Lone working policy contributes to the safety of lone workers and provides guidance for working alone.
Aim of lone working policy
The aim of this policy includes:
- Increase staff awareness of safety issues relating to lone working;
- Make sure that the risk of working alone is assessed in a systematic and ongoing way, and that safe systems and methods of work are put in place to reduce the risk so far as is reasonably practicable;
- Make sure that appropriate training is available to staff in all areas, that equips them to recognize risk and provides practical advice on safety when working alone;
Make sure that appropriate support is available to staff who have to work alone;
- Encourage full reporting and recording of all adverse incidents relating to lone working;
- Minimise the number of incidents and injuries to staff related to lone working.
It is worthy of mention that a lone working policy is not a static document, it is designed based on the type of job, location, equipment/materials, expertise, etc. What this simply means is that you can design your policy in a way that best suit you.
Tips to create a lone working policy
- The style should match other policies within your organisation
- Write in clear, concise language and in the third person
- Don’t include words that imply choice, such as “should” and “may”
- Do not use information that will date, such as names or web addresses
- Spell out words the first time, then show the acronym in parentheses, e.g., Lone Worker (LW)
What to include in your lone working policy
- The purpose of the policy – It should be clearly stated why the policy is in place.
- Scope & Definition: Here it should be stated here what/who is covered in the lone working policy.
- Process & Requirement: Lone working role risk assessments and procedural evaluation
- Roles & Responsibilities: Here roles and responsibilities are assigned to senior, line managers and other members of the organization to ensure actualization of the lone policy. The policy needs to be clear on who is responsible for what, including employees themselves. For example, employees need to take reasonable care of their own personal safety, including not putting themselves into a situation which could compromise their safety. Managers are responsible for completing a lone working risk assessment and reporting incidents in the correct manner. Include information on lone worker devices too–e.g.; who is managing usage (managers) and what employees are responsible for (making sure their devices are charged etc.).
- Training: Training is crucial for all groups of staff who undertake lone working and, it is the line manager’s responsibility to ensure staff are booked on relevant courses that would enhance staff safety.
- Reporting: It needs to be clear to whom an employee should report incidents. Whether it is through a formal logging system or as simple as telling the correct person and filling out a form. Reporting lone worker incidents is important, as it can often present an opportunity to learn or uncover a new risk.
- Monitoring/Review: Here the policy is monitored and review where necessary
See example of a lone working policy here