Lone working
Lone working

The following Practice Management guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Lone working
  • What's the issue?
  • Responsibilities
  • Risk assessment
  • Protection
  • Policy

What's the issue?

It's estimated that 6.8 million people in the UK are lone workers—22% of the working population.

Employers are responsible for lone worker safety during working hours, whether they are in the office, in a vehicle, or on a home visit.

Establishing a healthy and safe working environment for lone workers can be different from organising the health and safety of other employees. They should not be put at more risk than other people working for you.

Who is a lone worker?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines lone workers as people who work by themselves without close or direct supervision.

Examples include:

  1. people who work from home

  2. mobile workers outside of their fixed base

  3. professionals visiting domestic and commercial premises

  4. people who work separately from others (eg reception workers or people who work outside normal business hours)


By law, employers have specific responsibilities towards the safety of their employees, as do the employees themselves.


Employers have a duty to assess risks to lone workers and take steps to avoid or control risks where necessary (see Precedent: Risk assessment). This must include:

  1. involving workers when considering potential risks and measures to control them

  2. taking steps to ensure risks are removed where possible, or putting in place control measures

  3. instruction, training and supervision

Lone workers

All employees have