Lone Worker Safety - Risks, Responsibilities and Solutions
We explore the facts about Lone Worker Safety, including the risks, responsibilities and personal safety solutions available to organisations in the UK.
What is lone worker safety?
If you have employees within your organisation who work alone, remotely or without direct supervision, either some or all of the time, then lone worker safety should be a top health and safety priority.
Lone workers are much more at risk than those who work alongside others, mainly due to the fact there’s no one around to support them should they need it.
Therefore, it's important to carefully assess, manage and monitor the risks associated with lone working.
What are the risks of lone working?
Due to the reasons outlined above, work-related risks are amplified for those who work alone.
A construction worker could fall off a ladder and injure themselves while working in a quiet part of a construction site, a social housing officer worker could be faced with aggression when entering a property alone, or a retail worker could be attacked during a robbery. If in any of these circumstances, there’s no immediate help available, the incident could have disastrous consequences.
This is why it’s so important to ensure you have a lone worker system in place to reduce the risk, comprehensive lone working procedures in place for your lone workers to follow day-to-day and in the case of an incident, and a detailed lone worker safety policy.
Do you have a lone worker safety policy?
If you have any employees who work alone, at home or unsupervised, it's essential that you have a lone worker policy.
Our example lone worker policy will help you to either begin drafting a new policy or update your existing policy. The document highlights the key considerations and explains ways to refer to the implementation of personal safety technology within a wider policy framework.
Who is responsible for lone worker safety?
As an employer or manager in the UK, you are responsible for the lone worker health, safety and wellbeing of your staff under:
- the Health and Safety at Work etc Act
- the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
And, don’t forget, lone workers can also be home workers or contractors. You have the same responsibility towards home workers and contractors as you do for any other employee. Therefore, you must ensure they have the correct supervision, education and training and there are the necessary safety measures in place.
Click here to learn more about your responsibilities towards home workers.
Click here to learn more about your responsibilities towards contractors.
Do you need to consider lone worker safety for your team?
If you’re not sure whether you need to consider a lone worker safety solution for your organisation or team, complete our quick Team Assessment. By answering a few short questions to evaluate the level of lone worker risk within your team, we can advise you whether a lone worker safety solution would be prudent.
How do you keep a lone worker safe?
Generally, it should be safe to work alone, however, the law requires you to carry out a full risk assessment beforehand to ensure you have considered all of the lone working health and safety risks.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggests the following considerations to ensure your lone workers are kept safe:
- Assess areas of risk including violence, manual handling, the medical suitability of the employee to work alone and whether the workplace itself presents a risk to the lone worker(s)
- Identify any lone worker training requirements, the level of worker experience, and how best to monitor and supervise your staff
- Have systems in place to keep in touch with them and respond to incidents.
A lone worker safety system addresses many of these considerations highlighted by the HSE and is an efficient and effective way to help you, as an employer, manager or team leader, keep your lone workers safe.
Lone worker safety solutions from SoloProtect
A SoloProtect lone worker safety solution provides your users with:
- A lone workers safety device or personal safety mobile app
- A way to call for 24/7 emergency support at the press of a button, without alerting others involved in the incident
- A quicker emergency response than a 999 call
- Incapacitation detection – sometimes known as a man-down alarm
- Live support when carrying out high-risk activities with our Ready 2 Talk functionality
If you’re a health and safety manager or team manager, a SoloProtect lone worker safety solution can provide:
- Better visibility of your remote working teams including Latest Location information to help you to easily redeploy workers to where they’re needed
- An easy way to document incidents for future training purposes or legal proceedings
- Reassurance to your lone workers that their safety is of the utmost importance, leading to better staff retention and a better brand reputation
- Demonstrable compliance with policies, procedures and standards
- Comprehensive automated reporting to key stakeholders
- Easy user onboarding, training and allocation of escalation contacts.
You can learn more about our lone worker safety solutions here.
Interested in enhancing lone worker safety in your organisation or team?
If you’re interested in enhancing lone worker safety in your organisation or team, please get in touch with us to find out more information or to request a demo.
Business Case Support
Alternatively, if you’d like to pitch a lone worker safety solution to other stakeholders within your organisation or team, take a look at our business case for investing in a lone worker safety solution. This clearly highlights the safety, financial, legal, operational, reputational and wellbeing benefits.