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Safety of lone workers

Many workplace injuries in Louisiana can be prevented when coworkers work together to spot hazards. However, some workers do not have the benefit of other people keeping an eye out for them on the job. Workers who regularly perform tasks away from other people pose a unique safety challenge for employers.

Lone workers may work by themselves at a fixed facility or travel to various locations to do solo work. Some factory or warehouse workers are alone while working night and weekend shifts. Regardless of whether employees are working in groups or alone, employers are responsible for ensuring their safety on the job.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries' Division of Occupational Safety and Health published a report about lone worker safety a few years ago. In the report, the agency advised employers to identify the hazards of lone work and address those hazards with a safety plan. The agency recommended that employers provide emergency response training for lone workers and develop action plans for addressing solo worker emergencies. Employers were advised to use a phone or radio to stay in regular contact with lone workers and set limits on what types of jobs may be done alone.

When a lone worker is injured in an accident, emergency response personnel could take longer to respond to the accident because of delayed communication. Those who have been a victim of this type of accident may have serious injuries that cause them to miss weeks or months of work. A lawyer may be able to help injured victims file a workers' compensation claim so that they can recover some of their lost wages.

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