via a system-generated duress alarm.
For Burdekin Shire Council, we take calls from relevant employees and contractors when they are working or travelling alone, providing a call log back to the council by 8am the next day. If a check-in time threshold is exceeded, Peak then escalates the matter according to scripting and protocols as agreed with Burdekin Shire Council.
Other councils such as Somerset, South Burnett, and Toowoomba utilise our ‘manual duty of care personal phone check-ins', whereby we make a call to the duty officer every two hours during their shift.
The broad range of customers we work with means that our services can be specifically tailored to meet the needs of Local Government in a consistent and cost-effective solution.
To find out how it can help protect your council and its frontline workers, contact Julian Harris, Director Managed Services, on 0408 987 021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.