It is estimated that there are over 8 million people in the UK who are lone workers. Being a lone worker does not mean the person working is physically alone, but that they are in a separate location to the rest of the team they work with.
The Health and Safety Executive define lone working as people who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. If a member of staff can not be seen or heard by a colleague, they are classed as a lone worker – this could be for part or all of their working day. This also includes staff who are working from home.
Who are Lone Workers?
Lone workers can fall into any sector of business and from a diverse range of roles. All lone workers will:
- Work by themselves away from the normal business premises
- Work on the same business premises but out of sight or other colleagues
- Work outside of normal working hours
- Work from home
- Left alone for long periods of time
Some examples of lone workers include:
- Delivery Driver
- Security Officer
- Hotel Receptionist
- Petrol Station Staff
Why is Lone Working considered a greater risk?
Lone workers face the same types of hazards in the workplace as other members of staff, but lone workers are thought to be at greater risk of facing serious injury as there isn’t anyone around to help or support them if things go wrong. Some of the biggest hazards faced by lone workers include physical abuse, verbal abuse, slips and falls, operating machinery alone and working with harmful substances alone.
There are a number of things an employer can do to help minimise the risks and hazards for their lone workers.
Carry out Lone Worker Risk Assessments
General risk assessments must be carried out by all employers, according to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 Act. It isn’t essential to undertake a separate risk assessment for lone workers, any extra risks do need to be taken into consideration when completing a general risk assessment.
Produce a Lone Working Policy
Create a working guide to help lone workers clearly understand their roles and the risk attached to being a lone worker. Your policy should include details including:
- Organisational commitment
- Risks (By job role and lone worker type)
- Guidance on reporting incidents and hazards
- Relevant support and contact details
Organise Lone Worker Training
It is important to organise additional training for those members of staff who are lone working. When a member of staff is working alone, it will be hard for them to get any help in the event of an emergency, so they need to be trained to cope with any uncertain and unexpected situations. This is why additional training is required to allow staff to identify and manage risks.
Implement a Lone Worker Service
A lone working service is designed to monitor the safety of members of staff working alone and act swiftly in an emergency situation. The lone worker facility we provide here at Glevum Security is a constant monitoring system used to prevent any minor incidents from becoming more serious. Our service protects staff when they are at their most vulnerable and guarantees they will always be monitored whenever they are working.
If you would like more information on our Lone Worker Monitoring or any of the other security services we offer, contact our expert team today on 01452 729713.