Lone Working In Manufacturing

Contrary to popular opinion, manufacturing in the UK is booming, directly employing 2.6 million people and making up 44% of the UK’s total exports: around £275 billion. The manufacturing industry is also responsible for 69% of all UK business research and development, and as such, is looking to the future and the power of technology to improve businesses, processes and safety.

Many of those 2.6 million manufacturing workers will work alone for some or all of their day, often with highly specialised, heavy equipment, with chemicals or in large sites. As the manufacturing industry institutes new products and processes, protecting those lone workers operating machinery and ensuring production continues is paramount.



Lone workers in manufacturing can be employed at sites big or small, working with products as diverse as metals, pharmaceuticals, food and drink, automotives or defense. While production lines assembling vehicles might come to mind, consider the lone workers moving products in a warehouse or operating alone on the production floor. For example, a manufacturing worker in Dunstable recently lost a finger and thumb in an accident involving a rolling machine.

Risks include: 

Use of specialised, often dangerous machinery and equipment

Accident and injury; slips, trips and falls from height

Noise damage

Exposure to potentially hazardous materials

Handling of heavy materials



The UK manufacturing industry saw 15 fatal injuries in 2017/18, with falls from height, being struck by a moving/falling object, or coming into contact with moving machinery being the most common causes. These kinds of fatal injuries are preventable and can be safeguarded against and it is the responsibility of both manufacturers and their employees to take measures to protect themselves and others.

In an industry with a rate of fatal injury almost 50% higher than the all-industry rate, and where machinery, tools, vehicles and the strains of lifting or moving materials are considered the greatest risks, ensuring that proper training and equipment is provided has never been more important.


Ensure that all lone workers are trained in the use of tools and machinery and also know when a piece of machinery is not suitable to be used alone. Be certain your workers know when they need to get help from a colleague and not feel pressured to complete tasks unsafely. 

Develop a lone working policy that accounts for the particular risks of your manufacturing business. One-size doesn’t fit all, and lone workers operating in factories producing foods will face certain risks that manufacturers in pharmaceuticals or the automotive industry will not.

Enable lone workers in your manufacturing company to work with oversight and confidence by using a lone worker solution. With Safepoint’s easy-to-use platform, your lone workers can start tasks, signal for help, and send real-time safety data, all from their existing mobile devices.


Robust management tools

Safepoint helps you meet health and safety requirements and legally safeguard your manufacturing organisation for the future. Manage your lone workers simply and effectively, and make informed safety decisions in real-time.


Smart, effective protection

Safepoint offers smart protection for lone workers in the field. Your employees can request help in case of emergency and the app alerts Guardians in the event a task duration expires. Your lone workers are safeguarded wherever they are.


Visibility and real-time updates

Safepoint shares vital safety information including GPS location, battery life and signal strength, instantly keeping Guardians and lone workers updated. Data is only shared during an active task so lone worker privacy is maintained.

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