You are here

Working alone – Do you have a code of practice?

Worksafe NB

There may be times when working alone is part of the job. A code of practice for working alone helps employees stay safe.

You remember the phrase: always swim with a buddy. Well, the buddy system works well in workplaces too. While having the company is great, it also offers extra protection in case of a workplace incident.

There may be times, however, when working alone is part of the job. Think about convenience store workers, after-hours housekeeping staff, travelling sales representatives and home-care workers. How do you protect health and safety in such situations?

A code of practice is a start, and it’s also a requirement under New Brunswick’s occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation.

WorkSafeNB considers an employee is working alone when they are the employer’s only employee at the workplace and working in circumstances where help is not readily available in the event of an injury, ill health or emergency.

A code of practice for working alone provides guidelines and procedures for such situations. It explains the responsibilities of the employer and the employee.

Every employer must have a code of practice if any of their employees can find themselves working alone.

If you’re an employer, make sure you have this code of practice formally written and available for all employees to access. Review the code regularly and update as required, and make sure it’s part of your new employee orientation program. Everyone should know their responsibilities.

If you don’t have a written code of practice for working alone or would like to compare yours to a sample, we can help.

When developing or adjusting any code of practice related to health and safety, include your JHSC or health and safety representative, if there’s one in your workplace, and employees who may be affected by the procedures.

They can provide valuable input and help share the information in the workplace.