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Guides

Working Alone Procedures

Guiding Principles

Library and Academic Services (LAS) is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its staff, students, volunteers and users. The following Working Alone practices outlined in this guide ensure that risk assessments are performed, risks are communicated, and control plans are implemented to manage risks associated with workers who may be working alone.

This guide is designed to be in compliance with Red River College Polytechnic's E12 - Working Alone or in Isolation Policy and Manitoba Regulation 217/2006 - Part 09 - Working Alone or in Isolation of the Workplace Safety & Health Act W220. This guide was developed in consultation with Safety, Health and Security Services.

 

Permission to work alone

Working alone may be scheduled as needed. A Library and Academic Services - Working Alone Plan must be completed by a supervisor/coordinator along with the worker prior to working alone. 

Working alone may happen without notice in a case where an employee is unexpectedly absent. In this case, the employee who is alone must contact their supervisor and security services immediately.  A Library and Academic Services - Working Alone Plan must be completed as soon as possible. 

Working alone is prohibited without prior permission from your direct supervisor, except in cases where an employee is unexpectedly absent. A  Working Alone or In Isolation Procedure from must be completed in all instances where an employee is working alone.

Working Alone Procedure

  • Prior to working alone a Library and Academic Services - Working Alone Plan must be completed by the supervisor (or designate) along with the worker.
    • The LAS - Working Alone Plan must be completed when working alone at NDC, EDC, or when working offsite. If you are required to travel outside of city limits please consult with your supervisor.
    • In the event that a worker is unexpectedly working alone, the worker must contact Security Services immediately. The worker must then contact their supervisor and complete an LAS - Working Alone Plan as soon as possible.
  • While working alone the worker must check-in as defined in their LAS - Working Alone Plan. At minimum, this will be at the beginning and end of their shift and every 4 hours. The worker must also check-in if they leave their defined work area.
  • The check-in must be recorded by the supervisor (or designate) on the Library and Academic Services - Working Alone Check-in Sheet.
  • If leaving a service point unattended, the worker must ensure that all unsecured valuable items are put away and that all drawers and cabinets are locked
  • In the event a worker feels unsafe they are to contact Safety and Security, or if available, use one of the panic buttons located at the EDC and NDC service desks.
  • In the event of an emergency contact 911 then call Safety and Security and inform them that 911 has been contacted. Safety and Security will provide assistance and direct emergency services as required. 

Missing Staff Protocol

In the event that a staff member misses a scheduled call-in the following protocols are to be followed:

Protocol for Missing Staff before 5:00pm

  1. The supervisor or designate who did not receive a call-in will investigate and attempt to contact the missing staff using professional contact information (phone, Teams) and  personal contact information (phone, text, email, social media).
  2. If the missing staff member is unable to be located Safety and Security must be contacted. Safety and Security will coordinate RRC Polytech's response and will work with relevant colleagues to assist in locating the staff and assess the level of risk. 
  3. If the missing staff member is still unable to be located, Safety and Security will report the staff as missing to the police or any other authorities.

Protocol for Missing Staff after 5:00pm

  1. The Safety and Security will attempt to contact the missing staff using professional contact information (phone, Teams) and  personal contact information (phone, text, email, social media).
  2. If the missing staff member is unable to be located Safety and Security will coordinate RRC Polytech's response and will work with relevant colleagues to assist in locating the staff and assess the level of risk. 
  3. If the missing staff member is still unable to be located, Safety and Security will report the staff as missing to the police or any other authorities.

Risk Assessment

In consultation with Safety and Health Services working alone at the EDC and NDC Libraries has been determined to generally be Low Risk. An additional risk assessment will occur on a case-by-case basis as a part of the completion of the Library and Academic Services - Working Alone Plan.  Potential hazards are identified in the following table:

Potential Hazards Mitigation
Handling cash
  • Minimal Float ($30.00)
  • Minimal Fines; Cash transactions are rare
  • The counting of cash is prohibited working alone
  • In the case of a robbery, cash is to be given to robber without hesitation
Risk of violence
Medical emergency

 

Risk Assessment Hazard Levels

  Low Medium High
Examples of
Activities 
  • Office Work
  • Working from home
  • Use of power tools
  • Work in labs or with low risk chemicals
  • Road travel outside of city or town limits
  • Use of moving equipment (forklift, skid steer, etc.)
  • Work with animals
  • Work with high energy materials or high voltage electrical systems
  • Work with toxic gases or high hazard chemicals
  • Working at heights (scissor lifts, roof work, etc.)
  • Work involving holding money, drugs, or other valuables that may be prone to theft
Frequency of call-in to supervisor, designate or security Every 4 hours via text, voicemail or live voice. Every 2 hours via text, voicemail or live voice. Every 1 hour. MUST BE A LIVE VOICE