The saying "safety in numbers" holds particularly true in establishing a safe working environment. Often safety awareness is created when one employee observes another. However, unsafe working conditions may lead to claims for monetary relief. In cases of workers working on their own away from others, one question arises -- do such workers have the same rights in terms of workers' compensation claims?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that employers in California and other states ensure the workplace is safe for all workers. At the same time, there are no legal limitation on employees working on their own as long as they are required to check in at regular intervals. Workers working on their own -- whether it be outside, in other people's homes, meeting people outside the organization, or out of the sight of co-workers -- are called lone workers.
Employers of lone workers are required to ensure that they have a safety program designed specifically for the individual needs of such a worker. It may be prudent to complete a risk assessment, a hazard analysis and training needs analysis for each individual worker. An assessment of risks should be done before the worker begins with a particular job in order to determine possible hazards. Thereafter an analysis of foreseeable hazards should take place in order to reduce, eliminate and/or control possible hazards.
By doing an analysis of training needs an employer can further ensure the safety of a lone worker. Training needs should address risks identified in the hazard analysis, but also include understanding human factors and developing an emergency plan. A last important aspect of employee safety is clear communication channels between the worker and an employer representative.
Injuries while on duty are very often life-changing, and workers who suffered such injuries may find that claiming workers' compensation benefits can bring much-needed relief under difficult circumstances. Lone workers injured on the job in California have every right to pursue this relief, even if no one saw them get hurt. A lawyer experienced in this area of the law can offer insight to potential legal recourse and assistance in pursuing it.