Introduction

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that there are adequate systems in place to ensure the health, safety and welfare of lone workers in order to reduce the risks of lone working as far as is reasonably possible and practicable.

ABC definition of “lone worker”

Any member of staff (employee), trustee or volunteer who carries out their work in a location away from the office base and in isolation from colleagues, or who is travelling between work locations on ABC business, or who is working alone in the office, or is working from home whether on a on a regular or occasional basis.

Legal Obligations

ABC has an obligation, to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their staff; it also has obligations to other persons who are not their staff. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) 1999 places a duty on employers, to identify significant risks within the organisation and implement suitable risk treatments, to reduce those risks so far as is reasonably practicable.

Staff have obligations to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work.

Policy Aims

The aim of this policy is to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that staff , trustees or volunteers who work alone are not exposed to risks to their health, safety or welfare

Objectives

The objectives of this policy are to ensure that:

  1. Lone workers are identified.
  2. Risks inherent in lone worker situations are assessed and suitable precautionary measures are taken
  3. ABC investigates potential hazards & assesses risks and then ensures measures are put in place to control or avoid risks.
  4. ABC takes into account any persons at particular risk for example new, young, pregnant or a disabled person
  5. ABC takes account any persons with specific medical conditions making them potentially more vulnerable and any persons whose medical condition makes it unsuitable for them to work alone having ensured all reasonable adjustments have been considered
  6. ABC involves staff in risk assessment, takes steps to control measures and review risk assessments
  7. ABC takes in to account normal emergencies eg fire, illness & accident.
  8. ABC considers training for example so staff do not panic and First Aid
  9. There is a local safe system of work which:
  • records the whereabouts of lone workers
  • tracks the movement of lone workers
  • follows an agreed system for locating staff who deviate from their expected movement pattern
  • identifies when lone working is no longer appropriate

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is the overall process of performing a systematic written risk analysis and risk evaluation in order to identify methods to control the severity of the risk.

References to other policies within ABC

Health and Safety

People and Their Duties and Responsibilities

The Chief Operating & development Officer (“CODO”) has responsibility for:

  • Taking a legal “duty of care” to all of the employees, trustees and volunteers to provide them with a safe system of work
  • Regularly reviewing, documenting, updating, and communicating working practices and procedures to all paid staff and volunteers
  • Putting in place working practices and procedures identified in risk assessments to reduce risk
  • Ensuring that all staff and volunteers are trained and understand what is required of them
  • Knowing where employees and volunteers are during working hours
  • Ensuring that employees and volunteers follow agreed practices and procedures
  • Raising lone working issues with the Trustees
  • Learning any lessons and putting revised plans into action where necessary
  • Ensuring that anyone working alone is medically fit to do so
  • Ensuring precautions and action points on risk assessment have been acted upon and maintaining a check that these remain operational

All lone workers are responsible for:

  • Taking care of themselves and their colleagues
  • Following all working practices and procedures that have been put in place by ABC
  • Understanding and not taking unnecessary risks that affect them
  • Raising any issues or concerns with the CODO
  • Reporting to the designated person immediately if they experience anything unpleasant, no matter how trivial
  • Ensuring that a record is made at ABC office of the date, time and location of any incident
  • Ensuring that an outside individual will take action if they do not return home when expected (where a phone call cannot be made to the office, e.g. attending a meeting out of normal working hours)
  • Knowing where the first aid box and telephones are located in the office.

When working alone in the ABC office ensuring that they:

  • Logging in/out of computer to ensure staff arrive and leave safely
  • Carrying personal alarm/ spray
  • Always have mobile phone on their person and the battery is charged
  • All external doors are locked to prevent uninvited visitors/intruders.
  • Not to open any locked door without being satisfied as to the caller by checking their identity through peep holes/intercom and /or using the chain on the front door
  • Not open back door to anyone whose voice is not known; send them to the front of the building
  • If in any doubt about personal safety dial 999 from both mobile and land line, as the latter can be traced either try to get away or barricade self into office and shout FIRE which is apparently more effective than HELP
  • Keeping keys on person all of the time UNLESS install keypad
  • Whilst visitors should have made an appointment when there are 2 people in the office; if you are satisfied that it is safe to admit them, then you should stay in the hallway.
  • If feeling in the least unwell contact a third party to inform them & agree further timed check ins.

When Working in building whilst the hall is being used:

  • Keep office door locked
  • Take keys and phone if leave office
  • Ask group leader to advise when the last person is going and then check both doors closed and locked.

When leaving an office alone:

  • Check and keep checked outside light to main entrance
  • Do not exit from rear entrance
  • Check through peepholes before unlocking door.
  • Check around before turning around to lock door.
  • If parked in adjacent road, stop & check any persons hanging around before moving toward car; if in any doubt do not approach car until they have gone.
  • If parked elsewhere use the most open, well  lit route.
  • Walk assertively, head up, and aware of surroundings.
  • Do not wear earphones
  • If worried call someone and keep the line open until car reached safely.

When travelling:

  • Always have mobile ‘phone on person and “on” and include ICE number
  • Ensure vehicle regularly serviced and vehicle fuel is kept at least a quarter full
  • Do not leave home if weather advice is not to so do.
  • If on site at a meeting or in office and weather is becoming adverse arrange to end the meeting early and leave, advising someone that you are so doing
  • If travelling in adverse weather ensure there are warm clothes/blankets in car, & water.
  • Do not park in an isolated area, or unlit if at night and  do not exit car until checked around to check nothing suspicious.
  • Walk briskly and purposefully from car to site.
  • If concerned and meeting with someone call them and keep the line open.
  • If not meeting someone then if available call someone; if you cannot then leave the area.
  • If you breakdown call the designated person so they are aware of the position

When attending school as a volunteer:

  • Always carry mobile phone and ensure battery topped up.
  • Ensure car serviced and has sufficient fuel
  • Ensure designated person knows of visit and expected return time
  • Do not travel is weather is bad and advice is not to so do
  • Park in a well populated area, do not exit car if concerned and if in doubt phone third party/school and keep the line open.
  • Do not take short cuts through unlit or quiet areas
  • Ensure aware of school fire plan, exits etc & sit in an area where you can be seen or can see or hear others

May 2013 Alison Paton/Marcia Rowlinson