What is remote or isolated work? 

Remote or isolated workers may be isolated from assistance because of where or when they are working, or the nature of the work they are doing.  

Remote or isolated workers could be at risk: 

  • for days or weeks in remote locations – for example, on sheep and cattle stations 

  • even if other people are close by – for example, a community nurse doing clinical visits at night 

  • along with many other workers in a remote location – for example, workers at a base camp. 

Remote or isolated workers include: 

  • all-night convenience store and service station attendants 

  • sales representatives, including real estate agents 

  • long-distance freight transport drivers 

  • agricultural workers, scientists, park rangers and others doing field work alone 

  • health and community workers working with members of the public but isolated from their colleagues. 

The hazards of isolated and remote work 

Remote or isolated work can involve both physical and psychosocial hazards with the risks exacerbated by poor access to emergency assistance.  Remote or isolated workers may also be seen as ‘easy targets’ for violence.  

Working remotely or in isolation may also mean there is limited or no assistance available to: 

  • help with challenging tasks 

  • alert the worker to hazards 

  • give a second opinion about how to safely do a task 

  • notice if others are fatigued or making mistakes 

  • assist with difficult or dangerous situations, and 

  • call for emergency assistance.  

If your business includes remote or isolated work, you have a duty to manage risks to workers’ health and safety