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Health and safety when working alone

Posted on 7th Aug, 2015 | By Lorretta Tatham

Self employed and small businesses are at an all time high in the UK with around 4.6 million people working for themselves. While working for yourself certainly does have some benefits, you’ll also need to be a jack-of-all-trades – with knowledge of health and safety matters, risk assessments and first aid. In today’s blog, we’re taking a look at exactly what kinds of things individuals, who work on their own on a regular basis, need to know – and offering up that all-important health and safety advice.

In the 2008 TUC safety representative survey, lone working was listed as the sixth main hazard of concern. Not only does a lone worker face a number of physical risks, they also may be faced with security concerns – from something like theft – and a lack of time to carry out risk assessments and undergo essential training. The pressure on a person working alone can be immense, further increasing the risk of silly mistakes and accidents.

5 steps to safety when working alone

Safety tip #1 Always carry out a risk assessment

No matter how busy you may be it’s essential that you carry out a risk assessment whenever required. Unlike being in the workplace, you can’t rely on anyone else to do it for you or anyone to spot potential dangers whilst you’re at work.

Learning how to correctly perform a risk assessment will not only give you piece of mind when working, it will also allow you to determine the safest method of working at all times. Taking the time out to understand risk assessments and carry them out as required won’t just save you time in the long-term, it could also save your life.

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Safety tip #2 Take time out to attend the correct training

When operating equipment or machinery there is no room for mistakes. Likewise, when working from a ladder, it’s essential that you know how to work safely from a height.

While an employer may encourage you to partake in training and allow you the time off to attend courses, it’s easy to brush training courses aside when you work alone.

Training courses highlight everything you need to know about working safely and the potential risks. They are key to staying safe on the job – and the information you learn from them stays with you for years.

At Browns Ladders we have a whole range of training courses – most of which only last a half-day. From Manual Handling to Abrasive Wheels Training, Working at a Height to Mobile Scaffold Tower Training – we’ve got it all covered on our safety training courses.

browns safety blog risk assessment

Safety tip #3 Make sure you have a basic understanding of first aid

Should an accident occur, first aid could make all the difference. Being able to identify the injury and what to do, while you’re waiting for an ambulance, may just save your life. If you haven’t already got a grasp of first aid, why not book onto our one-day or three-day First Aid at Work course?

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Safety tip #4 Always wear the right clothing for the job

Protective clothing and accessories not only help to prevent accidents from happening, they also provide protection should an accident occur. For example, the right footwear will ensure a secure grip when working on a ladder, while a helmet will ensure maximum protection for your head, should you suffer a fall.

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Do you have any more safety tips for individuals who work on their own? If so, leave them in the comments below or tweet them to us @BrownsLadders

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