Health & Safety Consultancy and Management
Lone workers are defined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as those who wo alone without close or direct supervision. Or -
“a worker whose activities involve a large percentage of their working time operating in situations without the benefit of interaction with otherworkers or without supervision”.
Those who work in fixed esablishments including:
• Those working alone in premises, eg in small workshops, petrol station kiosks, shops
• Those working separately from others
• People working outside normal hours
Those who work away from their fixed base including:
• Workers in construction, maintenance & cleaning work, electrical repairs, lift repairs, vehicle recovery
• Agricultural and forestry workers
• Service workers and similar professionals visiting domestic and commercial premises eg rent collectors, postal staff, social workers, home helps, doctors, district nurses, drivers, engineers, estate agents, sales reps.
In most cases working alone is not in itself against the law, and it will often be safe to do so.
However, the law requires employers and others to think about and deal with any health and safety risks before people should be allowed to work alone.
The person is capable of working alone
The lone worker understands the identified risks and that all control measures arising from the risk assessments are put in place prior to commencement of lone working activities
The level of supervision is adequate, based upon the calculation of risk, identified in the risk assessment
Safe access, egress and emergency procedures are in place
Both routine work and foreseeable emergencies have been examined
Training is given, where appropriate, outlining specific risks involved and ensuring that the employee is able to respond appropriately in emergencies
If you have any employees who work alone then you must investigate the potential hazards they face and assess the risks involved both to the lone worker and to any person who may be affected by their work.
As a lone worker employer you should ensure that measures are in place to control or avoid such risks.
Training is particularly important where there is limited supervision to control, guide and help in situations of uncertainty. Training may be critical to avoid people panicking in unusual situations.
Lone workers need to be sufficiently experienced and fully understand the risks
Employers of lone workers should set limits to what can and cannot be done while working alone.
If you employ a lone worker enure the scope of their training eg when to stop work and seek advice from a supervisor or how to handle aggression.
• Working in a high-risk confined space, where a supervisor may need to be
present, along with someone dedicated to the rescue role;
• People working at or near exposed live electricity conductors;
• Other electrical work where at least two people are sometimes required
Employers need to investigate the potential hazards faced by lone workers and assess the risks involved both to the lone worker and to any person who may beaffected by their work.
Contact Sussexsafety.net to ensure that you have the right measures in place to control or avoid risks to your lone workers
Who is a Lone Worker?
Is lone working illegal?
There are some high-risk activities where at least one other person may need to be present
Sussexsafety.net Lone Working Risk assessment checklist - ensure that:
Lone working assessments and controling the risks
Why is training particularly important for lone workers?
Lone working can fall into two broad categories: