Control measures

Departments are required to implement control measures to eliminate or minimize the risk of injury for those employees who are required to work alone or in isolation. The measures will typically involve a combination of engineering or administrative controls and will focus on enhancing communication systems and supervision.

Managers will need to evaluate their unique work activities and environments to determine which controls should be selected. Some examples are provided below.

Engineering controls

The physical arrangement, design or alteration of workstations, equipment, materials, production facilities or other aspects of the physical work environment:

  • Communication systems (e.g. cell phones, 2-way radios, intercoms)
  • Location systems (e.g. closed-circuit cameras)
  • Alarms or personal emergency call devices
  • Workstation/area redesign (e.g. line-of-sight and access/egress improvements) 

Administrative controls

The provision, use and scheduling of work activities and resources in the workplace, including planning, organizing, staffing and coordinating:

  • Establish a check-in procedure to ensure the well-being of the worker is known
  • Schedule moderately hazardous work during regular business hours so that other people are more likely to be in the vicinity
  • Implement a “buddy system” for certain activities where workers are more isolated
  • Restrict the amount of time young or inexperienced workers are permitted to work alone
  • Increase the frequency of direct supervision for young or inexperienced workers.

Once control measures are implemented it is essential that managers educate and train their employees, ensure that communication and check-in procedures are effective, and review all procedures annually in consultation with employees.