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HSP06 – Lone working
Although lone workers cannot be subject to constant supervision, it is still the company’s duty to ensure
their Health & Safety at work.
To ensure that employees understand the risks associated with their work and the necessary safety
precautions, this procedure should be followed to minimise the risks from working alone.
Lone working is defined as:
a) Working alone at the office location but out of normal hours.
b) Visiting a customer site / off-site storage location on their own.
c) Lone MRF activity (lone MRF activies to be minimised).
It is the responsibility of every person going to work off-site, especially those who are going on a
location where they may be alone, to inform the office where they are going and the estimated time
they will be entering and leaving the other location. When working in the MRF sorting facility alone this
procedure is to be strictly followed.
When working alone and outside of normal working hours in an office facility, elements of this procedure
are also to be followed where applicable (see 5).
3 Risk assessment and pre-requisites
For type c) lone work activities, hazards should be risk assessed. The lone worker should, “as far as is
practicable”, not be at more risk than other employees. This will require extra control measures.
Precautions should take account of normal work and foreseeable emergencies, e.g. fire, equipment
failure, illness and accidents. The risk assessment for situations where people work alone should identify
and ask the following questions:
Does the workplace present a special risk to the lone worker?
Are there a safe way in and a way out for one person?
Can all the activities involved in the work be safely handled by one person?
Consider whether the work involves lifting objects too heavy for one person or is lifting
equipment is required.
Is there a risk of violence?
If the lone worker is female does she face specific risk?
The person must be medically fit and suitable to work alone. Consideration should be given to both
routine work and foreseeable emergencies which may impose additional physical and mental burdens on
For type c) lone working, the risk assessments must identify the training required to ensure competency
in safety matters.
Lone workers need to be sufficiently experienced and understand the risks and precautions fully. The
employees must be competent to deal with circumstances which are new, unusual or beyond the scope
of training, e.g. when to stop work and seek advice or how to handle intruders.
Communications is vital and every lone worker is to carry a mobile phone. If an accident occurs, the
lone worker should first call any emergency service required, then inform the office (on a mobile 112 or
999 can be used to call emergency services).
4 Type b) out of office control measures
4.1 All workers working away from the MRF facility must notify their Line Manager where they are going
and the approximate time of arrival.
4.2 All out of office lone workers must carry a mobile phone.
HSP06 Lone Working
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If off-site work involves any manual handling activities, section 5 must be followed.
5 Type c) MRF / storage facility control measures
5.1 On arrival, the lone worker is to report to the office that they are on site. Nominated office
person is to record the information and the time on the Lone Worker Report log sheet.
5.2 If a significant / higher risk task is to be carried out, the lone worker should contact the office
hourly. If the lone worker fails to phone into the office, at the appointed time, the nominated
office person is to attempt to contact the them. If contact is not established after 30 minutes, a
manager or director must be informed and the lack of contact investigated. Type c) Lone workers
must make every effort to contact the office at alloted time.
5.3 Under normal circumstances (i.e. excluding 5.2 above), the Lone Worker should contact the
office prior to departure from the MRF facility.
6 Type a) out of hours, lone office working control measures
6.1 Out of hours, office based lone working is only permissible by, or with the permission of a
member of the Management Team. Early starts on normal weekdays are excluded from lone
6.2 Where late evening, weekend or national holiday lone working is required the lone worker should
implement at least one of the following controls:
Arrange to work with a colleague, thus eliminating the lone worker risk.
Arrange to make contact with a colleague by phone on arrival and then at least hourly.
Arrange reciprical periodic checks with another organisation at the same location.
Ensure external doors in areas where work is not taking place are locked.
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Appendix 1 - Lone worker report
Name of Lone Worker: Mobile No:
Name of Site: Location of Site:
Initial / On Site Call Received: Y / N Time Received:
Activity of Lone Worker (record only significant / at risk activity):
Hourly Contact Required: Y / N (log calls below)
Call Due Time: Call Received at: Remarks:
Completion / Off Site Call Received: Y / N Time Received:
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