Lone Working FAQs

When are you considered a 'lone worker'?

Lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. Examples include care workers, delivery drivers, security staff, service and maintenance engineers, cleaners and home workers. There are greater risks to lone workers without direct supervision, so these need to be considered by undertaking a suitable risk assessment, safe systems of work and training.

Is lone working legal?

Lone working is legal in the UK and generally it is allowed as long as a suitable and sufficient risk assessment has been conducted, controls implemented and compliance regularly reviewed.

What risks might lone workers be exposed to?

Hazards and risks lone workers may have to contend with include:

How can you prepare a lone worker?

Employers need to provide safe systems of work (SSoW) based on a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

Factors lone workers need to consider include:

  • Undertaking dynamic risk assessments to make sure the SSoW is still valid.
  • Reliable means of communication including having a charged mobile device, charger and power bank.
  • Planning and researching their journey and weather forecast.
  • First aid equipment.
  • Personal Protective Equipment.

Do I need a lone worker safety policy?

There is a general legal requirement to have lone working arrangements, safe systems of work and procedures.

What should a lone worker safety policy contain?

A lone worker policy and procedures should cover your organisation’s arrangement for protecting workers from harm.

Key areas to cover include:

  • Reasons for the policy.
  • When risk assessments need to be carried out and by whom.
  • Lone worker training.
  • Level of supervision, support and communication.
  • Equipment required as part of the risk assessment.
  • Importance of incident, accident and near miss reporting and the organisations procedures.