The hazards faced by employees working on their own are often the same as those in a busy office. But the absence of others, to provide assistance for example, can increase the risks associated with any work activity.
Threats to personal safety and risks from accidents or illness can have more serious consequences for employees working alone.
Lone working can take different forms, like an employee:
- working on their own in an office; whether there's other people in the building or not
- whose work takes them away from their base and out of contact with colleagues and managers
- whose work can put them into an environment alone with service users. In some situations there could be an increased risk of violence or aggressive behaviour.
How are we managing the risks?
Our Lone Working Policy sets out how the risks to employees who are working on their own should be managed.
Line managers and supervisors will identify any lone working activities and ensure that the risks to an individual's personal safety have been assessed.
If the risk assessment shows a potential for harm from lone working, the line manager or supervisor will first look to see if the work activity can be done differently to eliminate those risks. If the risks can't be removed, control measures will be in place to reduce them to an acceptable level.
There will also be procedures in place for employees to raise the alarm in the event of an emergency and be able to get help when its needed.
You can find out more about how to manage health and safety risks in our Risk Management by Risk Assessment Policy.
What can you do?
You have a responsibility for your own health and safety so it's important to plan ahead and be prepared. Make sure your manager or colleagues know where you're going, when you're expected to arrive and, if necessary, who you are meeting.
Above all trust your instincts. If you feel uneasy about anything don't tell yourself, "its fine" and don't wait for your fears to be confirmed. Get away from the situation or get help as quickly as possible.
If something does happen, report it to your line manager and to the Health, Safety & Care Team email@example.com using an Accident/Incident/Violence Report Form (HR14). It provides an opportunity to learn from what has happened and take any action to help prevent it happening again.