Common Lone Worker Procedures
A lone worker procedure refers to a series of steps the need to be followed in order to work alone safely. You may find it useful to write a number of procedures suitable for different groups of employees so that they are able to understand the correct information specifically for them.
Some examples of procedures which should be developed for lone working include;
- How the lone worker should check-in with their supervisor and how often
- How and when to use any lone worker devices
- What to do in an emergency including an evacuation and who to contact
- What to do when a client shows signs of aggression
- What to do when unauthorised visitors attempt to enter a building where the employee is working alone.
This is in no way an exhaustive list and there are many more scenarios that will require a lone worker procedure. However, implementing as many procedures as necessary can save lives. This is important that your procedures are made compulsory and you avoid any language that could suggest a choice.
When first introducing new procedures, it is important to provide briefing and training for your lone workers so that they know exactly what is expected of them. A written step-by-step guide should be distributed for them to refer to and it may be helpful to produce a safety checklist for your lone workers to follow until procedures become routine.
Lone Worker Safety Checklist
When managing the safety of your lone workers, there are a number of factors you will need to take into consideration. These factors will vary considerably depending on your organisation, location and lone worker job functions. However, there are some basics that always need to be covered. You can follow the checklist below to ensure you are covering some of the basics.
- Is the task suitable for a person to handle alone?
- Has proper training been given to the lone worker?
- Does the task involved handling dengerous equipment or substances?
- Do these substances or equipment require supervision or a second person to operate?
- Is the task particularly stressful or upsetting? Is your lone worker mentally equip to cope with the work?
- Is there a risk of violence or aggression?
- Does your employee have an existing medical condition which provides additional support?
- Are you assessing your employees seperately? E.g. trainees, young, pregnant and disabled workers.
- Is there a clear communication procedure during an emergency? Remember to consider those whose first language is not English
- Do your lone workers understand emergency protocol? – do they know what to do if they fall ill, have an accident or if there is an emergency such as a fire?
- Are your lone workers monitored and properly supervised?