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What should you have by law if you lone work?

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Do you have a business where you need to lone work? 

If you have a business where it may be unnecessary to have more than one employee at a location you may wonder, what should you have by law if you lone work?

What should you have by law if you lone work?

There are around 6-8 million lone workers employed in the UK. 

As more and more people work remotely, the number of lone workers is increasing. 

In this article, we’ll cover the legal must-haves for lone workers. Including why you need a lone working policy, what should be included in it, and what obligations employers have towards lone workers.

What is a Lone Worker?

A lone worker is someone who works alone, without direct supervision from a manager or colleague. 

This can include people who work from home, as well as those who work in fields such as construction or healthcare. Lone workers can be at risk of accidents or incidents that could endanger their health and safety, and they must be protected.

Depending on the nature and location of the job, lone working increases the worker’s vulnerability. 

Shockingly, up to 150 lone workers face threats from verbal or physical attacks every day in the UK. 

And this is just one aspect of lone working where a person is at risk. Other risk factors include:

  • Accidents
  • Emergencies 
  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Sudden illnesses
  • Intruders and violence from other people

To help mitigate any issues of risk, employers must create a lone working policy and training program to determine if employed people are safe to work alone. 

 

Types of lone workers

 

For many businesses, lone working is a necessity for company productivity. 

In frequent cases sending more than one employee to a location is unnecessary. 

Types of lone workers include:

  • Cleaners
  • Construction workers
  • Estate agents
  • Engineers 
  • Emergency services
  • Delivery drivers
  • Lone shop workers
  • Maintenance and repair 
  • Postal workers
  • Social and medical service workers
  • Security

 

These types of workers can be lone working on-premises or mobile lone workers, sent to locations where the demand is needed.

 

For each of these scenarios, employees have a duty of care towards their lone workers. 

This means that they must take reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. Employers must provide a safe working environment, and this includes ensuring that lone workers are protected.

 

Why Should My Business Need a Lone Working Policy?

 

A lone working policy is a document that outlines what measures will be taken to protect lone workers. 

It is important to have a lone working policy in place to ensure that both the employer and the lone worker understand what is expected of them. 

The policy should outline the hazards that the lone worker could face and the measures that will be taken to protect them. 

It should also outline the communication and monitoring procedures that will be used to keep the lone worker safe.

 

Lone worker legislation

There are no specific rules on lone working in the UK. However, employers have a duty of care towards their employees, including lone workers. This means that they must take reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. Employers must provide a safe working environment, and this includes ensuring that lone workers are protected.

 

What should you have by law if you lone work?

 

There is no legal requirement to have a lone worker policy. However, it is recommended that employers have a lone worker policy in place to ensure that both the employer and the lone worker understand what is expected of them.

 

What legislation is applicable to lone workers?

 

Two pieces of legislation apply to lone working. So when drafting your policy, refer to these to ensure you are covering the health and safety of your workers.

 

  1. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  2. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

 

How can Employers Take Reasonable Care of Their Lone Workers? 

For employers to properly ensure the safety of their staff, they must first identify all the risks associated with their employees’ lone working role. 

To do this a proper lone-working policy should be created.

 

What Is Included in a Lone Working Policy?

A lone working policy should include the following:

 

Definitions of Lone Working

At the start of your document, make it clear what your organisation’s definition of a lone worker is. Define who the policy is written for and the situations where deeded, a clear definition of lone working is necessary. 

 

State your organisational commitment to your worker’s safety

It’s important to state your dedication to caring for your worker’s safety. So next in your policy, you should include a statement that represents this. An example would look something like this: 

“Our people are our most valuable asset. Therefore their safety and well-being are important to us.”

 

Risk assessment

A risk assessment should be carried out to identify any hazards that the lone worker could face. This should include an assessment of the environment, the tasks that the lone worker will be undertaking, and any equipment that will be used.

What should you have by law if you lone work

Communication and monitoring

The policy should outline how the lone worker will be communicated with and monitored. This could include regular check-ins with a manager or colleague, as well as the use of lone worker apps or technology.

 

Training

Lone workers should receive training on how to work safely and how to respond to emergencies. This should include training on the use of any equipment that will be used.

 

Emergency procedures

The policy should outline what procedures should be followed in the event of an emergency. This should include who should be contacted and what actions should be taken.

 

How to Make a Lone Working Policy

To make a lone working policy, you should follow these steps:

 

Identify the hazards

Carry out a risk assessment to identify any hazards that the lone worker could face.

 

Determine the measures to be taken

Determine what measures will be taken to protect the lone worker. This could include regular check-ins, the use of technology, or training.

 

Communicate the policy

Communicate the policy to all lone workers and ensure that they understand what is expected of them.

 

Review the policy

Regularly review the policy to ensure that it is up-to-date and effective.

 

Communication and Monitoring for Lone Workers

Communication and monitoring are important for the safety of lone workers. There are various ways in which lone workers can be monitored and communicated with.

 

Regular check-ins

Regular check-ins with a manager or colleague can help to ensure that the lone worker is safe. This could be done via phone or email.

 

Lone worker apps and technology

There are various lone worker apps and technology available that can help to keep lone workers safe. These can include GPS tracking, panic buttons, and alarms.

 

Training

Employees should receive training on how to use any equipment that will be used and how to respond to emergencies.

Training should be provided on how to work safely and how to respond to emergencies. This should include training on the use of any equipment that will be used.

 

Working safely

Lone workers should be trained on how to work safely. This could include training on manual handling, working at heights, and working in hazardous environments.

 

Responding to emergencies

Lone workers should be trained on how to respond to emergencies. This could include training on first aid and how to evacuate a building.

 

Equipment training

Lone workers should be trained on how to use any equipment that will be used. This could include training on the use of personal protective equipment or machinery.

 

Implementing a Lone Worker Policy

What should you have by law if you lone work

To implement a lone worker policy, you should follow these steps:

 

Communicate the policy

Communicate the policy to all lone workers and ensure that they understand what is expected of them.

 

Use a document processing tool

Communication between you and your employees should be documented and made simple. 

One of the most efficient ways to achieve this is to use a document processing system. 

 

A system such as DocFlite, allows managers to send their staff important documentation such as the lone working policy and monitor how their staff engages with the document. 

 

Heat mapping and mouse clicking can be used to see the employees’ engagement with the document. 

This is an important feature for managers to have access to as they can ensure the policy in place to protect their workers are read and digested properly. 

 

Policies created using DocFlite can also make use of required field features by using forms, tables and/or e-signatures. These reinforce the essential elements of the policy making sure that employees and employers are confident of their expectations.

 

Provide training

Provide training to lone workers on how to work safely and how to respond to emergencies. Safety management training should include using necessary tools and communication procedures to protect themselves properly when lone working. 

 

Monitor and communicate

Monitor and communicate with lone workers to ensure that they are safe. This should include checking in with working before and after a new location. And to check in with them at an acceptable amount if in a fixed lone environment. 

 

Review the policy

Regularly review the policy to ensure that it is up-to-date and effective.

 

Risk Assessment for Lone Workers

A risk assessment should be carried out to identify any hazards that the lone worker could face. This should include an assessment of the environment, the tasks that the lone worker will be undertaking, and any equipment that will be used.

 

Identify the hazards

Identify any hazards that the lone worker could face, such as hazardous substances, working at height, or working in extreme temperatures.

 

Determine the risk

Determine the risk associated with each hazard. This could be done using a risk matrix.

 

Determine the measures to be taken

Determine what measures will be taken to eliminate or reduce the hazard. This could include providing personal protective equipment or changing the way that the task is carried out.

 

Lone Worker Apps and Technology

There are various lone worker apps and technology available that can help to keep lone workers safe. As well as using company mobile phones, employers can use:

 

GPS tracking

GPS tracking can be used to track the location of the lone worker. This can help to ensure that they are safe and can be located in the event of an emergency.

 

Panic buttons

Panic buttons can be used by the lone worker to alert their employer or emergency services in the event of an emergency.

 

Alarms

Alarms can be used to alert the employer or emergency services in the event of an emergency.

What should you have by law if you lone work

What Is the Lone Working Policy for Cleaners?

 

The lone working policy for cleaners should be similar to the policy for any other lone worker. The policy should include a risk assessment, communication and monitoring procedures, and emergency procedures. Cleaners may also require specific training on the use of cleaning equipment and chemicals.

We will write a blog post on the lone working policy template for UK cleaners soon. 

 

Conclusion – What should you have by law if you lone work?

Lone workers are at risk of accidents or incidents that could endanger their health and safety, and they must be protected. 

A lone working policy should be in place to ensure that both the employer and the lone worker understand what is expected of them. 

The policy should include a risk assessment, communication and monitoring procedures, and emergency procedures. 

Employers have a duty of care towards their employees, including lone workers, and must take reasonable steps to ensure their health, safety, and welfare. 

Utilising lone worker apps and technology to help keep lone workers and your business safe.

If you enjoyed this post on what should you have by law if you lone work, you may be interested in how to create a lone-working policy.

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