Healthcare Health and Safety Level 2 (VTQ)

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What is lone working

Video 28 of 57
2 min 47 sec
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Lone Workers Safety Guidelines

1. Defining Lone Workers

Understanding the Concept

The Health and Safety Executive defines lone workers as individuals who work independently without immediate or direct supervision. Lone working scenarios are diverse, encompassing various on-site and off-site situations.

2. On-Site Lone Working Activities

Examples of On-Site Lone Working

  • Reception staff
  • Service user interviewers
  • Isolated area workers
  • Shop and office employees

3. Off-Site Lone Working Scenarios

Diverse Off-Site Lone Working Instances

  • Construction personnel
  • Plant installation experts
  • Maintenance and cleaning teams
  • Electrical and lift repair workers
  • Painters and decorators
  • Vehicle recovery specialists
  • Agricultural and forestry labourers
  • Service professionals like rent collectors, postal staff, social workers, home helps, doctors, and district nurses
  • Pest control operatives
  • Drivers and engineers
  • Architects, estate agents, and sales representatives
  • Professionals visiting domestic and commercial premises

4. Beyond Normal Working Hours

Additional Scenarios Involving Lone Workers

Even employees working in bustling offices or factories can become lone workers when travelling for business, working late, or working from home.

5. Legal Framework

Legislation and Obligations

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: Section 2, employers are obliged to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees during work. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999: Regulation 3, mandates employers to conduct suitable and sufficient risk assessments for employees exposed to health and safety risks while working, including those working away from their primary workplace.

6. Legal Duties Towards Lone Workers

Protecting Lone Workers Under the Law

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 impose legal duties on duty holders concerning lone workers. The primary objective is to eliminate the need for lone working when feasible. When it's not possible, units and divisions must assess the risks associated with lone workers and establish suitable procedures and protocols to minimize these risks. Comprehensive training and monitoring arrangements should complement these efforts.