Lone workers need their own procedures and policies to safeguard that these workers are protected from any hazards and risks. The following lines will explain what a lone working policy is exactly, what to include in the policy and how you should go about creating one.
Lone worker policy
You will need to produce a safety policy for the lone workers in your company. A lone working safety policy is a set of guidelines that will set out your business’ rules on working alone and help your workers to understand the risks they could face.
Ultimately, the lone working policy should aim to provide your lone workers with practical information, advice and instructions on how to work alone in a safe manner.
How to create your lone worker policy
The lone worker policy will be developed as an extension to the existing lone working risk assessment. The document detailing the policies will include the risk assessment as well as the procedures you have in place to reduce the identified risks.
What shall I include in my lone working policy?
You should include the following:
Policy statement: a lone worker policy statement is essentially made up of a few paragraphs outlining the firm’s dedication to meeting the legal requirements.
Defining the concept of lone working: you need to be very clear on when you consider your workers to be lone working, so they will know when this policy applies to them. For instance, make it clear if you consider those working late in the office alone to be lone working, or if the policy is only referring to those leaving the office or headquarters to carry out home visits.
Lone worker risk assessment: create a list of risks identified as part of the risk assessment and break them down by location, job role and worker type. In case you have several lone workers carrying out multiple roles, you must consider writing several policies. This will help your workers to better understand the risks relevant to each of them and avoid reading through unnecessary information.
The measures and procedures you already have in place: your employees need to know what actions you have taken in order to reduce potential risks and what is expected of them. While you need to provide training on the procedures the lone workers need to follow, the policy is a great place for them to refer to.
The purpose of the safety policy: this part of the policy provides an opportunity to let your workers know you do care about their safety. Your focus here needs to be on the benefits to their safety and wellbeing rather than your company’s benefits or legal requirements. Placing emphasis on wellbeing helps to encourage compliance.
The responsibilities of employees including management and lone workers: in order for systems and procedures to work, each worker involved needs to be aware of the responsibilities. Make it clear which responsibilities lie on the actual lone worker and which lie on their manager.
Reporting of incidents or hazards: explain how and when the workers are expected to report an incident. Do the workers need to fill out a form or is there an online site for reporting? Is it the worker’s responsibility or that of a safety representative?
Additional support and help: you need to consider including additional details on who workers can contact in case they have concerns or require additional help. This can include any safety representatives within the company or institution, as well as hired agencies or support groups.
How shall I create my policy statement?
The lone working policy is influenced by the risks identified as well as the procedures put in place to reduce the risks. You can find examples of lone working policies online with a quick search. Please keep in mind that those examples you can find online may not be as complete as necessary and you might need to identify a more extensive list of risks.