Lone Worker Protection – Are you protected?
Every organisation has a legal duty to protect any staff working independently. A Lone Worker risk assessment is the critical first step to complying with the law.
Download our FREE interactive Lone Worker risk assessment form to make sure your business is as safe as your staff.
Businesses are used to managing constant new challenges but sometimes the simple things get left to chance. A lone working policy is a frequent gap because "nothing has happened before". But the business consequences of doing nothing could be substantial, not just the obvious disruption to your business or staff but the HR/Legal costs, bad press, even fines.
Typically it's because the lone working roles aren't intrinsically dangerous or it only happens infrequently. This might seem a good point but the legal duty of care isn't that relaxed or accommodating.
The most concerning though is the "they know what they're doing" or interestingly ... "We never have any lone working".
It is possible that the last statement is true ... But, honestly, does nobody ever Work from home, are there always at least two people together when working late, opening or locking up? What about visiting other locations or larger sites where staff are not under direct supervision. Your business always remains responsible for staff (and contractor's) safety and wellbeing. Of course there are H&S requirements for the other party but your obligations aren't transferred to someone else just because staff aren't on your premises.
There are two main areas of Health and Safety law. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Health and Safety at Work regulations 1999. The HSE provide a good “Lone Working” outline here
The law is that BOTH Employer and Employee must take reasonable precautions for their own and other’s health and safety. The starting point is Assessing risks and then implementing necessary measures. Doing nothing or ignoring lone working risks is clearly not an option, unless you want to break the law and put your staff and business at risk.
Once you understand the risks it can be simple and cost effective to manage them as you need to evidence your actions are reasonable and practicable.
Working Alone Guide
Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a legal responsibility on employers to
Don’t wait until staff get too nervous (or complacent) or the HSE are investigating. A Lone Worker risk assessment is the critical first step to complying with the law.
Download our FREE interactive Lone Worker risk assessment form and HSE’s Working Alone guide to make sure your business is as safe as your staff.