top of page


Who is a Lone Worker?

Lone working can fall into two broad categories:

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.

Lone working

Is lone working illegal?

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

There are some high-risk tasks where at least one other person may need to be present

Examples include:


• 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

Lone working Lone Working Risk assessment  checklist - ensure that:

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


Lone working assessments and controling the risks

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.

Why is training particularly important for lone workers?

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

and precautions.


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. lone working

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 to ensure that  you have the right measures in place to control or avoid risks to your lone workers

Health & Safety Consultancy, Information & Management

Lone Working

bottom of page