Developing your policy
Developing a lone worker safety policy
Following on from your risk assessment, you will need to produce a lone work policy. A lone working policy is a guide that will set out your companies’ rules on working alone and help your employees to understand the risks of their role. It should also provide them with practical advice and instruction on how to safely work alone.
What to include in your working alone safety policy
Your work alone policy should include the following;
- A definition of lone working
You must be clear on when you consider your employees to be lone working so they know when the policy applies to them. For example, do you consider those working late in the office alone to be lone working or does your policy only refer to those leaving the office to carry out home visits?
- Your lone worker risk assessment
Set out a list of the risks identified as part of your risk assessment and break them down by job role, location and lone worker type. If you have a number of lone workers carrying out different roles, you should consider writing several policies. This will help your employees to better understand the risks relevant to them and avoid having to read through irrelevant information.
- The procedures and measures you have put in place
If it important for your employees to know what actions you have taken to reduce risk and what is expected of them. While you should provide briefs and training on the procedures your lone workers need to follow, the policy is a good place for them to refer to.
- The purpose of the lone worker safety policy
This section provides an opportunity to let your employees know you care about their safety. The focus here should be on the benefits to their wellbeing rather than your own benefits or legal requirements. Placing emphasis on safety and wellbeing will help to encourage compliance.
- The responsibilities of each employee including management and the lone workers
In order for procedures and systems to work, each employee involved must be aware of their responsibilities. Be clear on which responsibilities lie on the lone worker and which lie on their supervisor.
- How to report on hazards or incidents
Outline how and when your employees are expected to report a hazard or incident. Is it the lone worker’s responsibility or that of a health and safety representative? Do they need to fill out a form or do you have an online portal for reporting?
- Additional help and support
You should consider including additional information on who employees can contact if they have any concerns or require additional support. This may include any health and safety representatives within the organisation, as well as external agencies, charities or support groups.