APPENDIX H WORKING ALONE POLICY The Workplace Safety and Health Act provides practical guidance with respect to the performance of job functions that have been and continue to be performed by staff working alone. The key concepts are: a) the necessity to assess all working alone situations to determine the conditions or circumstances which may result in harm to the staff working alone and attempt to reduce the probability of such harm, and: b) to provide a means of security assistance for staff working alone in the event of injury or other harm. All staff who work with a family have a right to be aware of all identified risks. Staff and family safety occurs through awareness of potential risk, planning and prevention. This includes, when the risk assessment warrants, the decision to suspend working alone job responsibilities until the risks can be reduced. The existence of risk factors does not necessarily imply an unsafe situation and potential withdrawal of service. The existence of risk factors requires that staff work to develop a means of offering service the maximizes safety. Steps to ensure safety when working alone are developed by key participants. The employer recognizes the Workplace Safety and Health Act under section 43 establishes the employee’s right to refuse dangerous work and the process for resolution. The employer, in accordance with the objects and purposes of the Act, will: a) ensure, as far as is reasonably practical, the safety, health and welfare at work of all staff, b) comply with this act and regulations. With the understanding that risks to workers will never be entirely eliminated while performing any given job function, whether it be determined as working alone or not, Child & Family Services of Western Manitoba has implemented the following procedures to minimize the possibility of such harm. Procedures: 1. If staff perceive a risk, they will consult with a supervisor/coordinator to develop a safety plan specific to the situation. 2. Staff are expected to utilize a contact person system in every situation of working alone. The contact person will be of the staff person’s choosing. Contact person receiving the “check in” should be made aware of where and with whom the staff is meeting. 3. The Work Alone Policy and Procedures will be reviewed annually at performance reviews and signed off by the worker. Definitions: Staff Includes all employees of Child & Family Services of Western Manitoba as well as volunteers Work Alone Means the performance of any work function by a staff who: Is the only staff present at that work site; Does not have physical access to another staff person for assistance. Work Place Does include all Agency building community sites, client homes, and vehicles used during the performance of work duties (including walking to and from vehicle). Potential Risks Faced by Staff Working Alone: Verbal/physical/sexual aggression; Sexual harassment/threats/gestures; Accidental injury (i.e. such as falls, cuts, burns or strains possibly resulting from improper body mechanics, faulty equipment, etc.); Exposure to communicable diseases; Theft/allegations of employee misconduct; Vehicle accidents/travelling alone; Injury resulting from fire/smoke/workplace conditions (i.e. pets, unsanitary conditions, etc.).