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Remote worker expo to return to London this October

16 September, 2019

Employers are legally required to heed the Health & Safety Executive (HSE)’s guidance that lone workers – employees who work alone bar immediate supervision – “should not be put at more risk than other people working for you”. In practice, however, it can be tricky for employers to ensure this.

This goes some way to justifying the Lone Worker Safety Expo Conference, which will be held in London for the second year running on 15th October 2019. The UK’s HSE itself will be supporting the event, with its Head of the Vulnerable Workers Team the opening speaker.

Wise words from the conference’s opening speaker

The UK has roughly eight million lone workers, Government Europa reports. However, the keynote speaker lined up for the conference, Barbara Hockey of the HSE, acknowledged the absence of “specific regulations for lone workers except for a few very specialised workplaces such as diving”.

This puts the onus on employers to, as the Executive urges, prepare a risk assessment taking account of the precise nature of the work being done. Hockey emphasised how important it was for the employer to “fully understand the work activity and what impact working alone can have – not just physical safety but also the health and wellbeing of employees.”

An overview of what can be expected at the event

The Lone Worker Safety Expo Conference will be held at the Cavendish Square venue of non-profit organisation The King’s Fund in Central London. There, organisations concerned with protecting lone workers will be able to meet up with various experts in the field.

The event’s organiser and host, Nicole Vazquez told Health & Safety Matters: “Last year was extremely well received, with the level of positive feedback being overwhelming. It seems that we hit just the right note, with our combination of education and interaction”.

The speakers at this year’s conference are set to cover a range of subjects affecting lone workers, including practical risk mitigation as well as security risks and the mental health implications of working remotely. There will be a strong interactive element to proceedings, including a series of workshops focused on what organisations risk if they fail to meet their legal responsibilities.

Other sessions under The King’s Fund’s roof will see Worthwhile Training teaching how staff can be innovatively trained in defusing aggression for their own protection, as well as CMA Training providing very practical advice on how remote workers can enhance their personal safety while travelling.

Technically speaking: where the right tech can help

Hockey noted: “When considering implementing lone worker systems, many employees rely on a technical solution, but regular testing of how effective the system is and how employees comply is the way to be satisfied if it is working well.”

For the long term, employers could benefit from implementing a complete hosted communications service like Horizon, a business phone system by Gamma that can be tailored and configured to specific requirements. Vazquez has invited attendees of the conference to “come along armed with questions” about various matters related to protecting lone workers.

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