SAFETY SERVICESMAY 2009
Employers are responsible forThe health, safety and welfare at work for their employees and those affected by the work Assess risks to lone workers
Take steps to avoid or control risk where necessary
Employees are responsible forTaking reasonable care of themselves, and other people who may be affected by their work Co-operate with their employers in meeting their legal obligations
Who are Lone Workers?Lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision
No clear definition of lone worker but there are a large number of occupations that lone work. Egs :-Doctors, district nurses, milkmen, salesmen, postmen, meter readers, maintenance workers, lorry drivers etc
There he is!
University Lone WorkersWill include:-Staff working from home or alone in an officeSecurity & other mobile staffLecturersMaintenance workersTravellers to conferencesCleanersField workers / researchersStaff carrying out home visits
Can People Legally Work Alone?Legislation does not prohibit lone working, but the duties of HASAW Act 1974, and MHSW Regulations 1999 apply These require:Identifying the hazards of the workAssessing the risks involvedImplementing measures to AVOID or CONTROL the risk
Identifying the HazardsTalk to the people involved as they are a valuable source of information and advice. Find out exactly what is involved to carryout the task, eg:-Does the workplace present a special hazard?Is the access to, or exit from the workplace safe?Is the lighting and ventilation sufficient?Will other adjacent processes & activities present a risk?Is any equipment to be used safe & regularly maintained?What risks would the worker be exposed to?
Control MeasuresControl measures may include:-InstructionTrainingSupervisionProtective equipmentCommunication devicesSafe working procedures Employers should take steps to check that control measures are used and review the risk assessment from time to time to ensure that it is still adequate.
Safe Working ArrangementsLone workers face particular problems. Some of the issues which need special attention when planning safe working arrangements are as follows:-
Safe Working Arrangements The IndividualIs the person medically fit and suitable to work alone?Check that the worker has no medical conditions which make them unsuitable for working alone.See medical advice if necessary.Consider both routine work and foreseeable emergencies which may impose additional physical and mental burdens on the worker.
Safe Working Arrangements training / competency requirementsTo avoid panic in unusual situations.Lone workers need to be sufficiently experienced and fully understand the risks and controls.Know the set limits of what can and cannot be done whilst working alone.To deal with situations which are new, unusual or unexpected and to know when to stop work and seek advice from a supervisor.Know how to handle aggression.
Safe Working Arrangements SupervisionAlthough lone workers cannot be subject to constant supervision, it is still an employers duty to ensure their health and safety at work. Supervision can help to ensure:-Employees understand the risk associated with their work.That necessary safety precautions are carried out.
Safe Working Arrangements Supervision contdProvide guidance in situations of uncertainty.This could be carried out when checking the progress and quality of the workIt may take the form of periodic site visits combined with discussions in which health and safety issues are raised.Frequency would depend on competence & experience of lone worker & type of work
Safe Working Arrangements the extent of Supervision depends on:The risks involved (from the risk assessment)The ability of the lone worker to identify and handle health and safety issues.The experience of the lone worker.Is he new to the job?Is it a job with special risks?Are there new situations?The competence and trustworthiness of the worker.
Monitoring Lone WorkersProcedures will needed to ensure they remain safe. These may include:-Periodic visits & supervision of lone workersRegular contact between the lone worker & supervisor.Automatic warning devices which operate is specific signals are not received periodically from the lone worker.Other devices designed to raise the alarm in the event of an emergency & which operate manually or automatically.Checks that a lone worker has returned to their base or home on completion of their task.
Emergency situationsWhat happens if a lone worker becomes ill, has an accident, or some other emergency, arises, like a fire?
Emergency ProceduresLone workers should be capable of responding correctly to emergencies.Emergency procedures should be established and lone workers trained in them.Information about emergency procedures and danger areas in the workplace should be given to them.They should have access to adequate first-aid facilities.Mobile workers should carry a first-aid kit.Occasionally risk assessment may indicate that lone workers need training in first-aid.
Lone Worker ChecklistWorkplace 1Do I need to go?Have I checked the file for relevant information?Have I told someone of my intended movements?Have I got means of communication?Have I thought trough my own what if plan?Do I feel confident to go? If the answer to any of the above is NO then the lone worker should speak to his/her line manager before continuing.
Lone Worker ChecklistWorkplace 2Does the workplace present a special hazard?Is the access to, or exit from, the workplace safe?Is the lighting and ventilation sufficient?Will other adjacent processes and activities present a risk?Is equipment safe and regularly maintained?What risks will the worker be exposed to in the event of an equipment failure?Can substances and goods be handled safely?Does the worker have the appropriate PPE and are they trained in its use?Has the worker been trained to do the task correctly?Has the worker demonstrated their ability to do the task satisfactorily?
Lone Worker ChecklistWorkplace 3Is the worker medically fit to undertake the task?Has the worker sufficient information about the job, equipment or substances?If cash is being handled, will they be at risk of violence?Is the worker known to be reliable and seek help when they reach the limit of their knowledge or experience?What is the appropriate level of supervision for the task?What first-aid provision is required?How will you communicate with the worker to ensure their well being?What are the arrangements for the worker in the event of an emergency?
Tracing Systems 1 Are You CoveredConsider the following: -My colleagues will know where to start looking should I not return to base on time?If I decide to change my plans during the day someone would be aware of this?There is a clear procedure to follow in case someone does not return at the expected time?There is a system to raise the alarm covertly in case of emergency while working alone?
Tracing Systems 2 Are You CoveredI am confident that an appropriate person will pick up the phone if I call the office in an emergency?When (if) I am lone working out of office hours, there is a system to monitor my safety?There is information available so that my line manager could contact my partner/family (to ensure my safety) should I fail to return from an appointment?My partner/family have contact details of a colleague should I fail to return from work, even out of normal working hours?
Practical Strategies for Travelling -PLANPREPARATION Plan your journey, your route, take a personal alarm, contingency plans, etc.LOOK CONFIDENT Confident body language means you are less likely to run into trouble.AWARENESS Be aware of your surroundings and be alert to your body responses to situation.NEVER ASSUME ......
Lone Worker Checklist Useful Pointers For Managers 1Carry out informal inspections of the workplace and access on a regular basis to make sure it is safe, and that people are working safely.Ask yourself would you feel working there?Check equipment is being maintained correctly & records kept.Ensure MSDS are available for all materials used and stored on the premises.Ensure risk assessments of all processes and activities are available for workers to refer to and the that Safe Working Procedures are available.Ensure you know workers are fully aware of local rules, especially those related to working out of normal business hours.
Lone Worker Checklist Useful Pointers For Managers 2Check the out of hours signing in book to ensure people are signing in and that they have the Head of Departments permission to work out of hours.Periodically speak to those who work alone informally and find out if they have any concerns that can be dealt with easily.Ensure they know you do not want them to put themselves at risk.Ask them how the job could be made safer.Ensure you have a reliable system for contacting the lone worker and establishing that they are free from harm.Consider what emergency situations could arise and make sure that procedures are in place to cover them.
Useful Pointers For Lone Workers 1Ensure someone knows where you are and establish a contact system so that you can tell someone when youre at work and when youre leaving. Dont do anything which you feel might put you in danger report any dangerous incident or situation to your supervisor and seek advice. Dont cut corners or rush the work, set yourself a reasonable target and work towards it.
Useful Pointers For Lone Workers 2If you start