Lone worker procedures & checklists
Common lone worker procedures
A lone worker procedure refers to a series of steps that need to be followed in order to work alone safely.
Some examples of procedures which should be developed for lone working include;
- How the lone worker should check-in with their supervisor and how often
- How and when to use any lone worker devices
- What to do in an emergency including evacuation procedures and who to contact
- What to do when a client shows signs of aggression
- What to do when unauthorised visitors attempt to enter a building where the employee is working alone
This is in no way an exhaustive list and there are many more scenarios that will require a lone worker procedure. However, implementing as many procedures as is necessary can save lives. This is why it is important that your procedures are made compulsory and you avoid any language that could suggest a choice such as ‘you should’ or ‘you could’.
When first introducing new work alone procedures, it is important to provide briefing and training for your lone workers so that they know exactly what is expected of them. A written step-by-step guide should be distributed for them to refer to and it may be helpful to produce a safety checklist for your lone workers to follow until procedures become routine.
Lone worker safety checklist
- Is the task suitable for a person to handle alone?
- Has proper training been given to the lone worker?
- Consider whether the task involves handling dangerous equipment or substances that require supervision.
- Consider the mental wellbeing of the lone worker – is the task particularly stressful or upsetting?
Is there a risk of violence?
- Consider the lone workers medical history – are they fit to work alone?
- Remember – trainees, young, pregnant or disabled workers may need to have their risks assessed individually
- Consider lone workers whose first language is not English, to ensure clear communication, especially in an emergency.
- Ensure the lone worker understands emergency protocol – do they know what to do if they fall ill or have an accident, or there is an emergency such as a fire?
- Arrange proper supervision and monitoring for lone workers