The following Practice Management practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines lone workers as people who work by themselves without close or direct supervision.
people who work from home
people who work away from a fixed base
professionals visiting domestic and commercial premises
people who work separately from others on the same premises (eg cleaners, security, maintenance and reception workers or people who work outside normal business hours)
Changing ways of working and greater use of technology are increasing the number of people who might be categorised as lone workers.
Employers are responsible for lone worker safety during working hours, whether they are in the office, in a vehicle, working from home 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.
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: Risk assessment below. This must include:
involving workers when considering potential risks and measures to control them
taking steps to ensure risks are removed where possible, or putting in place control measures
instruction, training and supervision
All workers have responsibilities
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