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What Must Employers Do When Employing Lone Workers

The Employers Responsibilities

Health and Safety Executive Guidance for Lone Working follows:

Is it legal to work alone and is it safe?
Working alone is not in itself against the law and it will often be safe to do so. However, the law requires employers to consider carefully, and then deal with, any health and safety risks for people working alone.
Employers are responsible for the health, safety and welfare at work of all their workers. They also have responsibility for the health and safety of any contractors or self-employed people doing work for them.
Corporate Manslaughter - an individual may still be prosecuted for common law gross negligence manslaughterThese responsibilities cannot be transferred to any other person, including those people who work alone.
Workers have responsibilities to take reasonable care of themselves and other people affected by their work activities and to co-operate with their employers in meeting their legal obligations.

Examples include:
working in a confined space, where a supervisor may need to be present, along with someone dedicated to the rescue role;
working at or near exposed live electricity conductors;
working in the health and social care sector dealing with unpredictable client behaviour and situations.

Employers who have five or more employees must record the significant findings of all risk assessments.
Employers also need to be aware of any specific law that prohibits lone working applying in their industry. Examples include supervision in diving operations, vehicles carrying explosives and fumigation work.

Health and Safety Executive - What the Employer Must Do

What must employers consult on?
By law, employers must consult all their employees on health and safety matters.
Effective consultation will also help ensure that relevant hazards are identified, and appropriate and proportionate control measures are chosen.

Which particular problems affect lone workers?
Lone workers should not be put at more risk than other employees. Establishing a healthy and safe working environment for lone workers can be different from organising the health and safety of other employees. Some of the issues that need special attention when planning safe working arrangements are set out in the following pages, but your risk assessment process should identify the issues relevant to your circumstances.

Can one person adequately control the risks of the job?
Employers should take account of normal work and foreseeable emergencies, e.g. fire, equipment failure, illness and accidents. Employers should identify situations where people work alone and consider the following:

The Employer's assessment of the risks should identify foreseeable events. Emergency procedures should be established and employees trained in them.
Information regarding emergency procedures should be given to lone workers. The Employer's risk assessment may indicate that mobile workers should carry first-aid kits and/or that lone workers need first-aid training. They should also have access to adequate first-aid facilities.

For more information, or to book a Lone Worker Training Seminar, please contact us on 01279 419427, or email from our contact page.


Lone Working and the HSE

This advice provides guidance on how to keep lone workers healthy and safe. It is aimed at anyone who employs or engages lone workers, and also at self-employed people who work alone.
Following the guidance in the leaflet is not compulsory, but it should help employers understand what they need to do to comply with their legal duties towards lone workers under:
? the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974;
? the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.


Following the guidance is not compulsory by law, unless specifically stated, and the Employer is free to take other action. But if the Employer does follow the guidance the Employer will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to this guidance.

Trainer Qualifications


HSE - Useful Links:

Health & Safety Executive Website

Lone Working

Working From Home

Violence at Work