Supporting lone workers in manufacturing and construction roles
Lone working in mining and quarrying, manufacturing and construction sectors
Hazardous environments and materials abound
In the UK, the manufacturing and construction sector had a higher than average rate of workplace injury in 2016/17. There are relatively more injuries in construction than in manufacturing. Nearly 3,000 injuries occurred per 100,000 construction workers, of which 30 were reported to be fatal. Perhaps unsurprisingly, falls from a height and slips and trips on the same level account for the most frequent causes of such accidents in construction. Safe Hub provides invaluable support to such workers.
This sector is diverse, with manufacturing industries accounting for some 2.5 million workers in the UK, and construction for a further 2.1 million. Typically, there are many roles in the manufacturing and construction sectors where working alone is a major component of the job. Roles involving security at plant or on sites will involve regular stints of working out-of-sight of colleagues.
And for smaller operations in particular, there may be situations where workers are sometimes alone on certain shifts. Safe Hub can provide emergency, proactive, reactive and virtual barrier protection for all those roles, whenever employees need it.
Guidance and control measures
Defining and securing health and safety
In the UK, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) legislation covers many materials used in this sector. Under the regulations, employers need to prevent or reduce their workers' exposure to substances that are hazardous to their health. The list of substances covered includes chemicals and products containing chemicals; fumes, dusts, vapours and mists; and gases. In manufacturing and construction, one of the main materials considered under COSHH is silica, while there are separate regulations covering asbestos. As with so many aspects of health and safety, good risk assessments form the basis of meeting COSHH and asbestos safety legislation. If dealing with such materials is part of a lone worker’s job function, then Safe Hub can help to mitigate these risks.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has useful guidance for companies in the manufacturing and construction sectors in the UK. This includes everything from general health and safety management through to dealing with maintenance shutdowns.
In the USA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has similar resources. For construction in particular, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in the UK, and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), provide training courses which may also be helpful.
Safe Hub scenario: factory security guard
Patrolling premises and working late
Scenario: a security guard on night shift at a manufacturing facility
For such employees, risks centre on potential aggressors, especially if there are valuable materials on site such as precious metals. The guard could be particularly vulnerable when doing a walk-around of the premises. There may also be general risks associated with shift work during anti-social hours.
For such scenarios, two of Safe Hubs features are especially useful. Red Alert puts the security guard in direct contact with the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) in an emergency. With Safe Hub identifying the worker's location via GPS, highly-trained operatives at the ARC can direct the police directly to their location.
Meanwhile, with Safe Check, the guard can check in at agreed intervals by responding to automated prompts to confirm their status. Should they fail to respond, then the ARC implements escalation procedures according to a pre-defined protocol. These features are available on a dedicated device such as SOS Fob, or using a phone app. This makes this lone worker safety solution easy to deploy for the company, and simple to use for the worker.