There are times when individuals in the agriculture industry may be required to work alone or in isolated areas. While this may be necessary from time to time, it increases the already heightened risks associated with working in agriculture. In the unfortunate event that an accident occurs, an isolated worker may not be found for a long time, leaving them potentially trapped, injured, and unable to help themselves.
In a study on Canadian agricultural fatalities from 1990-2008, it was reported that 46 per cent of all agricultural fatalities resulted from machine-related incidents: rollovers, runovers and entanglements. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if the person had received emergency care at an earlier time.
Reduce the Risks
In order to reduce the risks associated with employees working alone, follow the below guidelines:
- Regular check-ins with isolated workers can help reduce risks and prevent fatalities.
- Ensure that employees are working alone only when absolutely necessary.
- Eliminate or reduce the hazards associated with working alone.
- Educate employees on the hazards associated with working alone and any steps available to reduce these hazards.
- Use a check-in system to ensure that individuals working alone are in contact with someone else at regular intervals.
- Equip individuals working alone with a personal alarm, two-way radio or cellphone capable of reliably calling for help.
- Ensure that individuals working alone are healthy before conducting isolated work.
- Use video surveillance where possible and keep the area locked down from public access, including locking unused doors, and using keys or coded cards to access alarms and emergency devices.