Health & Safety

Health & Safety for Lone Workers

The increasing number of lone workers in the UK highlights the need for employers to not only ensure they have an adequate and legally robust health & safety management system in place for their business but to also focus on the specific risks that apply to their employees who work alone.

All employees have a responsibility to take reasonable care of themselves, with lone workers being no exception, but every employer is responsible for the overall health, safety and welfare of all their workers, whether they are fully employed, contracted, or part-time people doing work for them. Those who work alone should not find themselves at any greater risk than anyone else.

Lone workers are generally defined as those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision, which could be for part or all of their working shifts. It is a pretty non-exhaustive list but a few examples include those who work in fixed establishments such as small workshops, petrol stations or kiosks, someone who work outside of normal hours such as security guards or cleaners, those who work off-site such as engineers and maintenance workers and service workers such as postal staff, care and social workers, or estate agents.

Do you need ongoing Health & Safety services to support your business? Our services are delivered bespoke to each business we work with. 

Controlling the Risk

As with any part of your business, undertaking risk assessments is the best way to ensure you identify, address and minimise any risks to your employees. Many of those risks will be the same whether your employees work individually or in larger groups, but there are specific risks that you may want to consider for lone workers. Is the task too difficult or dangerous to be carried out by one person?

Is the equipment supplied for the job appropriate for use by an individual? Could their health or wellbeing be affected by working alone i.e. exposure to chemicals or risk of violence?  Are there activities they may be doing alone that would ordinarily be undertaken by two or more people, such as lifting heavy objects using ladders or working on live electricity?

If any activities pose a significant risk that cannot be mitigated by just one person working on their own, then the activity needs to be modified or help or backup needs to be available.

Monitoring & Supervision

The decision as to the extent of supervision required for lone workers should be made on the assessment of the level of risk you have identified: basically, the higher the risk and the level of experience the greater the level of supervision required. And remember, it is the job of the employer to make those decisions and not of the employee.

From time to time, it is worth reassessing the level of supervision, particularly when new tasks are being undertaken, when the working environment may have changed, or if someone is new to the job. Regular monitoring procedures also need to be in place as an effective means of communication to ensure the safety of lone workers.

These may include pre-agreed regular contact, staff security systems and reporting systems to ensure a lone worker has returned to their base or home once they have finished their work. Modern IT and communication systems offer the possibility of remotely supervising lone workers.

Accident & Emergency

As well as assessing the risks of your lone workers’ day-to-day activities, you also need to consider specific procedures for unforeseen events, such as illness or accidents. You need to make them aware of your emergency procedures and ensure they are fully trained in them.

What should they do if they have an accident? Who should they contact, or should be contacted on their behalf if seriously injured? Perhaps you will identify that they should receive first aid training and carry their first aid kits.

If your employee has an existing medical condition, you should seek advice from an expert to ensure it is considered safe for the individual to work on their own, without any additional risk.

Looking after workers’ health and well-being is a legal requirement and an ethical commitment. Comprehensive Health & Safety management is no more or less important whether your business is big or small or whether your employees work in groups or on their own. So take some advice from Park City Consulting and save yourself from the risk of legal action, hefty fines, loss of profits and injury to your workforce.

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Saul HunnaballSaul Hunnaball
15:44 12 Aug 22
We have worked with Park City for our HR and Health and Safety support for many years now and have always received an excellent service.Carley is our Consultant and she is always so helpful, as are... her colleagues when she is unavailable.I would highly recommend Park City.read more
Lea CuttingLea Cutting
08:31 27 Jul 22
Park City have worked with us for many years, advising and guiding us regarding HR and Health & Safety, along with supplying valuable training.We work with many people in several areas of expertise,... Sara Godfrey, Jennie Galione, Ashley Williams, Sam Parcell, Stephanie Devans, Poppy Hayhoe.They build confidence within our company and are always available with support and advice.They provide a consistent, professional, hands-on service, second to none!Thank you from DH Industries Limited.read more
Vikki PringleVikki Pringle
11:12 20 Jul 22
The team at Park City offer us the right level of service needed to confidently run a small business. They keep us up to date with UK policy HR requirements, help us manage any staff changes or... issues and policy documents. The team are informed, friendly and remain professional in my experience.read more
Tracy MeadTracy Mead
07:12 20 Jul 22
The DS Group have been working with Park City now for a number of years and we have found their HR services to be invaluable. The service received is always to the highest professional standards and... they have assisted our business in becoming more efficient and effective in all HR matters.My consultant Sam Parcell is always on hand to help answering any questions quickly and professionally and she offers vital guidance, advice and support to us.We as a company will continue to use Park City’s services for many years to come and we cannot recommend them enough!Tracy Norton-Mead, Operations Director at the DS Group.read more
Katie HerbertKatie Herbert
13:35 07 Jul 22
We have worked with Park City for almost 10 years and have built up a great professional relationship over the years. The team are so friendly and helpful, and nothing is ever too much of an ask for... any of them. Our main HR contact is Carley, who is lovely, and she is very prompt in dealing with any queries we have regarding our 100+ staff. We would highly recommend their services for any local business.read more
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