Employers need to give due consideration to ensuring the health and safety of remote and isolated workers. Since they work without the supervision of a senior employee or in isolation of other workers, remote or isolated workers face significant occupational hazards, which if not managed, can oblige employers to pay heavy compensation fees.
Isolated work involves work done on and off-site or other isolated areas, whereas, remote work can consist of work that is done in an environment that is separate from the actual office environment.
As a result, the lack of assistance available requires workers to exercise additional precaution to avoid sustaining any workplace injuries or face physical and psychological trauma. Managers and executives of companies operating in oil and gas, construction, mining , health and education industries need to be aware of these risks to take sufficient measures to provide health and safety for their employees.
The following are some of the risks that remote and isolated workers can encounter.
Work environment risks
These involve all risks pertaining to the nature of the work carried out by the worker and how comfortable is the working atmosphere. In addition, it also involves the risk of the worker coming into contact with dangerous animals or hazardous plant activities. For example, workers whose work involves interacting with animals whether directly or indirectly may face risks of dangerous reptiles, insects, and other species. This also includes working in areas where there is a high likelihood of contracting illnesses from toxic plants.
Psychological and physical health risks
These are risks that have a direct psychological and physical impact as a result of the work environment. In the case of physical health, it involves considering whether the worker had undergone physical training or has the required physical fitness to be able to carry out the duties without sustaining any injuries. In jobs such as mining, the mining staff need to be physically and mentally healthy to be able to work for extended hours at a time and often under poor working environments.
The same applies to construction workers who are required to lift heavy equipment, which can be physically demanding if they do not have sufficient physical fitness. As for psychological health, this looks at workplace cues that can cause stress and other psychological conditions. For example, does over crowding in hospitals and nursing homes lead to fatigue and lower productivity of health practitioners?
Travel risks consist of unsuitable vehicles or other modes of transport required for workers. Remote and isolated work requires vehicles that are appropriate for the required duties and responsibilities and not use any other vehicle. If the suitable vehicle does not have a first-aid kit to treat immediate injuries, there is possibility that the wounds and infections caused as a result of the injury can become life-threatening. Additionally, the truck driver will not have any other workers to assist him in which case a journey management system, such as JESI will be helpful in alerting management in emergency cases.
Remote procedural and communication risks
Remote and isolated workers should also have the appropriate communication facilities and procedures in the event they encounter workplace problems and challenges. This is especially true in the case of emergencies in which the worker is involved in an incident and their supervisor is unaware. Establishing the right communication system, particularly one that sends alerts to managers when an incident occurs, should be a priority for accelerating safety performance.
Through these automated alerts, senior management will have peace of mind knowing they have the knowledge to respond to incidents quickly. The lone worker does not need to activate the alert, it instantly sends from the system if they miss a check-in.
This is where JESI’s journey management software can help to control the risks and protect your people. JESI enables remote and isolated workers to feel safe knowing that in the event of an emergency, managers will be able to respond in a very short period of time. Helping companies to achieve zero incident targets through improved workplace, health and safety practices.