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Topic: Risk assessments - workplace

lone working
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Lone working

Lone working 

People who work on their own should be at no more risk than other employees.

Being safe whilst on your own

Lone working brings its own specific risks, which could cause accidents and potentially put you on the wrong side of the law.  To ensure that this doesn’t happen, you should complete a risk assessment for lone worker activities, which identifies all “significant” hazards and appropriate “reasonable” ways of reducing the risks to an acceptable level.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards and appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Lone Working document.  It covers the generic hazards found with most lone working activities and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level.

You should ensure your own document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that, could and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury.

Making your instructions clear

There is no point putting activities on the document that simply don’t need to be there.  Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of working on their own, then you will need to make it clear on your document. Finally, always ensure any control measures you identify and follow only go so far “as is reasonably practicable”. 

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive, as you will know the requirements of lone working as it affects your business better than we do. However, for your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards found in your workplace. 

 

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