If so, then the answer is: Yes, you do need a lone working policy. For a more detailed answer and a better understanding of why, please read on…
Working alone isn’t against the law. However, the law does require you to carefully consider and deal with any health and safety risks for lone workers. Therefore, this means, risk assessment and policy.
There are several pieces of legislation that relate to the general safety of lone workers, including:
Failure to comply with this legislation by protecting all employees can have significant consequences (large legal costs, fines, reputational damage, prosecution, imprisonment etc.).
A lone working policy, which incorporates clear risk assessment and best-practice guidance, will help to address this.
It’s a misconception that lone working and the associated risks should come with a degree of acceptance. Nobody should be employed in a position where they are unprepared, or even worse, don’t know the dangers they might encounter.
Whilst it can be tempting to implement a single catch-all health and safety policy for all staff, lone workers face unique environmental and people risks, and therefore, need to be carefully considered.
Having a separate lone worker policy in place, which addresses these risks, puts you in a much stronger position to prioritise the safety of your lone working employees. The policy will also provide clear guidance and best-practice advice for any colleagues that work alone.
The moral and ethical duty to look after the physical and psychological health of your lone workers should not be taken lightly. You should be taking all reasonable steps to ensure their health, safety and well-being.
A lone working policy is a great place to start.