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lone working policy
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Lone working policy

Lone working policy

If you have employees who are required to work alone, even if this is only occasionally, you should put in place a lone working policy. Our policy sets out guidance for employees and line managers on the precautionary measures they should take when an employee is working alone.

Statutory provisions

Employees may need to work alone for a variety of reasons, whether it’s because they’re undertaking a night shift on their own, working late in the office or coming in at the weekend to do overtime. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, you are under a general duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all of your employees as far as is reasonably practicable. This includes providing a safe place of work and safe systems of work. Your health and safety risk assessment should also cover lone working if workers may be required to work alone, even if this is only occasionally. It should identify the hazards or risks involved in lone working so you can implement safe working arrangements to ensure those risks are either eliminated or adequately controlled. You’re also required to consider the physical and mental capabilities of employees when deciding on the tasks they will undertake, so you need to ensure lone workers are capable of undertaking work on their own.

Policy provisions

Our Lone Working Policy sets out the basic precautionary measures that employees should take when working alone. You may need to adapt or add to this depending on your risk assessment. Much of it is commonsense and covers steps such as ensuring another member of staff is aware they are working alone, where they are and what time they expect to finish, making sure they have some means of communication with someone in the event of an emergency, knowing where the emergency exits are, making sure intruders cannot access the premises by checking that windows and external doors are locked, etc. The policy then sets out the duties on the line manager, which is effectively the flip side of the coin; for example avoiding lone working as far as is reasonably practicable, putting arrangements in place so that someone is aware of the lone worker’s whereabouts at all times, putting emergency procedures in place so that workers can obtain assistance if required, providing them with adequate information and training to understand the risks and the safe working procedures associated with working alone, and ensuring any employee working alone is capable of undertaking the work on their own and the job can be done safely by one person.

 

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