Employment code:

Appendix A9.11

Working alone

1. Policy statement

We recognise that in certain circumstances lone working is unavoidable and that we have a duty to assess and reduce the risks which lone working presents. We also accept the importance of the following in relation to lone working:

Return to top

2. Definition

In operating this policy we define “lone working” as:

“Any situation or location in which someone works without a colleague nearby; or when someone is working out of sight or earshot of another colleague.”

Return to top

3. Restrictions

Lone working is prohibited in some work situations and activities, as there are a number of Health and Safety regulations which set out specific requirements for supervision, assistance or accompanied working if:

These activities include:

In addition to this, each site may have specific rules and restrictions which you must note and follow.

Return to top

4. Organisation and responsibilities

4.1 Institute Directors

You have overall responsibility for all matters of health and safety including lone working. You need to ensure mechanisms are in place at your site for the overall implementation and monitoring of this policy.

4.2 Line Managers

It is your responsibility to:

4.3 Lone workers (including employees, students, contractors, etc).

You are responsible for:

4.4 Health and Safety advisers

It is your responsibility for:

Return to top

5. Health and Safety arrangements

5.1 Local arrangements

Each site will assess the risks of working alone carried out under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations and will confirm whether the work can actually be done safely by one unaccompanied person. Particular consideration will be given to:

5.2 Information and training

Each site will ensure that you are provided with all necessary information, instruction, training and supervision to enable you to recognise the hazards and appreciate the risks involved with working alone.

5.3 Permits to work

In certain circumstances, particularly when the risks are considered high or where specific legal requirements exist, some or all of the above procedures may be contained in a written permit to work, without which the activity may not take place. Copies of permits will normally be issued to everyone directly involved with the activity, e.g. the solitary worker, the closest supervisor and the relevant manager. Where time limits are a consideration, e.g. to control exposure to heat, fatigue or to ensure essential supplies such as breathing gases are not exhausted, the permit would state required starting and finishing times or maximum duration of the task.

5.4 Review and audit

Each site will carry out regular inspections and/or audits to help identify opportunities for improvement, develop action plans and share good practice. The following performance indicators are examples of what may be used to audit the effectiveness of this policy:

The implementation of this policy will be monitored through the Joint Health and Safety Committee.

Return to top

6. Related policies and procedures

This policy should be read in conjunction with:

Return to top

Last updated 17/11/10
Amendment 110 - November 2010