While working late or outside of typical business hours is not usually dangerous, it can mean you are working alone and commuting to or from work after dark. After work or after dark, places that are bustling with activity and seen as highly safe during the daytime may feel entirely different. Depending on your location, the type of work you do, whether or not you contact with the public, and the repercussions of an emergency, accident, injury, etc., you can determine whether a situation is high risk or low risk. It's critical to evaluate each event on its own given the huge range of conditions. When working late, you are frequently working alone, or the hazards and remedies are quite similar to when working alone. More details on working alone can be found in the following OSH Answer documents: Individual Work - General Managing Money While Working Alone Self-employed and off-site Working with patients versus working alone NOTE: In this publication, bullying and harassment are also considered forms of violence. For more details, kindly consult the following OSH Answers documents: Occupational Bullying Internet abuse or harassment Workplace Violence and Harassment Workplace Violence and Harassment the family (Domestic) Violence Workplace Violence and Harassment - Lawmaking Dealing with Negative Interactions in the Face of Workplace Violence and Harassment Workplace Violence and Harassment: Parking Lot Safety Workplace Violence and Harassment: Warning Signs Working Late: Violence and Harassment in the Workplace
What can I do to be safe when I have late work?
As for working alone or after hours, abide by your workplace's policies. Never work past your scheduled time without informing a coworker, friend, relative, or security guard. Keep a cell phone handy, or be aware of where the nearest emergency phones are. Utilize the buddy system. Make plans to work late with a buddy or coworker on the same night. Consider safe retreat locations where you can retreat and call for assistance in advance. Move your car to a well-lit spot close to your building or a parking lot attendant before it becomes dark outdoors. Make sure all the windows and doors are closed and locked before your coworkers depart, and check the restrooms and storage areas to make sure no one is inside. Do not call out if you enter a space and believe there may be someone else within whom you do not trust. Retrace your steps and find a secure space with a lockable door. Invoke assistance. Indicate that you are not alone if you come across someone you don't know. Declare, ""My supervisor will be right here and can assist you."" Make a call to the police or security personnel if you think someone is waiting outside. Recognize your location so you can provide this information if you need to call for assistance. Call someone else if at all feasible, and stay on the line until you reach your vehicle. But at the same time, keep your surroundings in mind. Ask your employer to take into account offering safer access to parking lots after hours. For individuals who work after hours, consider designating parking spaces that are accessible to the facility and well-lit. Learn about the services your local transit agency provides for commuters who travel after business hours (e.g., they may have a """"request stop"""" service that allows commuters to get off anywhere along the route after dark, rather than at a designated stop). Learn how to handle conflict and the telltale indicators that someone is starting to get irritated.
What steps can employers take to ensure that employees are safe when they are working late?
Create guidelines and impart instruction on staying safe while working late. Make sure employees are not working alone whenever it is possible. Choose a contact person who will periodically check in on the workers. Create a check-in process. You may find a checklist and other details under Working Alone - General. Create a secure space that can be locked so that employees can enter it quickly and easily in case of an emergency. Make sure the workplace is well-lit, as well as any exterior spaces like parking lots or petrol stations. Ensure that the workplace has good visibility and unobstructed sightlines to all entrances, exits, and any outdoor spaces. Check to see whether any signs or objects are blocking the windows, doors, or exits. Think about supplying bullet-resistant enclosures, convex safety mirrors so employees can see more of the workplace, alarm systems, panic buttons, global positioning systems (GPS), and radios as ways to safeguard employees (also known as an """"open mike switch""""). Reduce risk factors like working with money or other valuables whenever you can. Put up signs warning people that there isn't much money on the premises. Create secure processes for handling cash, and think about placing drop safes in areas where greater sums of money might be gathered throughout the night. All employees should get training and education that is appropriate for the risks and hazards they may encounter."""