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Lone working policy and procedures

To ensure that you accommodate for the health and safety of your lone workers, you need a clear lone working policy in place. This will give your employees the guidance and procedures to work safely away from supervision.

What is a lone worker safety policy?

A lone worker policy is an official written document that covers the risks faced by lone working staff and the responsibilities of both the employer and employee in ensuring that lone workers can work safely. Lone workers require their own policies and procedures to ensure they are protected from any specific risks and hazards.

Why do I need a lone worker policy?

Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that they look after their employees that work alone. This means providing safe systems, places to work, and suitable arrangements to ensure that their health, safety and welfare are cared for. Failing to meet these obligations may result in legal backlash. Many companies face hefty fines for doing so.

What laws directly affect lone working?

This duty of care comes from the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. This legislation ensures that employers cover the general health and safety of their employees as ‘far as is reasonably practicable’. This means that anything the employer foresees as impacting the safety of their workers in all policies and procedures.

Moreover, Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment where work activities take place. This includes the likes of lone working.

Also, Regulation 13 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to consider the physical and mental capabilities of employees when deciding what their role will entail. For lone working specifically, it is vital to consider these capabilities and the actions you may need to take.

Tips for creating your lone working policy

When creating your lone working policy, ensure that you follow our top tips to prevent any future issues from arising:

Simplify your policy

Your lone working policy should be as simple and concise as possible. Your employees need to be able to understand what the policy entails and what they are entitled to. Keep language simple and the layout of the document clear.

Update your policies regularly

You will need to regularly update your policies whenever big changes to the work activities occur. This includes new training courses, lone worker solutions, or needing a new risk assessment.

Ask your lone workers what they think

Your lone workers are the most important people to ask when it comes to the details of your policy as they are the employees that it affects. Ask them regularly about what the policy includes and if there is anything you can be doing to make them feel safer. This should be a regular process that helps improve your policy over time. Consider recurring meetings or workshops where workers can openly discuss their health and safety.

Lone working policy: NHS case study

At StaySafe, we work with NHS trusts throughout the UK, offering their lone workers protection from the challenges they face on a daily basis.

Some of the potential hazards NHS lone workers may deal with include:

  • Threats of violence and aggression from patients or other members of the public
  • Environmental risks inside patient’s homes
  • Driving to and from workplaces
  • Risk of illness

To combat this, many NHS trusts use StaySafe to ensure they are adhering to lone working policy legislation. This allows them to safely and unobtrusively check on their safety and wellbeing.

What is a lone working procedure?

A lone working procedure is what your employees should follow in order to work alone safely. Your policy should outline this procedure clearly step-by-step. Depending on the nature of the job, you may need to write several procedures if lone workers are undertaking activities that are vastly different from each other. Alongside this, you need to provide adequate training to new employees so that they know the procedures in place. A guide detailing their responsibilities will be helpful until they know exactly what they need to do when the time arises.

Examples of lone working procedures

Here are some examples of what you may include in your lone working procedure:

  • How often should the employee check in with you and through what means
  • Which lone worker solution should the employee use to contact you (i.e. apps or devices)
  • What should the lone worker do in an emergency and who should they contact
  • How should the employee deal with aggression from clients or other members of the public

There may be many more steps that can apply to your lone working procedure. Make sure you cover all the bases and ensure that all steps are compulsory as this could save lives.

Try our free lone worker police template

Need some help getting started? Try out our free lone working policy template to use for your business:

Find out more about StaySafe solutions

Lone Worker App

Our intuitive app allows employees to check in safely following a lone working session and raise an alert in an emergency.

Cloud Based Monitoring Hub
Our hub uses GPS to accurately locate your lone workers and provides you with real-time updates on their movements.
Wearable Technology
Pairing the app with V.BTTN is a great solution for anyone working at height, with gloves or machinery, where pushing a button may be a more convenient way of using the StaySafe app.
Satellite Tracking Devices
Our satellite tracking devices are designed for those regularly travelling to remote areas where you can’t even get a mobile signal.