Working alone can be a rather iffy proposition in any workplace, but it’s especially more dangerous when you work on a construction site. Many companies try to avoid letting their employees work alone if it’s possible, often put them through a full barrage of relevant safety courses, and a lot of them also invest in high-tech lone worker safety solutions.
However, if it can’t be helped and you need to work alone on a construction site, there are still some measures to ensure your safety.
- Have first aid kits handy. Just because you don’t want to get hurt doesn’t mean that you absolutely won’t get hurt. Accidents happen, and you need to be prepared for any emergency. That’s why if you need to work alone, that place has to have first aid materials nearby so you can access them when you need them.
- Always wear your protective gear. Hard hats are of course mandatory, but you may want to take extra precautions when you have to work alone. It’s a good idea if you also wear gloves and goggles, and your boots should come with reinforced toes.
- Have someone to report to. You shouldn’t be absolutely alone at a site. There should be someone there to whom you can report so that people know where you are. You should call in to a friend when you reach your jobsite area, and then have that number ready so you can quick dial it if there’s an emergency. Before you arrive at the area, arrange for that person to call in on you if you don’t call them regularly. Make your calls or send a text message every half hour, and whenever you’re changing locations.
- Be alert. You have to be hyper aware when you’re alone, and that’s especially true when you’re working in an unfamiliar place. Check where the first aid materials are, and look for the emergency exits. Be aware of any noise that seems unusual, and if you see a person you don’t recognize you need to get out of there quickly while you call it in. Unless you’re part of security, it’s not your job to confront any trespasser.
- Be careful. Don’t be lackadaisical about your own safety, especially when you’re using tools and heavy equipment. Work professionally, and only use tools if you’re completely familiar with them. This is not the right time for you to try using a new tool for the first time, especially when there’s some sort of risk involved.
- If you get hurt, call it in. It doesn’t matter how trivial it may be. It can be a serious wound or just a scratch, but you have to call it in to your superior. They have the authority to either call you back or let you continue your work. If you do feel that you’re too hurt, just report in that you’re going back to the others for treatment.
- Know when you can’t work alone. Tell your boss about how you need to take special medications, or if you’re feeling unwell. If you’re especially anxious and afraid, admit to it too. All these conditions simply make it obvious that you won’t get much done anyway if you’re sent in alone.
Worker safety is important in the workplace, but people who work alone are in greater danger than those who work with a group. That’s why you have to be very careful. Do your job professionally, be alert, use common sense and let some know if there’s something out of the ordinary going on. When you’re in doubt, go back to the others—your safety is always your most important priority!