Lone Worker Risk Assessments: your guide

Conducting Risk Assessments for lone workers is key to better control hazards to your mobile teams. Here’s our guide to creating a lone working risk assessment example, and a useful template for your own use.

Are your lone working risk assessments up to date?

Assessing and controlling risks to your lone workers is one key element of an employer meeting its duty of care to staff. Creating a lone working risk assessment example is useful to help any safety practitioner consider existing or new risks to personnel, whilst also being the basis for controlled versions to be documented and communicated to a workforce.

Lone Worker Risk Assessments: Your responsibilities

UK law states that any employer is required to protect employees, lone working or otherwise, from potential harm. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 identifies the minimum requirements for doing so:

• Identify hazards that could cause injury or illness
• Identify the level of risk and likelihood that someone could be harmed
• Put measures in place to reduce, control or remove potential hazards to employees

Lone Working and Risk Assessments:

Working alone does not alter any of the above responsibilities. Whilst working alone is perfectly legal, and should not automatically be considered high risk, employers of lone workers that are managing risk assessments need to factor in the risks or hazards linked to their overall job role, but also consider how a situation could be exacerbated for an individual working away from other colleagues.

When conducting risk assessments for lone workers, it’s also key to consider that:

• Lone workers are often community-based
• Regularly mobile, potentially visiting remote locations
• They regularly work outside of ‘typical hours’ – early mornings, evenings, weekends etc
• Entering people’s homes can result in significant social risk

Lone working will also potentially require individuals to carry out dynamic risk assessments in relation to new information, or incidents. In support of lone working risk assessments, employees should be trained to deal with dynamically unfolding events, that may lead to specific risks or hazards that also need to be managed.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identify five key steps that are required to manage risk:

• Identify hazards
• Assess the risks
• Control the risks
• Record your findings
• Review the controls

Additional considerations for controlling risks to lone workers:

Controlling risks to lone workers is key, but on the back of recording and reviewing findings – it may also be necessary to consider whether lone worker technology would also benefit the employee, as a part of controlling risk and demonstrating duty of care (See more about SoloProtect Lone Worker Solutions). This can link formally into a job specification and be included within any wider lone worker policy.

Involving staff as part of the process to create risk assessments is also a good idea. Your employees may have some good ideas around identifying potential hazards and offer practical insight into how best to reduce and control such risks. Involving the team will also assist adoption and ongoing use of any new risk assessment process, procedure, or template.

Lone Worker Risk Assessment Template:

To help get your lone working risk assessment started, you can download a free example lone worker risk assessment.

Using our generic risk assessment example for lone working will give you a useful insight into potential risks that may affect your mobile teams.

Whether your business need relates to the safety of community-based, healthcare lone workers, construction workers (including contractors), or social care workers at the risk of verbal aggression – our lone working risk assessment checklist will give users a mechanism to log, assess and better control hazards.

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