Lone Working Policy
A guide to implementing a successful Lone Working Policy.
A comprehensive Lone Working Policy is more than just a guidance document for working alone, it’s also an effective way of promoting a positive safety culture within your organisation.
What is the purpose of a Lone Working Policy and do I need one?
A Lone Working Policy is of course, at its core, a practical guide that your workforce can apply to their roles. It should be a well-defined set of procedures that will help your employees to stay safe while working for your organisation. However, any truly effective lone worker procedure document worth its salt will also help to promote a strong safety culture within your company.
Not protecting your lone workers can have a serious impact on your brand's reputation, so implementing a successful Lone Working Policy is also a great way of safeguarding against any reputational damage.
Learn more about why you should protect your lone workers.
How many lone workers are attacked every day?
Lone working legislation
No specific lone working legislation exists, there are no actual laws to govern lone workers and lone working is not against the law. However, as with any member of staff you have a legal and moral responsibility to protect your employees whilst they’re under your care. A key part of this responsibility is ensuring your workforce is suitably prepared to work alone, this should undoubtedly include a lone worker safety policy.
What can happen to you if you don't look after your lone workers? Find out more about Penalties for Not Protecting Lone Workers.
What should you include in your Lone Working Policy?
1. Purpose of your document
Clearly explain the reason behind every policy and procedure you have for your employees to give them a greater understanding of what you’re trying to achieve and to gain full buy-in from your teams.
2. Potential Risks
Whether you’re creating a Lone Working Policy for retail, or a Lone Worker Policy for social workers or a Lone Working Policy for domiciliary care it’s important you tailor the risks section appropriately.
Ensure you add any potential risks to emphasize the importance of lone worker safety. This section is particularly important because if you’re not aware of the risks your lone workers face then how are you going to support them should an incident occur?
There are a few ways to collate this list but first and foremost you must consult your workers. Discuss with them what kind of risks they face on a daily basis and try to work out best practices and offer suitable guidance and support. You may find this article useful: 6 types of workplace hazards and how to spot them.
3. Lone Worker Definition
Be sure to use your Lone Working Policy to define a lone worker and outline why it’s important to protect them.
Every Lone Worker Policy should obviously include the definition of a lone worker. You can find more information about this in our blog: What is a lone worker?
It may seem obvious to you but it’s important to point out why it’s so vital to protect lone workers. Colleagues working outside of a normal office environment are more likely to be involved in an incident. On top of this, a lone worker is more susceptible to serious injury following an incident, due to not having the usual avenues of support. A comprehensive Lone Working Policy is one way to safeguard those colleagues working alone.
As a company, it’s important to identify and minimise any risks associated with your employees that are identified as lone workers and provide all necessary equipment and practical support. Your Lone Working Policy provides the perfect opportunity to inform employees how much your organisation values their safety and wellbeing.
As a lone worker, you are required to take responsibility for your own safety and comply with all controls set out in the Lone Working Policy.
Download our free Lone Worker Policy template.
5. Lone worker device implementation
A lone worker solution is a great way to support your lone workers during their daily duties. A dedicated lone worker device, powered by a comprehensive portal is a great way to implement the necessary steps and help you deliver peace of mind to both your workforce and management.
If you’re implementing a lone worker solution, then it should be covered in-depth in your lone working procedures.
Our Lone Worker Safety Policy example fully covers device implementation.
6. Risk assessment
Where lone working is a requirement of your employee’s role, a Lone Worker Risk Assessment should outline all potential risks, including possible acts of violence and aggression, verbal or otherwise.
It is the manager's responsibility to ensure this has been carried out and is appropriately monitored and updated. However, it is the responsibility of the employee to have read and understood any control measures.
Use your lone worker safety policy to highlight training requirements and the support your workforce can expect to assist them whilst working alone. Your policy and your risk assessments will help you design and implement a comprehensive training programme.
The SoloProtect lone worker safety policy example can be personalised with your organisation's training needs. Just click the box below.
8. Monitoring and review
As with any policy, a Lone Working Policy will require continual monitoring. It’s important to review your lone worker safety policy in the event of any changes in legislation, following an incident or any changes in operational procedures.
Keeping track of your policies and procedures and keeping them up to date will ensure you’re going some way to meeting your duty care.